The COVID 19 pandemic has forever changed the way we work and live. It highlighted the importance of our health and well-being and put a spotlight on mental health care. From creating a work-life balance to taking better care of ourselves, it seems traditional approaches to improving our well-being need a boost.
To tackle this dilemma, Cigna surveyed more than 10,000 American adults ages 18-75 to research a new health measure—vitality.
But what is vitality?
Vitality is your ability to pursue life with health, strength and energy, according to Cigna. It’s through vitality that people can grow and achieve the healthiest versions of themselves.
“Good mental and physical health is central to people’s vitality. Our research shows that when people have better health, they feel better about life. Likewise, when people feel higher levels of vitality, their health can improve,” said Dr. David Brailer, Chief Health Officer, Cigna.
Additionally, vitality is directly linked to your body and mind, with those feeling unfulfilled or unconnected reporting low vitality compared to high-vitality people who feel satisfied and connected through work relationships or positive personal experiences.
If you’re in need of a mind and body reset, here are some things to consider when it comes to your vitality:
Good health practices
Physical health was shown to be an indicator of vitality, with those who prioritize their health reporting higher vitality. High-vitality people are more likely to engage in exercise outside of the workday. They also eat fruit, are well-rested, and are proactive about their mental health care, according to the survey.
Manage chronic conditions
High-vitality people with chronic conditions reported feeling better equipped to manage their conditions. They also had seen a specialist within the past year. If you’re living with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, its best to schedule regular visits with your doctor and be proactive about your care.
Staying in the workforce
High-vitality people reported “feeling connected with people” and having strong work relationships, according to the survey.
When you work, you use your mind to complete tasks. If you have a strong relationship with your manager or coworkers, you’re likely to feel connected to a team and feel better equipped to manage day-to-day work tasks.
It’s important to recognize the distinction between working and having high vitality. If you work, you won’t necessarily report having high vitality. Rather, it’s working and making mental and social connections that reinforce positive workplace experiences that boost vitality.
Believe in you
Do you feel satisfied? High-vitality people reported feeling satisfied with their lives and confident in their abilities to achieve tasks and goals, according to the survey. Ask yourself. What are you doing to feel satisfied?
Take the time to do things that help you feel satisfied. It’s all about creating a sense of purpose, something we can lose sight of as we age. Take on a new adventure, set some new goals, or learn something new.
It’s proven that social connections can boost our overall well-being. This means staying in contact with family and friends whose relationships give us a sense of fulfillment —something to look forward to.
Be social on a regular basis. Plan a get-to-together, hop on a Zoom call, or dial up an old friend. Don’t wait until you must, instead meet up when you can and nourish those social connections.