The seventh annual Global Wellness Day will be celebrated across 100 countries, with the theme of ‘Kids’ Wellness’ with the goal to decrease depression, obesity rates, crime rates with pre-school and elementary programs.
Saturday, June 9, 2018, will mark the seventh annual Global Wellness Day (GWD) celebration and the fourth time the special day is being celebrated internationally. This year over 4,000 locations in more than 100 countries are celebrating GWD by offering a range of free, non-commercial, health & wellness activities for the public. With a motto of “One Day Can Change Your Whole Life,” the theme for Global Wellness Day 2018 is the KIDS PROJECT and the goal is to decrease the worldwide depression, obesity rates, and even future crime rates.
Working with universities, clinics and international wellness leaders, Turkish GWD founder and cancer survivor, Belgin Aksoy Berkin, has developed a curriculum for the Kid’s Project that can be implemented in the 2018/2019 education year. For preschools, it is as simple as a five-minute wellness circle time each morning and at elementary schools, it is one-hour wellness class per week. The project will focus on three key areas: Self-Love, to let go of shame, anger, blame and to feel at peace, learning to accept themselves and others, even fighting depression. Breathing, to improve their health and manage their stress and learn self-control; and Mindfulness (mindful eating to mindful nature walks) to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Aksoy Berkin’s dream of a day to celebrate wellness has inspired an international network of over 86 volunteer Global Wellness Day Ambassadors, 3 Advisors & 23 Key Supporters to organize complimentary wellness events around the planet. Nepal, South Korea, Norway, Macedonia, Zimbabwe, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, and Montenegro are the new countries that are on board for this year.
She explains that her idea from the beginning was that wellness is not a luxury but the inherit right of every individual. “We go to school from the age of two, hoping that the education system is going to help prepare us for our future,” says AksoyBerkin, “But nobody is teaching us how to live, how to breathe, how to be mindful and how to love ourselves as these are things that are essential to be a happy adult in the future. Kids never learn in schools the fact that people can’t love others without loving themselves first. Focusing on physical and mental wellness at such an early age is so important that it can even help decrease the worldwide depression and obesity rates, even future crime rates.”
“In an era where global consumer culture is mostly damaging the concept of childhood and kids are ending up unhappy and unsatisfied,” Aksoy Berkin continues, “we want to teach children how to integrate wellness practices into their lives on a daily basis and to carry on those practices throughout their lives.”
Look for the hashtag #GlobalWellnessDay to follow what happens from one end of the world to the other on June 9.
Below are a sampling of celebrations planned for Saturday, June 9, 2018 – which range from entire cities joining together with family friendly wellness activities to hotels and community centers offering complementary activities ranging from forest bathing to drum circle ceremonies; from Tai Chi to Junior Chef Challenges. The amount of complementary activities all organized by volunteer ambassadors is breathtaking, as you can see below:
Brazil – Always a supporter of kid’s health GWD team is creating a school program that will include; dancing classes, environmental management and sustainable agriculture, plastic bottle collection, healthy food menus at school cafeterias and meditation classes led by the All Mind Alive NGO. GWD will also focus on the food options of the school canteens (snacks and meals) and cooperate with all Mind Alive NGO (meditation for kids).
Nepal – 2018 will be the first year of GWD in Nepal. A Buddhist teacher will give a short talk on compassion in action and a popular, traditional Nepali Band will play. The team will distribute 100 kid-friendly animals themed potted plants for each child to take home and nurture for 5 years and then those 100 plants will be planted in a community forest with the help of Wild Life Conservation Nepal (WCN). The NGO will also begin implementing the GWD Kids Project in the 7 pre-school and secondary schools they currently work with.
United Kingdom – GWD will be hosting community-wide outdoor exercise classes and family picnic lunches in Norfolk, Devon, and Cornwall. To encourage better posture – which is so needed with today’s texting and video game playing children – a Pilates in the Park sponsored event is being organized for area children. To show that they are giving importance to the wellness of their community, the students of the University of Derby in the UK, have prepared a celebration event program that focuses on GWD 7 Step Manifesto.
Hungary – GWD celebration activities will focus on wellness lifestyle, healthy dining and healing water in 2018. To also focus on kids related wellness activities, GWD team is going to cooperate with elementary schools, gymnastic classes, and sport/fitness groups. Some of the institutions that will involve kids activities are; IWI – International Wellness Institute, Hungarian Dietetic Association (MDOSZ), Vajk-szigetÁltalánosIskola (Elementary School Budapest), NyolcütemazIfjúságértEgyesület (JuliannaReformátusÁltalánosIskola).
Mexico – There will be three large GWD celebrations in Mexico this year in San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosi and Tecate, home of Rancho La Puerta. This is the third year Tecate host an event, with over 1,500 attendees – many families with children – are ages expected. As in previous years, Baja California State Capital City has organized a photography contest which was based on GWD 7 Step Manifesto.
Serbia – GWD’s main event will be held at Main squer Mountain Zlatibor and the activities will include; a pop music concert “Blaza i kljunovi,” games for children and Ethno dance. Indoor and outdoor activities will also be held at Health Center Cigota – Mountain Zlatibor. There will also be a workshop named as ‘Your Child’s Health is in the First Place’ to prevent and inform people about the treatment of obesity in children.
Singapore – A host of children’s activities are being planned at a Wellness Village known as ‘Horse City’ babies & kids swimming lessons, golf training, horse riding school, art centre, martial art centre and as well as yoga, spa, mountain biking, dancing and fitness classes.
Colombia – Thanks to the support of governmental entities such as Procolombia, the PTP of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Governorships and City Halls; and different wellness entrepreneurs in cities such as Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena, Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Casanare, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and Santander a range of colorful GWD celebration events will take place in this “Country of Good Living.” Activities dedicated especially to children will include; Yoga, Meditation, Hiking, Fitness and ancestral rituals.
Russia – A series of events for kids are being planned including free dance therapy classes and consultations with family psychologists and even wellness enlightenment lectures will be organized by some of the supporting facilities.
Turkey – Kucukciftlik Park in Istanbul is getting ready for another massive all-day celebration with Yoga, Pilates, Zumba workshops, healthy-lifestyle seminars of best-selling authors and kids activities such as basketball, Zumba, painting and a musical concert to end the day. The GWD event hosted more than 7000 people last year with even more planning to attend this year.
School Painting: GWD representatives collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Provincial Directorates to organize GWD volunteers to paint the interior and exterior walls of the schools in Sultanbeyli County of Istanbul and Sahinler Village in Amasya.
To build awareness for both the environment and physical fitness, GWD has also organized volunteer plugging — a Scandinavian workout trend that involves picking up trash while jogging — activities at several parks in Istanbul and in Sapanca. In addition, GWD reps will also practice Step 7 in the day’s manifesto and “Do a Good Deed” by leading activities at nursing homes including musical events, meditation, healthy food seminars, tea-party, gardening, painting etc.