The dawning of a New Year always brings with it new hopes and possibilities for personal growth and improvement, fun and fulfillment, and perhaps the chance to experience new things. And that makes right now rather high time for all of those infamous New Years’ resolutions, whether it’s eating right and exercising more often, maybe getting a handle on that Amazon spending of yours, or perhaps taking that special vacation you’ve been thinking about for so long.
And indeed, it’s possible to implement positive changes at any time, but if self-improvement and lifestyle change are at the forefront of your mind right now, then what follows is some medically and scientifically proven guidance for achieving total wellness in your life. Because while eating more fruits and vegetables can only help, achieving greater happiness and feeling better overall means pursuing wellness in a more holistic sense. Here’s how…
The Six Dimensions of Wellness
There are many varying viewpoints about wellness out there, however, The National Wellness Institute, in working alongside leading experts from the health and lifestyle disciplines, has given us the (above) Six Dimensional Model. For despite all the wide-ranging definitions regarding what wellness entails, there’s strong agreement about the following:
- Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and ever-evolving process of individuals achieving their full potential. (And the process isn’t limited or otherwise affected by age, either.)
- Wellness is multi-dimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle factors, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
Perhaps said another way, New Years’ resolutions are great, but to really make the most meaningful difference in your life, think about making strides in 2020 in each of the below dimensions, which when taken together, are more likely to result in more comprehensive well-being. And it’s actually for that reason that these Six Dimensions of Wellness have been carefully woven into senior lifestyle programs in Discovery Senior Living communities nationwide.
Emotional and mental health can be a delicate subject, and as we discussed here recently, depression and other mental health diagnoses are consistently unrecognized and untreated among today’s seniors.
So make a point to be honest and upfront about mental health, and gain an understanding of the common catalysts for depression in seniors, things like declining physical abilities and the loss of friends and loved ones. And most importantly, make a commitment to ask for help, and to do so in a timely manner, all in the name of ensuring emotional, and in turn, holistic wellness.
Life is largely intended to be a journey of discovery, one filled with continuing opportunities for learning and intellectual growth. And that makes it impossible to overstate the value of regular (i.e. daily) intellectual stimulation.
It’s certainly possible to do it on your own, whether it’s reading the paper to stay up with current events, reading works of fiction, or studying non-fictional topics of your choosing. But communities as well are working hard to empower the pursuit of intellectual wellness, whether through our Discovery University lecture series, various clubs or discussion groups, and even day trips and excursions to explore museums, arts, and culture in and around your local area.
The Occupational dimension recognizes the personal satisfaction that often comes from one’s work. And sure, many seniors, being retired, have left their working days in the past. But having recently explored seniors’ changing role in the workforce, we know the benefits of senior employment entail more than just the paycheck.
So with that, if you have craved enrichment and interaction, and have even a part-time desire to get out there in the workforce, where you can meet new and interesting people, share common interests, and reap the wellness-related benefits, then don’t be denied or discouraged. Particularly in this day and age, opportunity still knocks for seniors in the workforce.
There’s really no denying the power of physical well-being. In fact, looking and feeling good physically often goes a long way toward influencing our own perceptions about overall wellness. No surprise, then, that daily exercise and healthy eating play a major role, and should always be focal points of any self-improvement efforts.
And fortunately, the launch of new, health-club-quality, senior-specific fitness solutions—particularly our FitCampSM wellness program—is making it even easier for seniors at the community level to pursue physical wellness, and to actually have more fun doing it.
While holistic wellness is self-directed, the Social dimension addresses interactions with our environment and throughout the community, all of which are integral for the feeling of importance and belonging.
So in 2020 and beyond, think about becoming more involved and interconnected with the people and environment around you. Cultivate new and nurture existing relationships, and make choices that contribute to the welfare of others as well as yourself. It’s like food for the soul, and a powerful catalyst for living well.
For many, religious faith is synonymous with spiritual wellness. And we’re certainly not here to discourage faith and devotion. However, even non-devout followers or those who don’t really identify with religion can still pursue spiritual wellness and fulfillment.
It starts with living a life of virtue that’s consistent with our own value system. Knowing that life is a continual search for meaning whose path is not without bumps or challenges. And particularly in today’s fiercely divided society, being more tolerant of the beliefs of others, even if they happen to differ from our own.
From all of us at Discovery Senior Living, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead!