Being “healthy” isn’t the same for everyone. We have different bodies, minds, living situations, and people influencing our lives. Each area can impact our overall health. This means we have a unique picture of health and well-being.
Our physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being make up our well-being wheel. Just like a wheel, all four areas of wellbeing need to be balanced to make the wheel move forward. Check out this short video to learn about the areas that make up the well-being wheel, and tips for maximizing your health in each area.
Eating a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are important to keep your body working properly. Positive physical health habits can help decrease your stress, lower your risk of disease, and increase your energy. Taking steps to protect your health is the best way to prevent disease and other conditions. Health screenings, vaccines, and guarding yourself from germs can help keep you feeling your best.
Focus on daily movement
Set aside time each day to move. Do what’s easy and fun such as walking, bike riding, or dancing. Start slow with as little as 10 minutes and gradually increase to 30-40 minutes most days.
Target all major muscle groups and try muscle strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week.
Try something new
Add variety for maximum benefits. Try a new exercise class, programs in your community or local parks, and trails.
Never forget hydration
Always have water and fluids available to maintain adequate hydration. Thirst can be a sign of dehydration.
Eat colorful meals
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Their colors provide vitamins, antioxidants, and other important nutrients.
Seek balance and flexibility
Regular movement and muscle strengthening exercises improve your balance and reduce your risks for falls and injury.
Strive for a healthy weight
If you are overweight, losing as little as 5-7% of your bodyweight can create a significant difference in your physical well-being.
How you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health. How you react to your experiences and stressors can change over time. Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.
During times of stress, try deep breathing exercises. Breathe slowly in through your nose. Fill your belly with air. Breathe out slowly through your nose. As you breathe out, imagine the stress leaving your body with your breath.
Embrace social connections
Make plans for lunch, a walk on the beach, a volunteer event, or other fun activity weekly with old or new friends. Expand your social network by joining a recreational sports team, taking a community class, or connecting with an organized group of people that share a similar interest.
Aim for quality sleep
Establish a regular bedtime relaxation routine. Turn off electronics an hour before going to sleep. Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature, dark and as quiet as possible. Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine, alcohol, meals, and emotional conversations before bedtime.
Rest and relax
Take a nature walk or simply sit and enjoy a beautiful view. Incorporate relaxing activities like stretching, gardening, reading, and writing, or deeper forms of relaxation like meditation, tai chi, or yoga.
Quiet your mind and appreciate the moment for exactly what it is. Bring awareness to your breath, body, feelings, and thoughts, or something in your environment. Set aside regularly scheduled time to practice mindfulness and protect yourself from the demands of a busy life.
From the time you’re born, your relationships help you learn to navigate the world. You learn how to interact with others, express yourself, and conduct everyday health habits. Positive social habits can help you build support systems and stay healthier mentally and physically.
Foster connections with others
Build positive relationships with family, friends, and coworkers by staying in touch and spending time together on a regular basis.
Reduce screen time
Limit your social media time to only a few minutes a day. Have face-to-face conversations and meetings with those that you care about.
Invest in family time
Spend time together doing fun activities such as family game night, pot-luck dinners, or outdoor activities such as walks around your neighborhood or bike riding. Investing in family time yields high rewards.
Provide positive and encouraging support to your circle of friends and family. Encourage independence and openness to new experiences.
Nurture healthy relationships
Share your feelings honestly and listen to others without judgment. Identify relationships that are unhealthy for you and learn to set boundaries on those relationships.
Designate “me” time
Taking care of self is often overlooked yet essential to your overall well-being and the health of your relationships. It’s important to find ways to care for your health while caring for others.
Financial well-being can look different to each individual. Taking the steps to control your day-to-day finances, meet financial goals, absorb financial shock, and live within your financial means is the best way to support your financial health.
Become aware of your spending habits and develop a spending plan for extras like dining, shopping, and vacations. For example, set a spending limit for the week and don’t exceed it.
Categorize your money into the following buckets:
- “must haves” such as your mortgage/rent, food or childcare
- “nice to haves” such as new clothes and outings
- “near term” such as home/auto repairs and taxes
- “future” such as retirement or a down payment
Nest for emergencies
Add up the cost of items listed in your “must haves” and “near term” buckets and multiply by three. Let that be your first savings goal in the event of job loss or illness.
Always pay yourself first. To reach your savings goals you can find additional income, spend less money, or do both.
Your budget - build one!
Start telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Revisit the list of priorities in the four buckets mentioned above. Assign appropriate dollar amounts to those expenses and stick