Last month, I planted the thought that our goals go unmet due to lack of importance of the goal and how that finds a home in my model of where we find true or total wellness. Hopefully you have not been hanging on the edge of your seat to find out more about this thought. (But, it would be really cool if you were.)
Over the next few months we will revisit my model of holistic wellness and explore each of the areas more in depth. The intention is to provide the tools of introspection that will allow you to better understand yourself, how you tick, and what living well really means in your world.
I introduced my model of wellness a few months ago and it is the interdependence of four aspects:
- physical (doing)
- mental (knowing)
- emotional (feeling)
- and spiritual (becoming)
As well as their relationship with each other and ultimately the value we, as individuals, place on each aspect. Each of those components is connected and feeds from each other.
As a brief example, look at your exercise habits. You know that exercise is good for your health and wellbeing, you exercise regularly to improve some aspect of your health, you feel good about your exercise and how it makes you feel after, and as you become fit and perform better, exercise becomes a part of who you are and who you will become. Sounds correct for everyone, I know. In truth, many of us know that exercise is good for us but might not know why exercise is good or may feel that we don't know how to exercise. We might not exercise regularly for a myriad of reasons (time, energy, cost, embarrassment, and so on). We don't feel good about the exercise we do (or don't do) or don't get that “feel good” from exercise that everyone says is there. Or finally, we just feel that we are not that “fit person” that makes a point to exercise regularly or in some other way we simply do not identify with those people or that culture and do not truly desire to be a part of that. Which one sounds more familiar? Most likely you fall somewhere in between those two categories. Wherever you stand, I will tell you that it is okay because that is where you are right now and that is who you are. The bigger question is, “Who (or what) do you want to be?” Are you happy and comfortable with where you are and where you are headed, or do you want something different for yourself?
The awareness of yourself and how each aspect of wellness is defined by you allows you to be more introspective, more in tune with your surroundings and your life as a whole. This introspection leads to better understanding and that understanding leads to growth and improvement that satisfies you and is important to YOU. I am a big supporter of balancing each aspect of wellness rather than achieving a high level of growth in one area, then shifting focus to another then another until all four are strong and supportive. We will attend to that thought and how that works later, but for now let's look at the individual areas of wellness and what those may mean to you.
This first area we will address is physical health and what we DO to be healthy and achieve true wellness. This is generally the easiest to understand and the one where most of us focus our time and attention.
In simplest terms, physical health encompasses our diet and exercise habits. Additionally, it includes our screening activities (medical, dental, vision) and following up with our health care practitioners when we are ill or something is just not right. Along that same thought, do you take your vitamins or medications regularly? Personal care and hygiene falls into this realm, as do our simple activities of life and daily living – dressing, caring for our homes and immediate environment, cooking, caring for others, going to work, etc. The physical aspect of wellness is everything that we do and the actual health of our bodies (much more than eating well and getting plenty of exercise). The questions to ask yourself at this point are:
- Are you DOING the things that you know will keep you feeling or help you feel well?
- Are you DOING the things that will get you on the path to where you would like to be right now or in the future?
- Are you DOING the things that you feel good doing or that help you feel good about yourself?
When you answer those for yourself, keep in mind that your answers should not include the words, “my doctor says...” or “my health educator says...” or “so-and-so says...” All of those around you are simply guides and sources of information, but YOU are the final authority of what you can, should, and could do for yourself and what it means to truly be well. It all comes down to you.
Keep that thought in mind as you further explore your own health and wellness in the coming months.
Campbell County Health's Wellness Services works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit
ccmh.net/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
This blog was written by Troy Stevens, CCH Wellness Specialist.