I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Illinois Counseling Association’s Conference last week. The entire conference was dedicated to wellness. I was thrilled. On Thursday there was an all day preconference that was lead my Jane E. Myers and Thomas J. Sweeney. I was working the table so I could not hear everything but the bits and pieces I did hear were great. Also Jane was the keynote speaker on Friday. I loved what was being share so much that I bought their book!
The one thing that really struck me was the definition of wellness that was used for a good portion of the conference. It states…”Wellness refers to a holistic approach in which mind, body, and spirit are integrated. It is a way of life oriented toward optimal health and well-being in which body, mind, and spirit are integrated in a purposeful manner with a goal of living life more fully (Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000). Wellness is more than the absence of disease, a state defined as “health,” and incorporates a concern for optimal functioning.”
That last part says it all for me…more than absence from disease. Too many people think they are well because they do not have a disease or are not sick. There is so much more involved. Are you sleeping well? Do you have energy to accomplish your daily tasks and more? Do you have a sense of hope? Do you have meaningful relationships? Are you eating foods you love that are loving you back? Do you have a healthy exercise routine? Are you able to manage your stress so that it does not spike too high?
All these aspects combine together to create wellness. It takes a conscious effort to achieve wellness but the benefits are great.