By: Chuck Gillespie, CEO

Words are critical during this time of uncertainty.  I remember one of my friends and mentors, Dr. Dee Edington, say that over 70% of all information received is written or said in a negative tone.  This was long before we were dealing with Coronavirus.  And right now, we hear about new cases of the virus, death rates, and predictors of its spread.  All of this leads to stress, fear, frustration, uncertainty, and confusion.

Sometime soon, world leaders will make very hard decisions about easing quarantine guidelines.  We are starting to see some countries making these decisions, right now.  We will hear some pundits state that it is too soon.  We will hear others make accusations that the numbers did not warrant this level of quarantine at all.  We know people who will act overly cautious about being in public for months, and even years to come.  We know there will be people who act recklessly upon being released – like a dog escaping from a leash.  We also know that both the overly cautious and reckless individuals will be the ones portrayed in the media.  We definitely know that the super majority of our world’s population lands somewhere in-between overly cautious and reckless.

Words are critical when dealing with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and leaders.  The wellness community is going to be especially critical in helping our global leaders rebuild our overall well-being.  Mental health, financial wellness, social interaction, spiritual assurance, occupational guidance, physical fitness, and emotional enlightenment will be the drivers for high-level wellness and the rebirth of the economy.  And how you act and say things will make a difference.

People must feel safe, healthy, and emotionally ready to move forward before we can move forward economically.  This, my friends, is where wellness becomes the bridge toward the societal reawakening from shelter-in-place/physical distancing.

Maintain a realistic view of health and economic crisis but do your best to offer a positive slant to the story.

  • Offer virtual hugs/high fives/handshakes/chest bumps but do so with the same fervor as if you were physically touching.
  • Use your own coping mechanisms to maintain a positive outlook. Humor is mine – I even did my first Tic Tok with my daughter choreographing it.  I will release this to the public if we get 600 new NWI members in the next three months.
  • Begin to find ways to use your experience/expertise in wellness to help people reemerge and prepare for the “new normal.” By the way, wellness champions need to help define the new normal so that we have more people able to reach high-level wellness.
  • Spend most of your day in the Growth Zone. We certainly will need to take time in the Learning Zone, too, and we will fall into the Fear Zone.  But do your part to practice what you preach and that is Growth Zone material.
  • Help your friends, clients, coworkers, and family members spend their time in the Growth Zone.
  • Use positive words whenever possible!

Let’s reimagine our societal norms through the lens of the Six Dimensions of Wellness going forward – what are you doing to make this happen?