Take a moment to consider your own quality of life at this very moment. If there was one thing you could do right now to improve it, what would that be? Would you try to exercise more? Spend more time with friends and loved ones? Explore new intellectual pursuits? While there are many valid ways to improve your wellness, it’s important to note that wellness extends beyond physical health, exercise and nutrition; be sure to consider the whole “you.” A person’s overall wellness is the culmination of seven distinct factors, or dimensions, that all play a vital role in determining quality of life.
The World Health Organization defines wellness as, “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” and we certainly live by that definition at Silver Maples, as Assistant Director of Programming and Wellness Winn Mahoney says, “Wellness is so much more than physical health, it’s the ability to connect with the world around you.”
In this post, we’ll explore all seven dimensions of wellness, including practical wellness tips that are easy for seniors to include in their everyday routine. Before we get started, though, here are the seven dimensions of wellness at a glance:
How to Use the Seven Dimensions of Wellness to Improve Your Health
- Physical Wellness: Physical wellness is all about caring for your body in a way that supports healthy functioning. It includes everything from diet, nutrition, and exercise to mental health.
How to Practice It: Get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours is recommended), eat a healthy diet, spend time in the sunlight and make time for regular exercise (at least 20 minutes a day). You’ll notice a difference in your overall health and wellness by simply improving this one area.
- Emotional Wellness: This dimension of wellness focuses on your ability to recognize, process and express your emotions. It’s important to learn and grow from new experiences, to reduce stress, and to strengthen your coping skills when dealing with difficult emotions.
How to Practice It: One of the best ways to improve your emotional wellness is through the concept of “mindfulness,” taking time to create space and check in with ourselves.This is a proven technique that anyone can do at any time. Learn more about how to practice mindfulness.
- Social Wellness: Social wellness addresses our relationships with friends, loved ones, and acquaintances. Being socially well means fostering healthy relationships with the people around us and building meaningful connections with others.
How to Practice It: Practicing social wellness can be as simple as maintaining regular contact with the important people in your life. While this may sound easy, you might find that you need to consciously set aside time to pick up the phone or stop over to a friend’s home for a visit. Learn more about the importance of social activities for seniors.
- Spiritual Wellness: For some people, religion plays an important role in spiritual wellness. For others, spiritual wellness is about staying in touch with our personal values, ethics, or moral compass. No matter what spirituality means to you, this dimension of wellness can help you learn more about yourself and your place in the world.
How to Practice It: If you are a member of a religious faith, practicing spiritual wellness could mean increasing your involvement with the church or immersing yourself in the teachings of your religion. If you don’t subscribe to a particular religion, you can improve your spiritual wellness by taking time to explore your inner self and to reflect upon what matters most to you.
- Occupational Wellness: Whether you’re still actively employed or retired, occupational wellness means finding satisfaction and fulfillment through work.
How to Practice It: Practicing occupational wellness when you’re retired might seem impossible. However, volunteering in your community can have many of the same benefits as reporting to work every day. When you volunteer in support of a cause you feel passionate about, you’ll experience a strong sense of personal satisfaction and meaning.
- Intellectual Wellness: Any activity that expands your knowledge, engages your creativity, or promotes curiosity can contribute to your intellectual wellness.
How to Practice It: To improve your intellectual wellness, challenge yourself to rediscover old hobbies or to explore brand new activities. Consider attending thought-provoking lectures from guest speakers that visit your community. Traveling is another great way to practice intellectual wellness as it expands your horizons and exposes you to new experiences.
- Environmental Wellness: Distilled to its essence, environmental wellness is about respecting and living in harmony with your surroundings. It also challenges us to consider the ways in which our daily actions can have a positive – or negative – impact on the natural world.
How to Practice It: There are many ways to strengthen your environmental wellness. You can be more diligent in recycling, look for opportunities to conserve energy, volunteer to clean up trash, or simply spend more time enjoying the great outdoors.
Silver Maples is Dedicated to Senior Wellness
At Silver Maples, wellness is the driving force behind everything we do. “All of our programming relates to at least one dimension of wellness and most involve a cross-section of multiple. We’re all about wellness in our daily living, from an exercise class that hits on physical, emotional, and social wellness, to a lecture that covers intellectual wellness, to working on our memorial garden, which involves spiritual, occupational, environmental and social wellness. It doesn’t feel like work or checking boxes, rather we find meaning in everything we put on our calendars,” says Director of Programming and Wellness, Emily Meloche. By practicing all seven dimensions of wellness, you’ll not only improve your quality of life but the quality of life for all those around you.
If you’re a bit further along in your search for a retirement community and you’d like to see what life is like in a neighborhood that emphasizes the seven dimensions of wellness, we invite you to come for a visit. Tour our grounds, check out the various living accommodations and chat with people who call Silver Maples home – we promise you won’t regret it!
Not quite ready for a visit? Get to know us from afar by exploring our website. You’ll find enlightening personal stories and testimonials from residents, their families, and our staff, video tours and so much more. You can also request more information to receive our brochure packet full of great information. Or, feel free to connect with us through social media to get a peek at daily life at Silver Maples. Contact us when you’re ready to learn more. We’re eager to discuss options and help you enjoy a lifestyle and support system you and your family will love.