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Being healthy is often defined as not having any compromising illnesses. We often think of a healthy person as the opposite of someone who is sick; however, that is not the case. The absence of diseases or problematic conditions is not the same as health, nor is it the presence of fruits, vegetables, and exercise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

To be in good health requires active attention and effort. Good health consists of a balance between physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and occupational health. These “Six Dimensions of Wellness,” a term first coined by the founder of the National Wellness Institute Bill Hettler, lead to an enviable state of existence. Self-awareness and self-care in each of these aspects is important.

 

  1. Physical:
  • Maintaining an exercise routine (this can be walking, running, swimming, weight lifting…just move!)
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Limiting alcohol intake and abstaining from drugs
  • Getting enough sleep each night
  1. Social:
  • Nourishing relationships
  • Having people to confide in 
  • Being able to be comfortable in your own skin
  • Interacting with others in a healthy environment
  1. Intellectual:
  • Engaging with the world around you
  • Being a lifelong learner
  • Problem solving and practicing creativity
  1. Spiritual:
  • Having a sense of meaning and purpose
  • Embracing the metaphysical
  • Mediating, praying, or using quiet time for self-reflection
  • Incorporating personal values into daily actions
  1. Emotional:
  • Being in touch with and able to recognize emotions
  • Having a sense of comfort with your own thoughts and feelings
  • Being aware of others’ feelings and having the ability to sympathize
  • Expressing your true thoughts
  • Trusting your intuition
  1. Occupational:
  • Participating in a healthy work environment
  • Striving towards a work-life balance
  • Looking for a satisfying career
  • Keeping track of finances and money

Identify one thing you do well in each of these areas. Then, identify one item that you can improve upon. Better overall health and wellbeing starts with balance!

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