Educators struggle with fatigue, stress, and burnout. You are pushing through and faking it until you make it. When someone asks you, “ how are you?” Do you respond with, “I am well?” That’s a standard response, but how well are you? Before you answer that question, find out more about the eight dimensions of wellness.
First, let’s discuss the definition of wellness. According to the National Wellness Institute, “wellness is an active process through which people become aware of and make choices toward a more successful existence.” So, educators, as you discover the eight dimensions of wellness, self-reflect on your processes and choices to ensure your wellness is a priority.
Eight Dimensions of Wellness
- Physical wellness is all about your body. Your physical wellness depends on eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
- Emotional wellness is about your feelings, attitude about life, and having support systems to get you through personal or professional challenges. Your mind is a terrible thing to neglect.
- Intellectual wellness is about your brain and learning new knowledge. Many people don’t realize that intellectual wellness is also a priority. Educators use their intellectual power throughout a school day. Therefore, you need a healthy brain to make crucial decisions and shifts daily. Also, using your intellectual power requires learning new skills, teaching and learning strategies, or the latest research.
- Social wellness means you have positive and supportive relationships in your life. Both professionally and personally, your relationships can be a part of a robust support system.
- Spiritual wellness focuses on your soul, inner self, and faith. Whether one is religious or not, we all have a spiritual side. Also, spiritual wellness can include meditation to renew ourselves and have inner peace.
- Environmental wellness is about our living conditions on earth. Living and working conditions affect our health. Whether at home or work, we want to live free of harmful chemicals and toxins.
- Occupational wellness refers to our career, job, and workplace. Are you happy about your professional path? Is your workplace physically, emotionally, socially, or environmentally healthy?
- Financial Wellness – If the money is funny, your financial health can harm your overall wellness. Worrying about money, savings, or bills is a health hazard. Financial wellness eases many burdens.
Focus on Your Wellness
How will you answer the question, “How well are you?” Use these eight principles of wellness to reflect and then respond. As you focus on your wellness, remember these seven principles:
- Wellness is holistic
- The self is the only true healer
- Wellness is your responsibility
- Positivity is empowerment. Negativity strips you of power and control.
- Wellness is an active process. Don’t wait for good health to come to you!
- Wellness is outcome oriented
- Prevention eliminates the need for treatment.
Wellness is a Personal Responsibility
Making changes to focus on your wellness requires setting firm foundations. The first foundation is hope. Believe you can, and then set goals. Wellness is a personal responsibility, so take action toward your goals. It would help if you had support on your journey. Lean on others for encouragement. Advocate for yourself by communicating your needs. Get good information, then make decisions. Lastly, find meaning and purpose in your life. Identify what matters most to you.
Educators, take control of your wellness. Many say they are tired of hearing the term self-care; however, we cannot depend on school districts to provide needed support. So, we must understand our responsibilities when it comes to our well-being. Remember, wellness is an active process. Don’t wait for good health to come to you!
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