This family wellness guide will help you create routines for healthy living in all areas of wellness for your family.
With our world becoming busier by the day, many families fail to recognize the value and benefit of slowing down to develop a wellness routine. A wellness routine for the fammily is not only desirable, but very necessary. But even for those families who may see the value in having routines around family wellness, the struggle is real. Developing a consistent wellness routine in the midst of a busy family calendar, non-stop schedules, and school activities is not easy.
What you need to remember is that creating goals and healthy wellness routines for the family is not an overnight process. Nor does it have to be a task that feels out of your reach. Building routines to improve family wellness can be a slow, steady process. View it as a set of baby steps that you and your family can take to improve wellness over time and start living a life of better health and happiness.
If you’re not sure how to get started with wellness at home, I’m here to show you how. But first, let’s look at what wellness is in the first place.
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What is Wellness?
Although there are many views on the meaning of the term “wellness,” one common definition is that wellness is “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.” Let’s look at what they’re actually trying to say here.
- Wellness is self-directed.
- Wellness is an evolving process.
- Wellness leads to achieving full potential.
Another definition offered by the National Wellness Institute (NWI) is: Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.
So, both of these definitions have something in common here. You can see that they both emphasize that wellness is a self-directed or autonomous process. They say that it is an evolving process. And both of the definitions also emphasize the end result and this is defined as either achieving full potential or having a more successful existence.
Six Components of Wellness
The NWI also defines six components of wellness which they describe as:
- Physical wellness: diet, exercise, medical care
- Intellectual wellness: problem solving, creativity, learning
- Occupational wellness: personal satisfaction, achievement, ambition
- Social wellness: personal relationships, community, connection with nature
- Emotional wellness: awareness and acceptance of feelings, trust, respect
- Spiritual wellness: meaning and purpose, beliefs, values
These six dimensions of wellness are each equally important. They are distinct areas of our lives that we can control and enhance through our daily behaviors and habits.
Many people equate wellness with diet and exercise. But as you can see, this is only one dimension of wellness that needs our attention. Of course, having a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine are very important for wellness – especially, to prevent chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes – but these are not the only areas to focus on.
So, now you have a better understanding of wellness, you may wonder, “What is Family Wellness?” Let’s look at that now.
What is Family Wellness?
Family wellness can be interpreted in various ways depending on what lens you’re looking through. But in general, it means that a family unit – whether biological or not – is able to work well together in many (or preferably, all) of the wellness areas mentioned above.
According to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “Family wellness means that everyone in the family has healthy mental functioning, productive activities, and fulfilling relationships with one another and people outside the family. It allows everyone in the family to adapt and bond together to help one another through change and difficult times.”
But that’s not all. Wellness within the family also means that a family has a sense of belonging, shared traditions, and regular routines that foster stability and security. These may all sound like elusive goals, but you’re probably already making strides in many of these areas of family wellness within your own home. For instance, ensuring that the family feels a sense of security means that you may be gainfully employed and being responsible with the family budget in order to maintain your household. But there are many less obvious things that families can do together to create an environment of family wellness.
In the next part of this Family Wellness Guide, we’ll look at other simple and effective ways to start building a plan and create healthy routines at home with 12 tips to improve family wellness.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.