“Holistic wellness is about the whole person and not the parts,” according to Dr. Jennifer Hunter, a senior fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
How do you describe wellness? Is it eating salads for one week out of the year; taking a walk in the morning; getting a flu shot? Wellness is more than changing a few habits. “Holistic wellness is about the whole person and not the parts,” according to Dr. Jennifer Hunter, a senior fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
Wellness is a balancing act of many different components. If a part of ourselves is missing we are not able to be our very best. So how do you become balanced and well? Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, developed what is known as the six dimensions of wellness. These dimensions are emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, occupational and social wellness. All of these components are interconnected and work well in synergy with one another. Giving attention to each dimension will help create a balance of wellness.
Emotional wellness is being aware and able to manage feelings in a realistic and positive way.
Spiritual wellness is connecting or grounding into something greater.
Intellectual wellness is engaging in creative activities, seeking opportunities that challenge critical thinking, and expanding understanding.
Physical wellness is keeping your body moving. Spend time each day being physically active; maintaining a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep.
Occupational wellness is giving back to the world and others in various ways. It is having a purpose for waking up in the morning.
Social wellness is the creation of community. Whether you are an introverted or extroverted person everyone needs to have a community.
As you can see each dimension of wellness is intertwined. When one part is not receiving as much attention, another part overcompensates. The goal is to have balance in all dimensions of wellness which ties together the beautiful you.
Your local senior center or active adults programs are a great place to help strengthen your dimensions of wellness. At Senior Centers’ you will find opportunities to socialize, including meals, clubs, and lifelong learning classes. Senior Centers are a place for one to be well in the later years of life. Create a balance of wellness in your life by stepping out and being well today!
Editor’s Note: Written by Mary Swantek , Operations and Programs Director at the Colorado Springs Senior Center, an innovated partnership with the YMCA and the City of Colorado Springs. You can reach her at 719-955-3400