Is it possible to increase your OVERALL wellness?
“WELLNESS” HAS BECOME A HEALTH BUZZ WORD, but what does it really mean for you and your family? According to The National Wellness Institute, wellness is the process of actively learning about and making choices to reach our full potential. This involves, they say, six components:
• Physical wellness encourages proper nutrition, personal hygiene, regular physical activity and ongoing medical care.
• Intellectual wellness involves problem solving, creativity and learning. It encourages stimulating mental activities which provide the foundation to discover, process and evaluate information.
• Occupational wellness includes our personal satisfaction, achievement and ambition. It focuses on planning for a healthy future for ourselves and our family. It helps us to understand our decisions and values may change as we learn new information and have new life experiences.
• Social wellness consists of personal relationships, community and our connection with nature. It encourages developing friendships and the ability to interact comfortably with others. It aims to create harmony in our personal and community environments.
• Emotional wellness is our awareness and acceptance of feelings, trust and respect. It is being able to express and manage our feelings and develop a positive self-esteem to make decisions based on our personal attitudes.
• Spiritual wellness is what gives our lives meaning and purpose and includes our beliefs and values. It encourages being open to diverse multi-cultural beliefs and backgrounds to find meaning in human existence.
In our everyday lives, we all have the opportunity to modify our behavior in these six areas to improve our overall health and well-being. Here are some ideas to try:
• Make healthy food choices and cook together. Aim to cook dinner together one night per week and slow
down to eat at the dinner table most nights rather than on the run.
• Get active outdoors. Take a walk after dinner, play a game in the backyard or plan an active weekend activity. Come up with a list of indoor activities you can choose from on days when the weather isn’t favorable.
• Volunteer as a family. Everyone will feel good about connecting with others and improving the community you live in.
• Create a family night. Designate one night of the week or month as family night to allow your family time to relax, laugh and spend quality time together.
• Unplug. Make it a family rule to not allow technology (i.e., phones, tablets, etc.) at the dinner table and challenge your family to a “tech-free Tuesday.”
• Get your best rest. Develop strong bedtime routines with set bedtimes to ensure everyone is getting enough sleep.
• Keep your connections. Make visiting with friends and family a priority.