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How to Practice the Five Dimensions of Wellness

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Wellness: The state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. A simple word that literally translated means the absence of illness has evolved into a committed lifestyle that integrates all the dimensions of wellness.

Addressing our physical condition is always a critical component to wellness, but as we age, it becomes imperative that we adopt a more global approach that pays equal attention to our emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social health. For many, the answer lies in moving to an active adult community where the environment is specifically designed to facilitate all aspects of wellbeing.

No matter where you live, the pursuit of wellness is an ongoing, dynamic process, that is fluid and constantly changing to optimize each phase of our lives. As you ponder the best way to embrace the five dimensions of wellness and make the most of this exciting new chapter, here are a few tips to inspire.

Physical

  • The importance of exercise as we age cannot be overstated. Nothing good happens sitting on the couch all day. Try to keep it moving for at least 30 minutes a day three times a week and you will feel the difference in your strength, flexibility and endurance.

  • Integrate plenty of fruits, veggies, fish and nuts into your diet. Try not to overdo red meat, fried foods, sodas, alcohol and sugary stuff.

  • Don’t skip meals. It can slow your metabolism and lead to weight gain.

  • Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

  • Stay current with your health screenings and maintain a regular relationship with your medical professional.

Social

  • Isolation is a proven threat to seniors’ well-being. Continued effort to build strong, healthy relationships will reward you both physically and mentally.

  • Staying involved with others will keep you sharp and engaged. Join clubs to meet those with similar interests.

  • Maintain a sense of purpose by sharing projects, helping others through volunteering or just joining a group for happy hour or a cup of coffee

  • Take a step out of your comfort zone and try a new hobby, activity or class. You never know who you will meet.

  • If your neighbors have moved and your home is feeling lonely and isolated, consider relocating and becoming part of a welcoming, 55+ active adult community.

Emotional

  • A positive attitude can impact your life and the lives of those around you.

  • Try to maintain optimism and manage your responses to life’s up and downs.

  • Explore different methods of stress relief like yoga, tai chi or meditation.

  • Emotional control is the key to how we deal with the world. Appropriately expressed emotions are healthy and important. Inappropriately expressed emotions can derail the other four dimensions of wellness.

  • Find someone you trust to share your feelings with. Seek professional help if you find your emotions are getting the better of you.

Intellectual

  • The more you continue to learn and use your intellectual capabilities, the sharper you will be.

  • Take a class or join a group to pursue an interest you’ve never had time for until now.

  • Join a book club and expand both your mind and your social circle.

  • Go to a lecture on a subject you enjoy or with which you are completely unfamiliar.

  • Seek out new experiences to continue to grow and change.

Spiritual

  • Take a moment each day to center yourself and appreciate the world around you.

  • Enjoy the gifts of nature by taking a walk or simply sitting on a quiet park bench.

  • Take a yoga or meditation class.

  • Practice gratitude for all the gifts in your life.

Integrating practices into your lifestyle that address all the dimensions of wellness is the key to a longer, healthier life. This is your time. Make the choices that empower you and it will be the time of your life.