If ‘wellness’ ranks high on your list of aspirations for 2021, listen up.
If there is anything to be learned from the trials and tribulations of last year, it’s that we should be kinder. To those you love. To those you don’t. To strangers, lost amidst the battles in their own lives. To yourself. Instead of New Year resolutions that dilute notions of ‘wellness‘ into trite fitness challenges that set up poor habits, think bigger. Think better.
Wellness can mean finding ways to achieve better sleep. Mending relationships. Training, yes, but for the mind as much as it is for the body. Prioritising happiness. Accepting — even embracing — failures. There is a myriad of ways to approach notions of wellness; here are five, guided through podcast stories and conversations.
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This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.
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Wellness intention: To upgrade your workplace happiness
Do you close your eyes every night dreading that AM alarm? Haunted by ‘Sunday Scaries’? Work-life balance, nonexistent? While conjuring up a pretty bleak, monotonous routine from its name, the ‘Eat Sleep Work Repeat’ podcast ruminates on what it means to be happy: At work. Hosted by Bruce Daisley (who happens to be the former European Vice President for Twitter), this podcast is produced as a series of interviews that touches on topics like humour, burn-out and ways to foster a sense of belonging in an increasingly — especially, in light of 2020’s remote-working phenomenon — detached workplace.
Wellness intention: To be open to emotions, experiences and changes that may not feel good on the offset, but is healing and transformative in the long run.
Failure is not typically something to aspire to. In fact, most of us go out of our way to do the exact opposite. ‘How To Fail’ — as its name suggests — cares not about the wins and the highlight reel and, instead, embraces stories of failure. Of disappointment. Of the no-good feelings that come from things gone wrong. The lessons learned and insights gleaned are often realised in hindsight; this Elizabeth Day-hosted podcast, therefore, is all about the hindsight. Interviewees range across the spectrum, from everyday folks to people who have lived extraordinary lives, like Gloria Steinem.
Wellness intention: To make time for the relationships in your life.
There’s nothing quite like a gabfest with very best friends. The kind of no-holds-barred tête-à-têtes that leave bellies heaving in mad, uproarious laughter. It’s a privilege, really. ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ is set up on this very premise; a podcast between two long-distance best friends — Aminatou Sow in Brooklyn and Ann Friedman in Los Angeles — that feels a little like honest eavesdropping. Topics range far and wide, from hi-brow intersectional feminism to the latest in pop culture. While not explicitly built into the content, facets of wellness are clearly defined from the structure of the podcast: Time spent in the company of a best friend is time well spent, even more so across thousands of miles.
Wellness intention: To sever all preconceptions about weight as it relates to self-worth, fitness and wellness
Weight loss. Fitness. Detox. Juice cleanses. The idea that one’s identity and worth, somehow, has anything to do with numbers on a scale. New Year’s resolutions often centre around ‘fitness’ as a goal, whether this includes pounds lost or sizes down. Co-host Aubrey Gordon — more colloquially known as Your Fat Friend (@yrfatfriend) — started writing anonymously as a way to address systemic biases that have deemed ‘fat’ as intrinsically bad. Along with her co-host Michael Hobbes, ‘Maintenance Phase’ is a podcast debunking wellness and weight loss myths.
Wellness intention: To think intentionally and allow room for meditation.
On 1 January, the ‘Headspace Guide to Meditation’ was released on Netflix as the app-turned-content company’s first made-for-television program. A succinct intro into the now-ironically crowded world of meditation, Radio Headspace offers daily snippets of guidance from founder Andy Puddicombe. Each podcast session lasts approximately five minutes, as Puddicombe speaks through personal anecdotes that lead to a-ha moments of introspection and intentional thinking.