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FEATURE | Wellness

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WITH all the changes we all encountered this year, it is a good time to take our wellness into consideration as we enter into the new year.

Wellness is a term thrown out often, but what does it really mean and what does it cover? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, wellness is a “whole-person, strength-based approach to health.” SAMHSA focuses on eight dimensions of wellness that would be beneficial for improving a person’s quality of life. They are 1) Emotional, 2) Environmental, 3) Financial, 4) Intellectual, 5) Occupational, 6) Physical, 7) Spiritual, and 8) Social. By focusing on our individual strengths of the eight dimensions of wellness, we would be able to optimize our health and build resiliency when faced with traumatic events such as the Covid-19 Pandemic. Here are some ways we could optimize our health by balancing the eight dimensions of wellness.

1) Emotional wellness deals with how we feel and how we cope with day to day stressors. To do that, we need to be able to check in with our relationship with ourselves and others. We need to be comfortable with taking time to ask ourselves how we are feeling and what can we do to improve our quality of life. Some ways to manage our emotional wellness may include listening to music, writing down our feelings, or meditating.

2) Environmental wellness deals with our surroundings. Our surroundings will affect how we feel. We need to feel safe and welcomed in order to be at peace or maintain wellness. Some ways to manage our wellness may include going out in nature, cleaning and decluttering, or working with our communities to feel safe at home.

3) Financial wellness deals with how we manage our money. Being financially secure, especially during times of crisis, will help take away some of the worry because we would have the financial means to keep going. Some ways to manage our financial wellness may include having an emergency savings fund, limiting the amount of money we borrow, or by choosing to stay at home to cook instead of going out to eat.

4) Intellectual wellness deals with our knowledge and skills. Honing on one specific skill set and choosing to learn everyday will help keep our minds active. Some ways to manage our intellectual health may include completing puzzles, reading, or talking with individuals who agree or disagree with our viewpoints.

5) Occupational wellness deals with the satisfaction or enjoyment of the job you have or are doing. We spend a majority of our time at work so finding meaningful work and building workplace relationships is important to balance our overall wellness. Take time to eat lunch with coworkers, schedule family outings, and maintain meaningful communication throughout the week.

6) Physical wellness deals with how much physical activity we do, how healthy we eat, and how much sleep we get. Exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough quality sleep at night are simple ways to balance our physical wellness.

7) Spiritual wellness deals with our own set of values and beliefs. By having principles, we may be able to find purpose in our life. Helping others, meditating, or joining a religious group are ways to manage spiritual wellness.

8) Social wellness deals with our connection with others. Creating positive healthy relationships with others helps bring a sense of connection and support. Having a support system will make balancing the 8 dimensions of wellness easier to maintain.

When going down the list of the eight dimensions of wellness it is obvious that they are all interconnected because wellness is the holistic approach to our overall health. The pandemic surely has affected and left a majority of us to think constantly about the negative; but, with support and determination to live a better life, we must take the time to take care of ourselves.  By interconnecting and balancing the eight different dimensions, we would be able to improve our quality of life that is focused on our strengths.

For resources on taking steps for overall wellness, visit samhsa.gov or contact Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. at 235-7273/7274 or go to www.nmpasi.org

 

 

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