The Hotel News Now team is embracing wellness in 2018. We’re going to need all the help we can get.
December is a tough time of year to think about wellness, but that’s exactly what I’m doing this week.
It’s typically a month filled with all sorts of gluttonous food eaten in the name of celebration, from fried potato pancakes to trays of Christmas cookies, all washed down with Champagne and peppermint mochas. Plus we bog ourselves down with work, trying to finish projects before the New Year. And don’t forget the kids’ holiday concerts, get-togethers with family and friends, and the list goes on and on. All of it means health and wellness take a back seat. We snap at each other, pass around colds and get real Grinchy.
I’m sure this rings true for a lot of you in the hotel industry, too.
So today, I’m looking for some advice about wellness. This year, we at Hotel News Now (along with everyone else in the hotel industry) noticed the word popping up again and again. Not only are hotels touting the idea of overall wellness in fitness, spa and F&B offerings for guests, they also are integrating wellness practices into their corporate culture for employees, too. Hotel companies are buying wellness brands, growing wellness brands and even bringing it to meetings. It’s all over the place.
Then in September, my colleague Sean McCracken and I visited Hyatt’s new corporate headquarters in Chicago, where we talked with CEO Mark Hoplamazian about the company’s goals. Wellness plays a big role in what Hyatt is doing. Hoplamazian talked about how employees are incorporating wellness practices into what they do at the hotel and corporate level—even down to starting meetings with breathing exercises.
Let me tell you: After that visit, I was ready to drink the Kool-Aid. The next day in our daily meeting I asked, “What if we make 2018 the Year of Wellness for us here at Hotel News Now?”
They laughed at me. And I laughed, too. We’re a bunch of journalists, after all, not New Age hippies. We eat junk food and donuts, and we hunch over our desks, which aren’t necessarily the neatest workstations you’ve ever seen.
But we’re going to try it. It’s not going to be organized or overly engineered and documented—it’s just going to be our group of colleagues experimenting with different small, manageable wellness practices. We’re going to think about what wellness means to us as individuals, and try some things and work together to see what sticks and what makes us feel good.
I’ve thought a lot about what wellness is (and isn’t), and this is what I’ve come up with so far:
- Wellness isn’t just physical; it’s mental too: Yes, it incorporates eating well and keeping fit, but it’s also about mental wellbeing and balance.
- “Wellness” isn’t synonymous with “authenticity,” which was another big 2017 buzzword: These words don’t mean the same thing, but maintaining and growing wellness often is a way people interpret authenticity.
- Wellness is comprehensive, but defined differently for each person: It incorporates a lot of elements, but individuals can decide what parts speak to them best.
What I like about the idea of encouraging wellness in the workplace is that a big goal of it is to be more in tune with ourselves and what keeps us functioning well amid stress, working well together and being present in the moment. It’s about bringing our best selves to the moment at hand, whether that’s enjoying a concert or digging into a task. Ultimately, it should help us be happier, more relaxed and doing our best. It also should be do-able in the time and resources we have. In other words, wellness shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy. Nor should it be punitive: Wellness is a positive, not a negative.
Who doesn’t want that?
But we need your help.
We need tips and best practices. What are you doing at your hotels and/or with your teams to promote wellness? Send us your ideas, and we’ll try ’em. Should we be infusing essential oils? Listening to calming music? Eating certain foods? Doing breathing exercises? Smiling more? Group yoga? (OK, we’ll probably take a hard pass on group yoga, but you get the point.)
The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.