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Open Thread: What Does Wellness Mean to You Right Now?
09.23.19

My wellness routine is incredibly practical, though my apartment might suggest otherwise. My home is an oasis for houseplants, my kitchen is stocked with CBD oils, and I keep a jade roller in my freezer. I even have a crystal (or five) hidden throughout my bedroom. However, if I take a moment to reflect on the routines and habits that truly make me feel well, none of the aforementioned things immediately come to mind. Growing up in a relatively low-income household, nurturing my relationship with money to the point of financial wellness has granted me more comfort and joy than any workout class or facial. Somewhat similarly, I consider the relationships I have with my friends, family, and partner a huge part of my personal wellness routine—together they act as my emotional safety net, which I’m constantly trying to strengthen and maintain.

A lot has been said about wellness—and the practices and products that surround it—in the last few years, but, for me, the most interesting aspect of the movement has been how uniquely it can be defined. Even the most wellness-obsessed can define “being well” in vastly different ways, and on the other end of the spectrum, many people are reluctant to use the term to refer to the habits and choices that keep them feeling whole. The movement and industry are both complicated, and the conversations around them can be powerful.

I’ll be talking more about the complexities of wellness at Man Repeller HQ this Thursday, as part of our Good Evening event series. I’m moderating a panel of three women who have made wellness a large part of their everyday lives and careers. Before the event (you can get tickets to it here), I wanted to start a conversation about wellness and the different relationships we have with it. So I asked the panelists, Bianca Valle, Sara Elise, and Tara Aura to kick off the conversation by sharing how they define wellness. Here’s hoping your inspired to share your own.


“Wellness is about anything that adds a pep to your step, clears your mind, and keeps you feeling optimistic every day.”

Bianca Valle, Certified Holistic Nutritionist

It’s kind of unfortunate how the word “wellness” has been misshapen in the media these days to support a larger idea of consumption and profit, rather than a down-to-earth concept of being a human in nature. The modern definition of wellness has scared many away because they think it’s too expensive to eat well, or they need to belong to a fancy gym. In reality, wellness is quite simple. To me, it’s not about beauty supplements, extreme workout classes, or about adding a hundred different powders (with a million different promises) to your latte in the morning. Wellness is about anything that adds a pep to your step, clears your mind, and keeps you feeling optimistic every day.

In my eyes, wellness is holistic—it involves your mind and spirit, as well as nutrition. Wellness is happiness, and happiness comes from love. Not romantic love per se, but following your heart and doing what makes you feel well and whole, full of energy and excitement, trusting in your own power, your own force—that’s wellness. Wellness is freedom to live full of joy and full of vitality.

“It’s all of us doing our best for ourselves, each other, and the planet.”

Tara Aura, Co-Founder of Blind Seed

I consider wellness to be another word for alignment. It’s the sense of wholeness and wellbeing that we allow when our behaviors and experiences align with our beliefs and values. For me, wellness looks like moonlight shining on iridescent skin. It’s flirting with nature. It is the swell of my heart realizing a childhood dream just came true. It’s being and becoming a person I love unconditionally. It’s seasonal menu changes. It’s compassion. It’s the deep breath before belting out a love song. It’s a bonfire on the beach. It’s finding pleasure and satisfaction on purpose and sharing it with others. It’s all of us doing our best for ourselves, each other, and the planet. Wellness is a brave choice.

“Wellness in practice, for me, means developing a routine of self-care rituals and a network of community accountability.”

Sara Elise, Co-Founder of Blind Seed

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To me, being well means a couple things: It means that my emotional, mental, and physical energies feel in alignment with one another. It means that I feel whole and fulfilled. And wellness in practice, for me, means developing a routine of self-care rituals and a network of community accountability, so that I can continue to make the best holistic decisions for myself. And recognizing that this routine, this accountability, and these “best decisions” look completely different for each of us.


What’s your personal relationship with wellness like? How does it shape you and influence your decisions? Does it at all? Please share in the comments.

And don’t forget tickets to our Good Evening wellness panel are still available.

Photos by Leila Fakouri.

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