August is National Wellness month. I tend to focus many of my blog posts on various forms of wellness. I believe that it is never too late to introduce healthy living options into our lives. When families come to us seeking help for their loved ones, they are most likely already experiencing a severe decline in their health and are looking to us to assist them with their challenges. We are happy to do so, but why not encourage changes that might improve their quality of life? As we create a “Care Plan” for our clients, we also address Wellness Options. The assumption that health, wellness, and disability cannot coexist is a myth.
Wellness is Self-Care. And Self-Care helps to manage stress, promote happiness, and prevent or manage chronic illness. While seeking medical advice and treatment for chronic disease is essential, you can also do things to improve your wellness.
People often think about wellness in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise, and weight management. But it is so much more. The eight dimensions of wellness are Physical, Emotional/Mental, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Social, and Spiritual. Finding balance in these areas allows for a better quality of life, and neglect of any of these dimensions can lead to adverse effects of overall health.
If you want to be successful at making wellness changes in your life, it is best to make small changes over time. Here are some suggestions for creating balance in each dimension:
- Exercise daily
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a variety of healthy foods
- Control your meal portions
- Quit smoking
- Use alcohol in moderation
- Tune into your thoughts and feelings
- Create an optimistic attitude with positive self-talk
- Learn time-management skills
- Accept and forgive yourself
- Take a course
- Seek out people who challenge you intellectually
- Cultivate healthy relationships
- Contribute to your community/volunteer
- Share your talents and skills
- Explore your Spiritual Core
- Spend time alone/Meditation/Walks in nature
- Be fully present in everything you do
- Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are
- When faced with a challenge, look for opportunities to learn and grow
- Stop your junk mail
- Conserve water
- Minimize chemical use
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Explore Career Options
- Create a vision for the future
- Be open to change and learning new skills
- If you are retired, choose opportunities to volunteer
Life is the longest thing you will ever do. A balanced life is essential for a happy and healthy life full of passion and enjoyment.