Tips for individuals and professionals
By Jenna Berkwit
August is National Wellness Month, which makes it the perfect time to reflect on how we care for ourselves. Wellness is a series of interconnected dimensions that contribute to a person’s overall health and well-being. These dimensions of health include:
It is necessary to give attention to each dimension as they
are interdependent and contribute to one’s overall wellbeing.
This is especially true for those in helping professions like behavioral health. According to Green Cross Standards of Self-Care Guidelines, “In order to ensure high-quality patient and client services, we have an ethical obligation to attend to our own health and well-being.”
Here are some suggestions for self-care practices for each of the six main wellness dimensions. Notice that many of the self-care activities overlap to meet more than aspect of wellness.
Maintaining healthy relationships with friends, family, intimate partners, and the community
- Taking a walk with a friend
- Volunteering at a food bank
- Joining a new club
- Texting a family member
Discovering your values and beliefs and finding meaning and purpose in life
- Daily gratitude journaling
- Practicing meditation/yoga
- Attending a religious/spiritual service
Providing care for all aspects of your body (safety, nutrition, health, movement, and physical touch)
- Getting enough sleep
- Receiving a hug from a loved one
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Laughing aloud
Working to understand and value your emotions and manage your emotions in a constructive way
- Daily gratitude journaling
- Saying “no” when overscheduled
- Seeing a therapist
Managing resources to meet current and future financial obligations while feeling satisfied with your financial situation
- Keep a journal of financial goals
- Regularly check bank balances to stay knowledgeable about spending habits
- Cancel unused subscriptions
- Invest the time to find better deals on things such as insurance, internet, and phone service
Using your talents, knowledge, and skills in satisfying and rewarding work
- Learn new skills aligned with your talents
- Collaborate with coworkers on projects of interest
- Create a plan to meet career goals
If your company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a variety of health and wellness services including many of the above, are often included free of charge to employees. Magellan Healthcare offers an EAP that delivers improved employee wellbeing and engagement, called eMbrace. When users take our Gallup® Wellbeing Survey, their total thriving and wellbeing scores will be calculated across the above six essential areas. These scores shape a personalized plan with services and resources to help individuals thrive in all areas. Click here to learn more and share with your employer today.
You can also take individual action. Start small by incorporating one or two of the activities above into your daily routine and see what works best for you. The more you practice, the more likely these positive wellness activities will become habits that lead to a more vibrant, healthy life.
Jenna Berkwit is a Senior Quality Improvement Manager on Magellan Federal’s Military Family Life Counseling program. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Western Illinois University and has more than 15 years’ experience in quality improvement with the past nine in the healthcare field. She is an ISO 9001 Certified Internal Auditor and an active member in the American Society for Quality (ASQ).