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Q Health

Take PRIDE in your health

There are many different connotations of the word healthy; what it means to be healthy, how to get healthy, what healthy looks like, etc. With June being PRIDE month, you should consider what it means to take PRIDE in your personal health.

This will look different for each individual so there are some key things to consider when thinking about your health. Let’s look at seven dimensions that create a sense of wellness.

  1. Emotional — Depending on how you are feeling emotionally can determine how you handle certain situations and responsibilities. To be emotionally healthy means to balance sharing your feelings in a productive manner and using coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges. Some ways to help you become more emotionally healthy are to get enough sleep, reduce stress, see a therapist, etc.
  2. Financial — Many people think financial health is something that they cannot consciously influence or change. If that is true there are still many options you have to become financially healthy. Some of those ways include living within your financial means, creating and following a budget and become a wise consumer.
  3. Spiritual — To be spiritually healthy does not mean that you identify with or belong to any given religion. Spirituality is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence. Leading you to strive for a state of harmony with yourself and others, while working to balance inner needs and being open to different cultures, religions and spiritual philosophies. Embark on your own spiritual journey to find out what gives you meaning and purpose. It will be a rewarding process and you may be surprised just how it will benefit your overall wellness.
  4. Intellectual — This is associated with opening your mind to new ideas and experiences that you can apply to personal decisions. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to your intellectual wellness. Join a club, be aware of current social and political issues, read books and journals, engage in satisfying conversation, etc.
  5. Environmental — This refers to your global environment, which includes your personal environment as well. Occupational health is an important component of this, meaning you enjoy your work in all aspects (duties, staff, culture, finance). This also refers to your individual impact on your surroundings; the ability to recognize your own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds you, the ability to make a positive impact on the quality of your environment, be it your home, your community or your planet.
  6. Social — The ability to relate to and connect with other people in the world while being comfortable with and liking yourself as a person. You have the ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Additionally these relationships can aid in the development of healthy bonding and boundary development.
  7. Physical — This is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows you to get through your daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that your behaviors have a significant impact on your wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.). The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination and a sense of direction. Sexual health is also included in this dimension. The sexually healthy beings accept their sexual orientation, engage in sexual relationships consistent with their values and development, and refrain from using sex to manipulate or influence others. In addition, they minimize unwanted consequences through communication and protection.

In order to have PRIDE in your health, a combination of the aforementioned dimensions of wellness must be adopted. Search ‘wellness wheel’ for more resources, information and an in-depth look at these dimensions.

About the author

Peter Stoker

C. Peter STOKER, MPH, CHES, is a community health education coordinator, HIV outreach educator, epidemiologist for Salt Lake County Health Department. Information in these articles is gathered from multiple sources and are a reflection of the author’s opinion only.

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