The UAE government implements initiatives and activations that aim to improve the well-being of everyone Image Credit: Shutterstock

Wellness is the act of incorporating daily practises that improve our emotional and physical health. When we take the time to slow down, listen to our bodies and remain consistent with our self-care, we become more aligned with our goals, we feel healthier, more invigorated, strong and happier.

Wellness is becoming increasingly popular in the UAE, where we are lucky enough to gain insights and knowledge from expatriates from all over the world and are able to blend their techniques with the traditional methods taught in our culture.

When our thoughts, beliefs and behaviour is aligned, we feel better. This is why routine and practice are so important. Being the best version of ourselves allows us all, collectively, to show up and serve in evert area of our society and community.

It improves our relationships with our loved ones, families, friends and work colleagues. Filling our own cup with happiness and self-care subconsciously encourages those around us to do the same, we lift others through working on ourselves.

WWW Global Wellness Day 1-1559980591039
By implementing small, short activities every day, we can create positive changes Image Credit: Supplied

Conscious approach to well-being

In such a fast paced, dynamic Emirate, there is an importance for a conscious approach to well-being. A large part of the community here is made up of people who are away from their families and loved ones, which can take its toll on their mental and emotional health. In this environment, a self-care routine can have an incredible impact.

Now, with all of the changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, we have found that there is a real interest in wellness and an increase in people wanting to work on improving their mental and physical health.

Residents are interested and engaged in trying different therapies and new methods to increase their immunity, their strength and mental clarity. There is more of an awareness around a healthy lifestyle, people want to take care of their well-being in order to prevent illness.

By implementing small, short activities every day, we can create positive changes. Forming new habits strengthens our neural pathways and train our brains to act automatically. Think about how you start your day.

Do you bolt upright in panic? Are you in a rush to start working? Or do you start your morning with a healthy routine that sets the tone for the rest of the day?

Taking care of your mental space

A morning routine is one of the easiest and most effective ways to take care of your mental space and improve your mood throughout the day. Starting the day with gratitude makes us more likely to find things to be grateful for throughout the day.

Try writing a list of three specific things you are thankful for each morning, include all of the good in your life and notice all that you have received, and watch how many more things you find to be grateful for throughout the day. It is such a subtle shift in perception, and it enables us to find the beauty in everything.

The morning is also the perfect time to prioritise and create a plan for the day ahead. Take a few moments to think about everything you wish to accomplish and determine one clear intention for that day. This willing intention will be the reason you can complete your overflowing to-do list and become the guiding compass for your additional tasks.

It can be simple, such as “act with kindness today”, or “show gratitude and appreciation today”, or you can focus on something specific such as “complete analysis report”. Use something that resonates and motivates you, and then surrender and let go of control for a productive and joyful day.

Happiness hormones are produced in our guts and healthy gut function supports our immunity, which is why our diets, moods and health are so intrinsically linked. How we fuel our bodies and the foods we eat have a huge effect on our overall health.

Self-care and well-being

Nutrition is a key element of self-care and well-being; we must ensure we are eating enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle yet avoid overindulging too often. I believe in enjoying everything in moderation, and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein for the restorative and invigorating vitamins they provide.

Being active calms the mind, increases our oxygen intake and gets our blood pumping. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and improve our moods. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful landscape in the UAE, the terrain, mountains, rivers and beaches enable us to spend time outside and connect with nature.

Our leaders, such as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, are role models and encourage residents to follow in his footsteps and engage in paddle tennis, skydiving and cycling.

At its core, the UAE government implements initiatives and activations that aim to improve the well-being of its residents, incorporate positivity and encourage us all to live in harmony with one another. I believe wellness is one of the founding pillars of our country.

When we are all focused on improving our mental and physical health, starting the day with gratitude and pure intentions, taking care of our nutrition, and being active, we feel happier, stronger and supported.

From a place of self-care, we are able to create space for others, remain tolerant, positive, and actively support the growth of the Emirate.

Asma Hilal Lootah is the founder of The Hundred Wellness Centre