If you were to ask yourself right now how healthy you are, on a scale from 1-10, what would you come up with? When asking yourself this question, you must take into account not just your physical appearance (weight), but also consider mental health, happiness, rest level, social interactions, bodily function health, and overall personal well-being.
A measure of your health and wellness is basically a way to describe how happy you are with your current lifestyle and how your body is handling your lifestyle decisions. There are eight dimensions of wellness, and those include emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual wellness. The 4 most common dimensions are emotional, physical, social, and occupational. We’ll focus on those four and how to get the most out of each with small changes to your lifestyle.
Emotional wellness has to do with more than just being able to handle stressors. Being emotionally healthy is the ability to recognize and deal with feelings whether they’re happy, frustration, sadness, anger, or disappointment. There are so many different emotions we can feel, and it’s important for both ourselves and those close to us that we are able to process these emotions and express them in a healthy manner. In 2013, The Huffington Post published an article with 5 tips on how to maintain good emotional health. These tips included:
- Protecting your self-esteem
- Taking control after failure
- Distracting yourself from brooding thoughts
- Finding meaning after loss
- Recovering self-worth after rejection
Your physical health and wellness have to do with a lot more than getting that run in. The physical dimension relates to all the functions and daily activities that either helps your body or hurt your body, whether it’s long-term or short-term. For example, smoking is a poor choice for your physical wellness because of what it does to your lungs, hair, nails, skin, teeth, and other physical parts of your body.
Some things that you should focus on to improve your physical health and wellbeing are:
- Eating balanced meals
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing good personal hygiene
- Relax when you need to take time for yourself
Getting 8 hours of sleep on average per night is the golden rule, but it’s also important that you try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Your body naturally wants to get itself into a routine, and disrupting it can lead to negative effects like fatigue, drowsiness, memory lapses, and even a weakened immune system
Eating a balanced meal consists of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. It doesn’t hurt to throw in some treats here and there, but for the most part, fueling your body with the correct nutrients will help you feel full longer and give you more energy.
Exercising regularly is a given. The more fit you are, the stronger your body is to fight off sicknesses and protect against things like heart disease. The soreness and sweat are worth the long-term physical health benefits. So, hop on an exercise bike and get fit.
Personal hygiene may not be obvious when it comes to taking care of your physical wellness. While most do it for comfort, showering, brushing your teeth, and washing your hands, are all done to fight off bacteria.
Relaxing is not only a mental stress reliever but also a physical one. Practicing yoga or simply taking a short nap can help relieve physical strains and tension.
Social wellness is similar to emotional wellness, only it involves others. Having a healthy social life includes being able to effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings with those you trust, keeping valuable relationships, and engaging in interactions with people we both know and are just getting to know. In order to keep a healthy balance of social wellness, follow these tips:
- Take care of yourself first
- Figure out who you are
- Be understanding and optimistic
- Take responsibility
- Spend time with those who treat others well
- Keep your word
- Appreciate others
These sound like very standard rules to follow when forming relationships, but they are the building blocks to a healthy social lifestyle. They say that no one can love you until you love yourself, so take time to form your own image and understand whom exactly you are. Only then can you explore social interactions with others.
Occupational wellness is closely related to the emotional and social wellness dimensions. Occupational wellness has to do with how happy (or unhappy) you are with what you do on a daily basis. You may have a long-term career and be counting down the days until retirement, or maybe you’re a stay at home mom who would love to get out of the house. Either way, the way you spend your day can take a toll on your emotional wellness and can be directly related to your social wellness. Here are 4 tips to find occupational wellness.
- Separate the positive and the negative within your job
- Make work more social
- Add personal touches to the office to make it feel more you
- Consider your contributions
Hoebeke, Veronique. “5 Key Aspects to Physical Wellness.” Resources To Recover, 28 Feb. 2017, www.rtor.org/2015/07/09/physical-wellness/.
Live Life Well .co – LifestyleConcept.org – UHWLC.com. “Occupational Wellness.” Live Life Well – Be Happy & Healthy – Unique Health Wellness and Lifestyle Concepts, livelifewell.co/category/wellness/index_wellness_arti.php?ARTIwellness_ID=+10.
MFT, April House MA. “7 Ways to Successfully Cultivate Social Wellness for Life.” OPI Residential Treatment Center for Young Adults, 1 Aug. 2017, www.optimumperformanceinstitute.com/life-coaching/7-ways-to-successfully-cultivate-social-wellness-for-life/.
Winch, Ph.D. Guy. “5 Habits That Will Improve Your Emotional Wellness.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 Sept. 2013, www.huffingtonpost.com/guy-winch-phd/emotional-wellness-tips_b_3809750.html.
“8 Dimensions of Wellness.” 8 Dimensions of Wellness | University Health Center, health.umd.edu/dimensions.