Wellness Food Beauty Fitness

Do You Have The Seven Essentials?

Do You Have The Seven Essentials?

Health.  What is health?

“The state of being free from illness or injury.”

Okay… makes sense right?  If you don’t have illness or injury, you’re healthy.  Pretty simple.
So, what is wellness?

“The quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.”

An approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to  emphasizing treating diseases.”

 

Wellness is also defined as:

“A conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.”

“A multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment”

 

What does this mean for you?  It means that it’s relatively easy to be healthy.  A yearly check up to the doctor and maintaining basic health practices such as washing your hands will keep illness and injury at bay.

Wellness, however, may take a little bit more effort, but it doesn’t need to be hard.

“I thought I just needed to be healthy.  Why do I need wellness?”  Being well means that you not only are physically healthy, but that you also have emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, occupational, and intellectual health.  These seven dimensions of wellness help to address the person as a whole rather than solely focusing on one area and ignoring the others.  They also support or hinder one another depending upon whether they’re equally strong or not.

For example, a personal trainer helps an individual to become healthier in a physical aspect by focusing on nutrition and physical activity.  They may also inadvertently address some emotional health by helping their client to overcome a fear, but the main purpose is to get them to move.  They completely ignore the other six areas that contribute to overall health that make it possible for a person to maintain an exercise regime.  By not addressing their client’s environmental health, they may be ignoring the fact that their disorganized home distracts them from being efficient and finishing that long project for work the next day.  Because they’re up late, they missed their morning session without giving the trainer a heads up.

By not addressing their client’s emotional, spiritual, or occupational needs, their client may feel intimidated by the trainer, someone dear to them may have shamed them into quitting, they may not know how to address feelings of stress, or they may be suffering from depression and may not be consistent in attendance.  The client may have been seeking a connection to a higher power and thought that exercise and nutrition, with the help of a personal trainer, was what they needed.  By not addressing their spiritual health, their client may realize that they’re not feeling fulfilled and end up leaving.  By not addressing their client’s occupational need to do something fulfilling and that makes them happy, their client may be perpetually grumpy, unreliable, and unwilling to work hard, making getting them to move and eat right next to impossible.  And, last but not least, by not addressing their client’s need to be intellectually stimulated, they may become bored and decide a personal trainer isn’t fun.

However, if an individual lacks physical health, which includes daily activity and eating well, all the other areas of wellness tend to fall apart… Can you see how they all fit together and support one another?

“Okay.  That’s all fine and dandy, but how I actually become well?”  Great question!  I’m so glad you asked.
Here are some ways to get started on being well.  Don’t try to do too many at once.  Pick the area that needs the most work and work on that one first.  Once you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, move on to the next area that needs the most work, and so on.  If you feel as though you can handle more than one task at a time, go for it!
Contact me so we can set up an appointment and talk about your wellness!

Emotional

  • De-stress
    • take a walk
    • draw a picture
    • listen to soothing music
    • take a bath
    • read a book
    • get a massage
  • Talk to a loved one/friend about your feelings and how you’re doing
    • make sure to be really honest and open
  • Set aside time for relaxation
    • yes, this means “you” time
      • yes, it really is necessary and very important
  • Be more aware of your feelings
    • set a timer on your phone and when it goes off, stop what you’re doing and really focus on what/how you’re feeling
      • don’t pass any  judgements, just try to understand what you’re feeling
  • Be more optimistic
    • keep a positivity journal
    • list three unique things that went well that day before bed
    • when you find yourself groaning about something, try to find at least one positive, no matter how small
  • Be grateful
    • say thank you to everyone for anything they do for you… even if you don’t think they did a very good job
    • keep a gratitude journal
  • Try to find ways to serve others
    • those who reach outside of themselves have been found to be happier than those who focus more on themselves
  • Turn the edges of your lips upwards into a “half” smile
    • we have nerves that are wired to tell our brains we’re happy when our lips turn up into a smile, and vice versa
      • really upset?  smile as best and hard as you can (real smiles here, no grimaces or bearing of teeth) for as long as you can until those feeling dissipate

 

Social

  • Set time aside to be with family
  • Set time aside to be with friends
  • Schedule an outing that you’re excited for
  • Get involved in a club/activity
    • this could be something that you’re familiar with and good at, or something that is completely new to you
  • Develop meaningful relationships
    • this takes time, but it’s important to be deliberate and nourish your relationships
  • Treat others with kindness
    • “Do unto others as you wish done to yourself”

 

Spiritual

  • Be quiet
    • literally and mentally
      • turn off your phone
  • Read scriptures
    • if you’re religious, this can be incredibly insightful, helpful, connecting, and stress relieving
  • Pray
    • Connecting to a higher power gives strength, peace, comfort, and a sense of our identity
  • Meditate
    • let thoughts come and go without judging them, just listen
  • Search for deeper meaning in your life
  • Identify your purpose, or a purpose you think is worth living for

 

