Practicing Wellness at Home and at School
What goes through your mind when you hear the word “wellness”? Many of us associate this term with things like celery juice, fitness influencers, or the latest workout trend. In reality, wellness is a broader term that goes beyond diet and exercise.
What is Wellness
According to D&G Wellness Consulting, “wellness is the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” It’s the combination of intentional thoughts and actions that put us on the right path to an optimal state of health and well-being.
Compared to mental health, wellness is multi-dimensional and focuses on several different factors that impact your well-being. D&G refers to it as the six dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, emotional, social, community, and mental. These components go hand-in-hand to help you achieve total wellness through:
- Caring for your body (physical wellness)
- Searching for meaning and purpose (spiritual wellness)
- Being in touch with your emotions (emotional wellness)
- Connecting with the world (social wellness)
- Finding fulfillment at work, at home, and in life (community wellness)
- Practicing mindfulness and problem solving (mental wellness)
Each of these components is vital to one’s wellness journey and should be practiced regularly.
Physical and Mental Health
While physical and mental health are just two elements of wellness, they share a strong connection that has a serious impact on your well-being — especially when it comes to nutrition. Different foods have different nutritional values and impact your brain in different ways. In other words, what you eat impacts how you feel.
Preparing for an upcoming presentation? Eat an avocado! This healthy fat is shown to improve one’s memory and problem-solving skills.
Feeling anxious? Try adding some Swiss chard to your salad at lunch. Leafy greens are loaded in magnesium which can help reduce anxiety.
Experiencing the blues? Dark chocolate is proven to reduce cortisol levels and increase happy chemicals.
Focusing on a variety of whole foods will nourish both your body and your brain, energizing you for your total wellness journey!
Practicing Wellness at Home
Wellness is not a once and done accomplishment; it’s something you practice each day. Think of it like a journey. As with any hike or footrace, the first step might feel difficult — but through repetition and intentionality, you’ll create momentum and improve your well-being over time.
Another misconception of wellness is that you need a nine-step skincare routine or a dozen supplements each morning. That’s overwhelming! You can start small and still achieve great results. Here are some ways you can start practicing wellness at home today:
- Meal prep: choose one day each week to plan out your meals, prepare fruits and vegetables, and keep your kitchen organized.
- Take a class just for fun: who says classes are just for students? Sign up for a pottery course or try your hand at poetry. Your brain will benefit, and you just might pick up a new skill.
- Text a friend: as we get older, it can feel hard to stay socially connected. Send a quick “thinking of you” text to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
- Practice yoga: movement doesn’t have to be strenuous to be effective. Even one yoga class a week can help balance your mind and body!
Practicing Wellness at School
In today’s world, wellness is more important than ever — especially at school. The last few years have taken a toll on school nurses and educators. A healthy wellness practice will help you manage the daily stresses of your job and avoid burnout.
For students, it’s critical. We’re often focused on children’s physical health and ailments but, with the recent rise in mental health challenges for adolescents, it’s time to prioritize mental health at school. Health staff and school counselors should work together to teach students the importance of physical and mental health, leading to a lifelong wellness journey.
One way to practice mental wellness at school is through self-soothing. This exercise is useful for navigating tough emotions and can be beneficial for both students and staff! Take 15 minutes out of your day to think about your pet, read for pleasure, journal, drink water, or take a few deep breaths. By incorporating a daily self-soothing practice, you’re managing your mental health in a proactive manner (and encouraging your students to do the same!).
Another way to prioritize mental wellness at school is by collaborating across departments. Teaming up with your counselor ensures consistent treatment for students and helps create a positive mental health culture at school. An SHR can help! Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how Magnus Health can support your school’s wellness and mental health initiatives through counseling templates, custom treatment notes, and more.