Wellness seems to be the current “buzz word” but what does it mean exactly and how does it affect us as individuals?
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, healthy eating and exercise, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. "...a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - The World Health Organization "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential." - The National Wellness Institute
According to the World Health organisation, there are 8 dimensions to wellness:
Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner resources so you can learn and grow from experiences. Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. Physical health is attained through exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and paying attention to the signs of illness and getting help when needed. Physical wellness also plays a huge role in stress reduction. Spiritual wellness allows you to develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose. Spirituality can be represented in many ways, for example, through relaxation or religion. But being spiritually well means knowing which resources to use to cope with issues that come up in everyday life. Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This realm encourages us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment. Everyone can have a strong environmental conscious simply by raising their awareness. Financial Wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance. Financial stress is repeatedly found to be a common source of stress, anxiety and fear for college students.
Intellectual wellness involves having an open mind when you encounter new ideas and continuing to expand your knowledge. It encourages active participation in scholastic, cultural and community activities.
Occupational wellness is about enjoying your occupational endeavors and appreciating your contributions. This dimension of wellness encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work.
Social wellness helps you perform social roles effectively and comfortably and create a support network. This dimension of wellness allows you to not only develop encouraging relationships with peers, but also intimate relationships with romantic partners.
These dimensions act like the limbs on a tree, if one is broken, the tree isn’t as healthy as it should be. At the ACADEMY, we understand and value the importance of each of the dimensions even though many assume our expertise lies solely in the Physical wellness dimension. We know that you can’t be completely “well” without addressing each dimension and evaluating how it applies to you personally. Oh, exercise is KEY to relieving stress, anxiety, getting enough sleep, illness prevention and so much more. And we’ll be here to keep reminding what an important role exercise, the ACADEMY and our community play in your day to day wellness.
As the world continues to deal with the challenges and changes that COVID-19 has presented, your overall wellness is more important than ever. Why not take some time this week to devote to your own personal wellness? Make one small change and see how it feels. You won’t be sorry!