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If you had asked me last year my definition of wellness, I would have said eating right, exercising and lowering my risk of getting sick. However, wellness has many aspects and is connected to more than just those three areas. This last year has taught me how important some of those other areas are to my health and well-being.

The Ohio State University uses an integrative approach to wellness that promotes nine dimensions of well-being. Their student wellness center identifies each of the areas and gives a description.

wellness wheelEmotional Wellness
The emotionally well person can identify, express and manage the entire range of feelings and would consider seeking assistance to address areas of concern.

Career Wellness
The professionally well person engages in work to gain personal satisfaction and enrichment, consistent with values, goals and lifestyle.

Social Wellness
The socially well person has a network of support based on interdependence, mutual trust, respect and has developed a sensitivity and awareness towards the feelings of others.

Spiritual Wellness
The spiritually well person seeks harmony and balance by openly exploring the depth of human purpose, meaning and connection through dialogue and self-reflection.

Physical Wellness
The physically well person gets an adequate amount of sleep, eats a balanced and nutritious diet, engages in exercise for 150 minutes per week, attends regular medical check-ups and practices safe and healthy sexual relations.

Financial Wellness
The financially well person is fully aware of financial state and budgets, saves and manages finances in order to achieve realistic goals.

Intellectual Wellness
The intellectually well person values lifelong learning and seeks to foster critical thinking, develop moral reasoning, expand worldviews and engage in education for the pursuit of knowledge.

Creative Wellness
The creatively well person values and actively participates in a diverse range of arts and cultural experiences as a means to understand and appreciate the surrounding world.

Environmental Wellness
The environmentally well person recognizes the responsibility to preserve, protect and improve the environment and appreciates the interconnectedness of nature and the individual.

I like to think of these nine dimensions in relation to a wheel. When each area is full and evenly distributed around the wheel, it runs smoothly and is strong. However, if areas are missing or less than full then we have a weak, bumpy rolling wheel. Completing a self-assessment shows areas that are thriving and other areas that need greater attention. In examining your own well-being, where could you use some improvements? I encourage you to use that information and set a wellness goal for the next month. Make it something that won’t be too hard to accomplish. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator or add one more glass of water to your daily beverage intake. This makes it easier to create a plan towards a healthier well-balanced you.

 

Mazurek Melnyk, B., & Neale, S. (2018). Wellness 101: 9 dimensions of wellness. American Nurse Today13(1), 10–11.

The Ohio State University Office Of Student Life. (2018). Nine Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved from https://swc.osu.edu/about-us/nine-dimensions-of-wellness/

 

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness. Ohio State University Extension,  remley.4@osu.edu

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Do you plan on getting your spending under control in 2016? We know we should accounting-761599__180set a budget, cut back on expenses, and monitor purchases, but somehow it doesn’t work. We try and yet we tend to fail.

What causes us to overspend even when we know what we should do? Researchers are finding answers which lie in psychological impulses and blind spots that are tough to recognize and overcome in our day-to-day lives. Here are some blind spots:

  •  We all know we need a certain amount in savings. Do you manage to save a certain amount each month? One survey found 68% of the people saidrestaurant-727992__180 Dining Out kept them from saving each month. Clothes/shopping was the answer for 37% with Entertainment for 35%. Hobbies 29% and Travel 24% also made a difference.
  • Don’t shop when you are hungry, even for other purchases besides food. Research shows we spend more when we are hungry, even if it isn’t food.
  • Some people view “willpower” as limited and will reward themselves with unhealthy items like junk food, procrastination and overspending. Better ways to reward ourselves would be to engage in sports, go work out at the gym, meditate, or take a nature walk. Avoid being put in tempting situations if rewarding yourself is common after a stressful event. Don’t go shopping after a bad day; instead, go to the gym.
  • Unhappy people tend to save less and spend more, focusing on the short-term. Whereas, happy people tend to be more future oriented and pursue goals saving more and spending less now. They believe they will benefit from cheaper prices in the future. Thus, wait until you are in a good mood to make financial decisions.
  • We are really good about forecasting future income but not realistic on future expenses calarge-home-389271__180using us to set uncontrolled budgets. We think about income growth but don’t think about rising expenses, so we end up thinking we can afford the more expensive house or car when we can’t. We know expenses will go up, but we ignore those expenses when making the decision.
  • Many people have a financial blind spot when it comes to their home. The more the house is worth the more people think they have extra money to spend. Of course, the more their house is worth the more money they can borrow against it. However, until they sell the house they don’t have that actual wealth. It is recommended we view our homes as a place to live and not as an investment or financial asset. It is dangerous to max out the home-equity line of credit.

Being aware of what makes us less financial savvy can help us. Now, we just need to follow the advice. What changes are you going to make?

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Nutrition and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Goldsmith, B. (2012). 7 Tips About Money and Emotions, Psychology Today.com, Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201209/7-tips-about-money-and-emotions

Wells, C. (2015). The Hidden Reasons People Spend Too Much, Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2015 Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-hidden-reasons-people-spend-too-much-1446433200

Wells, C. and Rivero, T. (2015). The Hidden Reasons People Spend Too Much, Wall Street Journal Video, November 2, 2015 Available at: http://www.wsj.com/video/the-hidden-reasons-people-spend-too-much/982B7006-8CBA-424D-980F-19F1D5DB2627.html and also available at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBwVKroQTY

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