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Wellness-What Exactly Is It? Tom Crum

After working in Wellness for a number of years, I find that a great deal of confusion still seems to exist regarding the meaning of the word "wellness". The purpose of this article is to provide some clarification. Let us first look at the term "wellness."

Many people too strongly associate a high level of physical fitness, favourable body weight, sound nutritional habits, and other components of the physical dimension as being synonymous with the term "wellness." While certainly important in the pursuit of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, sole emphasis on the physical dimension of one's life does not constitute a "wellness" lifestyle since there are six additional dimensions of wellness. These are: the spiritual, emotional, career, intellectual, environmental, and social aspects of people's lives. So how do we define the term "wellness" if it is not just practicing positive lifestyle habits within the physical dimension?

Mr. Larry Chapman, a wellness consultant to dozens of organizations, provides a particularly good definition of wellness. He defines wellness in the following way: "An organized set of activities designed to assist individuals in making voluntary behavioural changes that reduce their health risks, modify their consumer health behaviour and enhance their personal well-being and productivity."
People are also confused about the meaning of a wellness lifestyle. Dr. Donald Ardell and Dr. Grant Donovan, the authors of the book entitled Live More of Your Life: the Wellness Way provide an interesting perspective on the characteristics of well people and those seeking a wellness lifestyle.
These characteristics are as follows:

(I )Great self esteem. All surveys conducted on truly healthy people find this characteristic at the top of the list.

(2)A clear set of purposes. This involves a willingness to reflect upon
questions such as "who am I, what are my purposes, where am I going?", the meaning of life, etc. This is a key to spiritual wellness.

(3)A high level of control. A well person is committed to self-governance and a strong sense of personal accountability. The weather, luck, your spouse, job, and other things matter far less than what you do or do not do for yourself. The implication here is that the self-responsibility factor is vitally important to a wellness lifestyle.

(4)A high quality of humour and play. A well person has the capacity to have fun, to be playful, and to laugh at himself or herself. Many books address the importance of laughter and its positive effects on the body's immune system.

(5)Ecological consciousness. A well person respects and appreciates nature and the conservation of our natural resources.

(6)Concern for others. The commitments of well people extend beyond their own welfare. This involves reaching out in one way or another in service to others.

(7)Strong support network. This implies that we are never too well to get along in life by ourselves. Inherent in this characteristic is the value of a loving family, valued friendships, and the sharing of highs and lows in the lives of other people.

(8)A sense of mastery or artistry. This is a sense of being exceptional at something you value. Any activity that provides personal pleasure and a sense of fulfilment helps to develop this sense of mastery.

(9)A feeling of self-respect.

(I0)Vocational competence. This refers to enjoyment in your job and a
positive feeling that your talents are not being wasted.

(11)A feeling of balance. While you may be involved in many projects
simultaneously, you feel a sense of equilibrium and that you have your life under control.

(12)No time for worseness. The implication here is that life is challenging enough without reliance on harmful substances. You have no need or respect for tobacco, abusive alcohol usage, sedentary lifestyle practices, boring conditions, drug usage, and mediocrity.

( I3)An ability to manage and learn from adversity. While you do not seek adversity, you know that adversity is a part of life and you attempt to learn from such experiences.

(14)A sense of reality. You clearly understand the difference between reality and make-believe.

(I5)Exceptionally fit. You take exceptionally good care of your body, minimize your risks of illness, and maximize your capacity to derive pleasure and satisfaction from recreational outlets.

(16)The ability to love and the good fortune to be loved.

(17)A capacity to deal with occasional demand overload. This is the especially difficult ability to simultaneously wisely manage time and deal with overload situations.

(18)Effective communications. Effective communication is an essential characteristic of a wellness lifestyle. This implies the ability to convey unmistakable, yet sensitive messages to others.

(19)Personal integrity. This includes the development of values such as loyalty, honesty, meeting personal commitments, agreements, trust, etc.


WOW! Do I have to do all of these to be a well person? Of course not, these are a guide for us to know what the over all package looks like and where to get started. Wellness is a lifestyle; a life commitment to work at being better/healthier. There are always ways to improve.

So, as we begin what I hope will be the "After COVID-19 Era" or maybe sooner, each one of us might take some time on a regular basis for participation in activities specifically designed to reduce our health risks, to modify our negative lifestyle behaviours, and to enhance our personal well-being and productivity. Pursuit of such activities can help each one of us to experience a life which exemplifies the characteristics of a well person.



Do you or anyone you know have a truck and want to make some money hauling away some old tree branches--let me know

A little humour

Wife's Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my
friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, "nothing." I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behaviour. I don't know why he didn't say, "I love you, too."

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed.

About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

Husband's Diary:

A one-foot putt. Who the hell misses a one-foot putt?