Environmental

  • Keep it clean!
    • yes, this means you need to clean everything at least weekly
      • everything meaning all rooms in your home, office, car, and other areas you’re responsible for
    • get rid of the clutter
      • ways to be clutter free can be found here
    • keep it organized
      • making your bed everyday will make you (and your room) feel like a million bucks when you come home
    • out of sight, out of mind
  • Make it feel nice
    • if it feels too empty, decorate and make small additions until it feels like home
    • if it feels too full, put away or get rid of things until it feels clean and homey again
  • Get rid of distractions
    • turn off the tv
      • in fact, just turn off all your devices
    • put everything away

 

Occupational

  • Keep balance between work and leisure time
    • usually, working more than 40 hours decreases wellness and isn’t balanced, however, this isn’t the case for everyone
    • find the work/leisure time balance that is right for you
  • Develop relationships with your coworkers
    • life will be much more enjoyable if you have a relationship with those you spend most your waking hours with
  • Find something you love doing
    • you’re more likely to be happier if you’re working in a field you love
  • Do something that is rewarding
    • try to complete something that helps you feel accomplished or rewarded
  • Realize it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but you can always find bright flowers soaking up the rain
    • A.K.A. be positive!

 

Intellectual

  • Keep reading books… physical books
  • Get involved in other cultures
    • learn about how other people live
      • adopt the lifestyle aspects that you find value in
  • Challenge yourself
    • play mind games
    • read a hard book
    • do puzzles
    • learn a new skill
      • instruments
      • sports
      • occupation/job
      • vocabulary
      • etc
  • Stay involved in community activities
    • volunteer to help
    • plan an activity
    • be more social
  • Get a higher education
    • This can be in anything!
    • Learning keeps the mind stimulated and active

 

Physical

  • Get daily physical activity
    • physical activity is any activity in which you’re moving
      • get up off your feet
    • it doesn’t have to be for an hour, or even half hour straight
      • break up your activity times into five or ten minute blocks
    • the more vigorous the activity, the more benefits you’ll reap
      • A.K.A. you’ll reap more health benefits from briskly walking than you would leisurely walking
        • this doesn’t mean you have to full out sprint to be “healthy” or reap rewards
          • walking has been proven to be one of the most beneficial activities for human health
  • Maintain a well balanced diet
    • please note that “diet” means the way you eat, and not an eating plan that is advertised to make you lose weight
      • you don’t need to go on a “diet” (the advertised eating plan that is more often than not completely ridiculous and unbalanced) to be healthy or balanced
        • yes, this means you can eat cake, ice cream, cookies, and chocolate galore… just keep it balanced
    • Balance will look different on everyone
      • some may be able to eat some dark chocolate everyday and feel wonderful, others may not
    • Generally, the food you eat should consist mostly of fruits and vegetables, then whole grains, then healthy fats, then safely sourced meat, then sweets.
      • fruit sugar is NOT bad for you.. rather the opposite… did you know your brain’s main source of energy is simple sugar?
        • your body breaks down every carbohydrate you eat, whole grain or not, into simple sugars to feed your brain, other organs, and muscles… pretty cool, huh?
      • for me, I usually end up eating 3 pieces of dark chocolate nearly five days a week, but I only eat meat once or twice monthly… like I said, balance looks different on everyone
  • Get off caffeine and processed sugar
    • caffeine and processed sugar are addictive and you force your body to rely upon them for energy when you use them
    • it’s not natural for your body to use so much caffeine
    • you’ll feel better, more alert, and more energized when off of caffeine and processed sugar
      • depending upon how long you’ve been consuming these substances, you may go through a bit of withdrawal, hang in there… it will get better!
        • exercising and eating clean, whole foods will really help speed up the detoxification process of getting caffeine and processed sugars out of your system and help your body not rely upon them
  • Eat breakfast!
    • those who eat breakfast have been shown to have a lower body mass than those who skip breakfast
    • they have also been shown to be more successful and optimistic in life
  • Plan your food weekly
    • this saves money, keeps you prepared, and provides structure
      • it also makes it so that you don’t have to think too hard about what you want for dinner because you’ve already planned it!
  • Get regular check ups
    • doctor
    • dentist
    • etc
  • Wash your hands
    • yes, every time!
    • be aware in public spaces… you may wish to bring hand sanitizer with you
  • Drink lots of water
    • your body needs water!!
    • I drink 120+ ounces of water every day
      • if you’re an adult, you should be getting at least 80 ounces of water every day
    • Here is a site that calculates your water needs for when you’re exercising

 

Needless to say, wellness is complex.  To reiterate, pick one or two things to work on, make them established habits that you don’t have to think about, and then move on to one or two more things.  In a wellness consultation, we’d go over all these things (and more!), and I’ll walk you through each step, helping you to master each area of wellness.

Focusing on the person as a whole (their wellness) allows each of the seven aspects to support and uplift the others.  Those who focus on their wellness are generally happier, more well rounded in their personality, studies, and successes, and are usually more successful and satisfied in their lives.

A lot of ideas were listed above to help maintain and develop those specific areas of wellness.  If you have any other tips, tricks, tactics, etc that have helped you, or other thoughts on wellness, please don’t hesitate to share!



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