People frequently associate wellness with physical health — nutrition, exercise, weight control, and so on — but it is so much more. Wellness is a complete synthesis of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that nourishes the body, engages the intellect, and nourishes the soul. Although it always involves aiming for health, it is more about enjoying life to the fullest. It is “a lifestyle and a tailored approach to living life in a way that… helps you to become the greatest type of person that your potentials, circumstances, and fate will allow.”
Wellness involves excellent self-stewardship, both for ourselves and for those we love and who love us. Wellness is a professional as well as a personal obligation for people in the caring profession. We have an ethical commitment to care for our own health and well-being in order to provide high-quality patient and organizational function. Sufficient self-care keeps us from causing harm to those we serve; no scenario or person can excuse ignoring it.
Physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, and environmental wellness are all interconnected. Attention must be paid to all aspects, since neglecting one will have a negative impact on the others, and ultimately on one’s health, well-being, and quality of life. They do not have to be evenly balanced, though. Instead, we should strive for the “personal harmony” that seems most real to ourselves. We all have our own objectives, attitudes, and aspirations, as well as our own ideas about what it is to live completely.
By Maureen Daluyen