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What Does "Well-Being" Even Mean?

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

The World Health Organization defines well-being as "a state of mind in which an individual is able to realize his or her own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."

Personally, I can't say I meet all of those criteria, but I do work on it daily!

However, it's important to recognize that we don't all have the same access to social, economic, societal and health-related fields that would allow us all to live up to that definition. Everyone does deserves equitable access to wellness because everyone's wellness is connected and we all impact the health of each other! #strongerasacommunity

We all have different paths to well-being that are unique so below is an image that highlights all of the dynamic components that embody total well-being as defined by The University of Michigan.

Physical - the role that you take in maintaining your body's strength, vitality and energy.

My Personal Example - I make sure to get in movement daily, whether it's only a walk, a full workout with resistance training, or a stretch session; Movement is crucial for mental clarity and a functioning body!

Emotional/Mental - being aware of your feelings and knowing how to manage them; being at peace with who you are and having the tools you need to manage life's highs and lows.

My Personal Example - I used to journal and that worked for me early on in my life however, now I find it so much more helpful to be able to talk to and confide in someone I can trust. Whether that's a therapist, a partner, or a friend, find someone you can chat about anything with!

Environmental - the impact your environment (home, school, city, community, planet) has on you and the impact you have on the environment.

My Personal Example - I am a huge advocate for recycling and sustainable living! Go to "My Favs" page and select "Save The Planet" from the drop-down filter to find ways you can start living more sustainably! There are so many ways every individual can play an active role when it comes to helping revitalize the planet!

Financial - your relationship with money, your skills for managing it, your ability to make good consumer choices, and seek out appropriate financial opportunities.

My Personal Example - As someone who has a lot of student debt (as I know so many people do), this highlights the importance of budgeting, only buying things you truly need, selling the things you don't (or donating), and setting yourself up for financial stability in the future with a retirement and savings account.

Occupational - the work you choose to do, how it contributes to your community and how it fulfills you and gives you purpose.

My Personal Example - My passion for becoming a Registered Dietician is how I find fulfilment in my occupation. Also, working as an online nutrition counselor has been extremely gratifying watching women find peace with their bodies and with food!

Social - how you choose to define and connect with your community and the people around you.

My Personal Example - This newsletter right here! Along with the content I put out on Instagram is how I connect with my broader community; for my closer niche I try to schedule time with friends and family once a week if I can make it work! This really helps with my mental health and gets me off my screens!

Intellectual - feeling stimulated and engaged with learning and staying open to new ideas and perspectives.

My Personal Example - As a nutrition professional, I am constantly learning and staying abreast of emerging research. It also allows me to share what I learn here with you! I also have to fulfill continuing education units to maintain my credentials! Always learning!

Spiritual - your understanding of your place and purpose, how you make meaning of what happens to you and what your mind goes to.

My Personal Example - I know personally that I need to work on fostering my relationship in the higher power I believe in. I know I work to be a good example of what a kind, compassionate, and empathetic human should be but no one is perfect. It's definitely a continual journey!

I want to challenge you to reflect on your own personal examples for each component of well-being and maybe even make it a journal entry! Determine areas in your life where you could strengthen some things and work to create a solid sense of personal well-being!

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