Sometimes, Wellness Programs Do More Damage Than Good

I generally like to write about buzzwords because there is usually a lot to be said about them. Today that buzzword is wellness.

Wellness initiatives are all the rage in the corporate world. And for good reason - we are overstressed, overweight and overtired. We are working harder than ever for less pay and buying power, and it’s pushing many of us beyond the breaking point.

However, many of these wellness initiatives are missing the mark. Companies spend billions bringing in specialists for different areas: stress, sleep, fitness and food can all fall under the purview of a wellness program.

When we find one thing that we aren’t thrilled with, we decide to make a personal change … and go overboard. We buy all the books, try all the things, stop eating all the foods. But when we fail in one of the areas, we give up on all of them. We haven’t learned to be well on our own terms, and we then get frustrated with the time, energy, and effort we invested and didn’t see results, and are often in a worse spot than when we began.

Your situation is unique

Many wellness programs are trying to fit you, the square peg, into their round hole. But remember: meditation was created by people who didn’t have smartphones. Spending an hour running in the morning may not be possible with three screaming kids, a spouse that works nights and a domineering boss that e-mails at all hours. Just because it works for your neighbor, does not mean that it will work for you.

Everyone has different motivations, schedules, discipline and patience. So step number one is finding what exactly it is that you are looking to make well. Why are you trying to lose weight? Is it because a doctor told you to? Is it about self-image? Is it about how your partner looks at you? Dig deep. And start to make one change in that direction.

It’s about incremental lifestyle change

We are impatient. Everything is at our fingertips. But remember that this is a lifetime journey. Wellness doesn’t come and go like a diet. And when we take a step back, and recognize that this is going to last longer than just a month, we gain a different perspective.

We need to recognize that it’s small, incremental changes over time that show benefits. Why? Because we become different people when we change each little thing. And then, once we have changed, we can then identify the appropriate next step on where we want to go on our journey.

Wellness can be found by anyone. However the secret to wellness is to invest the time at the beginning to define what wellness means to you, and then filtering through the noise to find the specific items that work for you!