For more than 60 years the month of May has been recognized as Mental Health Month. This year’s theme is Pathways to Wellness. Wellness is a key focus of the healing process when a person is grieving. Wellness is defined as “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence.”
Because living a “successful existence” means something different to each individual, wellness can be many things, but it generally includes the pursuit of health, defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”2 and working towards achieving one’s full potential.
Here are some great things to know about your own pathway to wellness:
- Wellness – it’s essential to living a full and productive life. It’s about keeping healthy as well as getting healthy.
- Wellness involves a set of skills and strategies that prevent the onset or shorten the duration of illness and promote recovery and well-being. Wellness is more than just the absence of disease.
- Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being. And mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. The fact is our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health.
- Whatever our situation, we are all at risk of stress given the demands of daily life and the challenges it brings-at home, at work and in life. Steps that build and maintain well-being and help us all achieve wellness involve a balanced diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, a sense of self-worth, development of coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends and community.
- These steps should be complemented by taking stock of one’s well-being through regular mental health checkups and screenings. Just as we check our blood pressure and get cancer screenings, it’s a good idea to take periodic reading of our emotional well-being.
- Fully embracing the concept of wellness not only improves health in the mind, body and spirit, but also maximizes one’s potential to lead a full and productive life. Using strategies that promote resiliency and strengthen mental health and prevent mental health and substance use conditions lead to improved general health and a healthier society: greater academic achievement by our children, a more productive economy, and families that stay together.
Learn more about Pathways to Wellness by reading the articles below: