What is wellness and what does it mean to be well? According to the University of California Davis Center for Student Health, “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.” This year we invite you to think beyond the “New Year, New You” sentiment and take the opportunity to get to know the “you” that you already are. It is through this understanding of self that you foster growth and develop the processes of change leading to the accomplishment of your wellness goals. The good news is you don’t need a new you; the “you” you are, is already capable of achieving great and wonderful things no matter your station or season of life.
Before one can determine a wellness destination, one needs to have a good understanding of the starting point and desired direction. This requires defining and assessing within each distinct and interconnected dimension of wellness. At Brewster Place we focus on the five dimensions of intellectual, emotional, physical, social and spiritual wellness. As you read through the characteristics of each dimension, think about rating your current level of wellness in that dimension on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being “very well.” Think about the barriers you experience in your wellness pursuits, what would help to bump up your rating by one or two points, and what strengths do you already possess to help you get there?
Brewster’s Five to Thrive Dimensions of Wellness
Intellectual | Focus on your mind
Intellectual wellness involves the ability to expand and use knowledge. This includes learning new things, clarity of thoughts, being alert, using expressive language that allows you to make your needs known and to be understood, awareness of the goings on around you and concentration allowing you to focus on those things that matter most to you.
Emotional | Focus on your emotions and mood
Emotional wellness involves the ability to experience and regulate varied emotions and moods. This includes being able to manage stress, finding joy, being mindful in the moment, believing in your wholeheartedness and worthiness, experiencing and identifying a wide range of emotions, and responding to these emotions in healthy ways.
Physical Wellness | Focus on your physical body
Physical wellness involves the ability to move and take action. This includes things like movement and mobility, regularly exercising, pain management, ability to navigate your environment and surrounding terrain, and nutrition.
Social Wellness | Focus on relationships
Social wellness involves the ability to engage with others in healthy ways. This includes experiencing connectedness, friendships, allowing for vulnerability and the accompanying sup-port from others, and engagement with those around you.
Spiritual Wellness | Focus on values and beliefs
Spiritual wellness involves the ability to experience spiritual connection, identify purpose and find meaning. This includes things like having faith, experiencing transcendence, living intentionally, practicing gratitude, finding meaning in the day to day, and remaining hopeful.