By Cheshire Que, RND, RN, RD
What comes to your mind when you come across the word wellness? Having a regular workout? Adhering to a strict diet? Taking a melange of supplements?
Let us find out what real women, who are the epitome of wellness in their own ways, have to say about what wellness means to them.
Last March 8, Edsa Shangri-La, Manila celebrated International Women’s Day with an intimate event entitled “Come Away with Chi,” where ladies enjoyed a day of wellness, relaxation, learning, and female bonding at Chi, The Spa and the poolside grounds of the hotel. The ladies listened in on insights, ideas, and tips for total wellbeing from beautiful and successful professionals, including group editorial director of Summit Media Myrza Sison, celebrity yoga instructor Bubbles Paraiso, Chi director Angel Pangilinan, and yours truly.
When I was asked about what wellness meant to me, I was probably expected to reply in a manner that was related to my profession as a dietitian, mainly a well-balanced diet. Wellness for me, however, means having that inner peace and joy that enable every woman to find equilibrium amid the chaotic environment we live in. We often neglect the correlation between the state of our emotions and the way we eat. Think about what triggers women to binge. Where does emotional eating stem from? Our emotions greatly impact our sleep, too. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc with hormones that control our appetite. Ladies, wellness is not just about your diet. It includes being physically active, practicing sleep hygiene, and letting go of unproductive things that pull you down, including toxic relationships.
Myrza Sison shared her own thoughts about wellness. It is important to look your best, according to her, but never forget that it is what’s inside that matter most. Stay calm and always remember that life is short. When it comes to relationships, it doesn’t matter how long you have been together for as long as you make each other happy.
The svelte Myrza also emphasizes on how exercise has been a part of her daily morning routine all these years. “I bring my workout clothes with me whenever I travel. I feel incomplete unless I have perspired after exercise,” she says.
The vibrant Bubbles Paraiso encourages women to eat clean. Of course she has occasional treats but she cuts down on the consumption of refined sugars. She even gave a tip on how to drink coffee. “Add some cinnamon to your brewed coffee instead of sugar. Cinnamon tricks your mind into thinking that it is sweet,” she advised. She loves to walk a lot, too. She chooses to walk than take her car. It is important not just to have an hour of exercise each day but to be mindful of your movement throughout the day.
Charming Angel Pangilinan conveys this message to all the women pursuing wellness: “I admire you. I admire you for finding wealth in the form of your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. With the little things you do, such as choosing what to put on your family’s dinner table, you influence your loved ones and those around them too to eat well. Your pursuit to wellness is exponential. Today, we not only look after our homes, we drive companies and I’m sure we rock our own industries. If we all prioritize our wellness, I’m certain the world would be a much better place to live in.”
In line with her career, Angel enlightened us about the influence of the spa industry to a woman’s wellbeing: “While the spa industry seems to be very feminine, only 40 percent of our guests are women. I think with all the responsibilities women would like to embrace, there is so little left for a ‘me-time.’ Definitely, a spa break is one important element to the many aspects of wellness. This industry offers so much (massages, facials, scrubs, etc), but all these have one thing in common—it gives the guest a pause. In the silence of your 90-minute treatment, you recharge physically, mentally, and emotionally. This allows you to look at your to-dos in a fresh perspective. It gives you that luxury to reboot and get your chi back.”
May the thoughts and ideas of these four wellness wise women inspire more ladies to pursue their own wellness journey. Celebrate your being a woman this month, which is dedicated to us.