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All About Wellness
By Natalie J. Dahl, M.S., CCC-SLP
Many times, when we think of the term wellness, we think of physical health – staying active and eating healthy foods. But did you know there are seven additional areas of wellness? These areas, called dimensions, include physical, intellectual, environmental, financial, spiritual, vocational, emotional, and social. By making wellness in each of these eight areas a priority, we can work towards a higher quality of life.
Physical Wellness means having a healthy body and getting care when needed. It also means respecting your body’s unique and diverse traits. These can be achieved through exercise, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, preventing sickness, and recognizing signs and symptoms of sickness and seeking help if necessary.
Intellectual Wellness means being open to new ideas and to lifelong learning. This can be achieved by taking classes or lessons in your community, going to the library or museum, and limiting screen time.
Environmental Wellness means being respectful of all that is around you and protecting the area where you live. This can be achieved by walking or riding a bike instead of driving, planting a garden, and removing clutter from your home.
Financial Wellness means being able to independently manage your finances. This can be achieved by keeping track of money you have spent and creating and following a budget.
Spiritual Wellness means developing a set of morals and standards that can help you find purpose and meaning. This can be achieved by meditating, trying activities like yoga, and thinking positively.
Vocational Wellness means matching your core values to your interests, hobbies, volunteer opportunities, and employment. This can be achieved by exploring and developing your talents, finding volunteer opportunities that will help you feel like you make a difference in your community, or choosing academic classes or a career path that will provide personal satisfaction.
Emotional Wellness means being aware of, expressing, and accepting your own thoughts and feelings as well as those of others around you. This can be achieved by removing yourself from stressful situations, communicating your feelings, or seeking help for emotional problems if needed.
Social Wellness means participating in and feeling connected to your community. This helps you create a positive and strong support network and develop meaningful relationships. This can be achieved by spending time with friends, meeting your neighbors, or having meals together as a family.
Wellness is more than just not being sick; it is an ongoing process of making choices toward a healthy life. Every choice you make and everything you do can affect your overall well-being. Because of this, it is important to work towards optimal wellness so that you can live a fulfilling and healthy life.
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