Dimensions of Health
How do you feel when you wake up on your best day?
You probably feel well-rested. You probably wake up to a space that is clean and organized. You probably feel excited to start the day. Maybe you have plans to hang out with your friends or family. You probably feel in control of your emotions, and your body feels ready for the day.
When you wake up in the morning and feel this way you are exhibiting signs of health. You can take time in your day to do a mental inventory check to recognize if you are feeling healthy. This includes:
Physical Check: Does my body feel?
Emotional Check: Do I feel that I am in control of my emotions? Do I have a healthy way of coping with my emotions?
Relationship Check: Do I feel that I have people in my life that support and listen to me?
Keeping well when the world is constantly changing is not an easy task! But it is still very important. There are many things you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy. To make sure we are promoting health for both yourself and your children, it is vital to consider the dimensions of health. This is because it has many different aspects that all must be nourished. The dimensions of health provide an integrative view of health. It is important to note that all the dimensions are equal in promoting overall wellness.
Dimensions of Health and what they mean
Intellectual health relates to stimulating the brain and challenging yourself. It is important to encourage your family to learn or practice new skills as this will help them strengthen their intellectual health. In addition to increasing concentration and mental health, intellectual health can help develop coping skills to deal with life’s challenges.
- Play a board game
- Do a puzzle
- Read a book
Physical health is probably the dimension we are most familiar with. Physical health relates to eating well, being physically active, and sleeping well. It is important to encourage these practices in your family so that you can maintain the physical health of your body and avoid injury or illness.
- Get enough sleep
- Eat healthy, balanced meals
- Drink enough water
- Get active
Emotional health relates to our thoughts and feelings. It is accepting our emotions and being aware of how we feel. It is important to reinforce for children that their emotions are valid because they feel them. It is crucial to allow yourself and the children in your care to feel emotions and express them in a healthy and positive way. Promoting emotional health in your home can be as simple as providing a supportive space to communicate feelings and modelling healthy ways to cope with emotions.
- Talking about your emotions
- Identifying your emotions
- Journal or draw your emotions
Social health relates to your connections with others. Making connections is an important part of wellness. It doesn’t mean we need to have countless friends and loved ones. It is more about quality rather than quantity. At home, it is important to foster healthy connections between children and their friends as well as other family members. In addition, it is also important to be aware of your relationship with your child and consider how this relationship contributes to their social health.
- Plan quality time with loved ones
- Have a family game night
- Support loved ones with their hobbies
Spiritual health is about connecting with yourself. It relates to searching for meaning and purpose. Spiritual health can also relate to seeking connections between yourself and your environment. It is important to foster your own spiritual health as well as your child’s. Promoting mindfulness can be a way to increase spiritual health.
- Meditate or practice relaxation techniques
- Think about what is important to you
- Connect with nature
Environmental health relates to your surroundings. This is your home, your living space, and the environment around you. It is important to foster environmental wellness as this promotes respect for our environment and our interactions.
- Clean up your space
- Pick up garbage
- Donate items you no longer use
Occupational health relates to the enjoyment and fulfillment that you experience through your job. This could be taking care of your family, attending classes, or your job. Occupational health also relates to the balance between work and leisure that you experience in your everyday life. This means that it is paramount that you find an occupation that you feel suits your skills and talents as well as practice self-care habits that support work/life balance.
- Research things that interest you
- Take a class
- Volunteer or get a job in a field that interests you
Please remember that it is okay to have days that are off. You cannot feel your best every day. This is why it is important to practice self-care and focus on all of the dimensions of health so that you have the resiliency to cope with life’s challenges. It is okay not to be okay, but if you haven’t been feeling okay for a while please look to the Mental Health Concerns section.