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Celebrate Global Wellness Day

by Organic Spa Magazine

This year, Global Wellness Day will be celebrated on June 9th (it is celebrated on the second Saturday of each year), and reach an estimated 250 million people in over 100 countries. Global Wellness Day celebrations--workshops, workouts, lectures, nutritional counseling, and more--will take place in parks, hotels, hospitals, public and private spaces around the world. It is already adopted by spas and resorts like Four Seasons, Rosewood, Miraval and more.

Global Wellness Day founder Belgin Aksoy Berkin, a native of Turkey, came up with the idea to dedicate a global day to honor wellness and raise awareness of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle after she recovered from thyroid cancer at age 29. “It’s my way of thanking the universe,” she says. “Because it happened to me when I was so young, it helped me focus on being productive,” she continues. Aksoy Berkin became more careful about what she eats, she started to exercise regularly, and recognized the need to help others take baby steps toward their own wellness.

Global Wellness Day Founder Belgin Aksoy Berkin

With a seven-step manifesto--walk for an hour, drink more water, don’t use plastic bottles, eat healthy food, do a good deed, have a family dinner with your loved ones, go to sleep at 10 pm--the purpose of the not-for-profit Global Wellness Day, according to Aksoy Berkin, is to ask the question, even if just for one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?” No need to adopt all seven steps, she says. “Even one step, for one year, will accomplish a lot. It just needs to be a little more than you usually do.” The Global Wellness Day tenets are not just for individuals, and they are not only about food and exercise, she says. It’s about community-building, too. “Identify a need, join together, and do something,” she says.

The main aims of the day, she says, are to recognize the value of our lives, to pause and think; to make peace with ourselves; to raise awareness about living well and increase motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year.

If Aksoy Berkin has her way--and she is nothing if not determined--Global Wellness Day will be recognized by the UN as an international holiday. She visited New York recently to speak at the UN and make her case before the Sustainable Development Department of the Global Assembly meets to vote in September. “Once it is in the UN calendar,” she says, “I know it’s going to continue and be protected.”

Pretty much unstoppable, Aksoy Berkin has a new brainchild, the Global Wellness Day Kids Project, which she is working to bring into schools. The idea is that, for five minutes every day, children will have “wellness circle time,” where they will be taught lessons for life: self-love, which will help combat depression; breathing, to calm anger and combat crime; and mindful eating, to prevent obesity.

“With one person’s idea, you can do so much.” Yes, you can. Happy Global Wellness Day! To find out more, visit globalwellnessday.org

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