Valentine’s Day is over, and a month and a half have passed since we set our New Year’s Resolutions. Have you succeeded in upholding yours, or, like many, have your goals fallen to the wayside?
Oftentimes the problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they are too big — we try to turn our life completely around and end up falling flat on our faces.
Unlike the mad dash for change on January 1st, a call to change in February offers the opportunity to consider subtle, sustainable changes you can gradually incorporate into your real life.
Below are seven areas of wellness. Improving wellbeing in these areas is essential for every adult, but especially those who are aging. Following each area of wellness are three suggested interventions to consider implementing in one’s life. Pick one or a few, but try not to overwhelm yourself. The goal is to embrace the changes fully, not feel “encumbered” by them. Many of the suggestions even overlap in two or more wellness areas. Your wellness win easily becomes a win-win!
Ideas for Improving Personal Wellness
Emotional Wellness is all about “mind over matter,” one’s emotional state really impacts physical well-being as persons age.
1. Relax with an adult coloring book
2. Find a sponsored outing to a comedy club or show
3. Learn how to use social media-Facebook, FaceTime
Environmental Wellness is the need to be in harmony with nature.
1. Join a neighborhood clean-up initiative
2. Get a plot at the community garden
3. Organize a recycling drive
Intellectual/Cognitive Wellness focuses on the health and function of the brain. Simply put–use it or lose it!
1. Attend educational talks at the local senior center or YMCA
2. Challenge yourself with sudoku, chess, card and board games
3. Take an adult educational class at a local college
Physical Wellness is the care for the body. The mind/body connection is undeniable, and improving function of one directly impacts the other. Additionally, physical wellness decreases the risk of falls and lowers cardiovascular and diabetes risk.
1. Join a walking club IE Silver Sneakers
2. Take a healthy cooking class
3. Try Tai Chi, line dancing or yoga
Professional/Vocational Wellness is being productive for entities outside yourself, and often increases feelings of self-worth and personal productivity.
1. Become a community volunteer, ie dog walker at local shelter
2. Consider working part-time
3. Help with a reading program in a local school or library
Social Wellness is the harnessing of our human-to-human connections. Those who are less connected experience disrupted sleep, increased blood pressure and depression.
1. Participate in a card club like euchre or bridge
2. Join or start a book club
3. Play pickleball
Spiritual Wellness is our connection to entities beyond ourselves, and is directly related to better physical, emotional and mental health.
1. Practice daily prayer or meditation
2. Attend weekly religious service
3. Participate in a small support group
So now is the time! Take a fresh look at life–your life. Choose an area or two for which you are open to change. Then, gently challenge yourself with some moderate, doable changes. Once you get rolling, the momentum should not only take you there, but keep you there too!