What does the word health mean to you? For many of us, it brings up images of physical health. Disease avoidance, good cholesterol and blood pressure levels, watching our weights, getting good medical care, etc. However, there are many kinds of health that are integral to our overall well-being, which goes way beyond our physical health*. Have you considered these forms of health?
Emotional health: This is just as important as physical health and in fact impacts it. Are you resilient? Anxiety is the number one emotional health problem in the US, followed closely by depression. But almost all conditions are treatable! Let’s destroy the stigma and encourage people who need it to get the care they need whether it be therapy, medication, both, or other things (discussed below) that contribute to positive emotional health. *
Social health: Too busy to socialize? Do you have one or two close friends? How often do you see or talk to them? For me, I am sadly too busy to see my friends much but my substitute is a social media site where I can keep in touch with others, and I also use email all the time. Not the same as the real thing, I know, but we do what we can with the number of hours in a day. I need to take my own advice and get out for social or recreational activities I enjoy more. Has to be a priority! Do you have trouble meeting people or are you lonely? There are many ways to meet people but effort is required. If you really need help with this, web-browse something you enjoy and type in your town or area. There will be groups on just about any interest- from book clubs to church groups to sewing, to scrap-booking, to outdoor activities. Find one and just show up – you are guaranteed to meet people. *
Worksite health: As most of us work and spend many hours a week at work, it is important that your worksite embraces health and wellness as a priority. Feeling supported at work, psychological empowerment, a positive relationship with your supervisor, and job satisfaction are known positive influencers of health. Work stress is known to negatively impact health. *
Financial health: Can you retire? Can you afford what you need? Financial health is an important factor in overall health and well-being as it is one of the top stressors in life and in marriages and is a top cause of divorce.
Stressors: Know what is stressing you out. Is it time management? Is it work? Are you caring for aging parents? There is actually a list of life stressors that rate where you are on the stress scale. Even positive changes can increase your stress level! Check out the links below to predict how you are doing physically and emotionally:
In addition, there are other factors that affect health, called the Social Determinants of Health. For example, poverty impacts health. To learn more, go to this link:
What this all boils down to is overall well-being and quality of life: Make the most of yours!