Wellness is not just about eating health food and exercising, Jolene Park tells the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward in this episode of Asked and Answered. It’s also about getting enough time to relax, getting enough sleep and not being stressed out about your job or finances — and employers can play a big role in all of those things.
Park is the founder of Healthy Discoveries, a corporate wellness company. She says something to consider when creating employee wellness programs is that people respond more positively when their actions make them feel better, as opposed to when they’re scared into eating better or working out more. A big part of wellness is being kind to yourself, and managers can go a long way in helping the people they supervise recognize that people need to recharge; everything is not always going to be perfect; and making a mistake is not the end of the world.
Park also addresses an increase in societal anxiety and in something she calls the “gray area drinking,” where people may not have hit what we tend to see as rock bottom in terms of substance abuse, but are drinking alcohol regularly and that is cause for concern. Park is the co-host of the Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives podcast with Aidan Donnelly Rowley, in which she discusses her own decision to stop drinking alcohol.