Wellness: it’s worth celebrating

You might agree that 2020 has been a difficult year, with month after month of sad and worrying headlines. Too much bad news can be a strain on anyone, so let us distract ourselves by taking a moment to focus on our mental wellness.

Wellness is the state of being healthy, especially when you actively try to achieve this. Wellness isn’t a new word, but its meaning has changed in recent years. From a more passive definition (the state of being healthy), wellness has taken on a more active meaning, showing that you are intentionally making choices in your life to help yourself reach a healthy state, physically or mentally. Let’s try it on a small scale, by finding something to boost our morale.

According to a quick internet search, there are piles of holidays in September – maybe this is the year to celebrate them. For example, 8th September is International Literacy Day1, which was established in 1965 by the United Nations to promote literacy worldwide. If you’re reading this blog post now, you know the advantages of literacy.

If that isn’t enough to make you jump for joy, maybe you should look around for something adorbs and huggable. Adorbs is a recent alteration of the word adorable, and means something which causes great delight or is cute or adorable. As you can probably guess, huggable, a combination of hug and able, is an adjective used to describe something that invites hugging.

It just so happens that 9th September is Teddy Bear Day (at least in the United States), so why not mark the calendar, and give that lovable bear a hug? Or, you could wait until the third Saturday in September (this year, the 19th) and enjoy International Red Panda Day. Red pandas certainly are adorbs, but might not like being hugged, so it’s probably best to admire them at a distance.

If, however, cuddly toys and furry animals don’t perk you up, you could improve your wellness by celebrating another United Nations-created holiday on 21st September – International Day of Peace2.  It is also World Gratitude Day, a celebration started in 1965 by the United Nations Meditation Group. Peace and gratitude are both certainly worth celebrating.

The UN actually observes several special days each month3, including days to promote social justice, happiness, and even forests. There is also an International Tea Day4 celebrated in May. In my opinion, very few things are better for your mental wellness than a cup of tea, any time of the year.

In what has been a challenging year so far, appreciating those adorbs or huggable things in your life, or finding a new holiday to celebrate, might help you to look after your mental wellbeing. Wishing you good health, wellness, and a nice cup of tea.


Lindsey Bowden is an Editor in OUP’s Dictionaries and Reference Grammar department.


1 https://www.un.org/en/events/literacyday/

2 https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace

3 You can find more information about UN International Days here: https://www.un.org/en/sections/observances/international-days/index.html

4 https://www.un.org/en/observances/tea-day

Author: Oxford University Press ELT

The official global blog for Oxford University Press English Language Teaching. Bringing teachers and learners top quality resources, tools, hints and tips, news, ideas, insights and discussions to help people around the world to learn English.

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