Next Steps in Wellness
As another year comes to a close, what does wellness in 2023 mean to you? This is quite the daunting question. As a fellow reader and person, I want to make time to think about what wellness can look like for me in the next year. For this week’s Monday Mental Health Moment (MMHM), I’m taking a cue from SAMHSA and a part of this resource on how to frame wellness.
First, know that wellness is a broad term and can encompass many different facets of one’s being. Additionally, wellness can look different for each person based on cultural/socioeconomic/gender-specific factors. Balance in wellness is a unique consideration because some facets of wellness carry more value than others. Here’s a way to use the linked resource in the days and weeks to come…
Open the SAMHSA link and choose a facet of wellness to focus on for the month of January. There are 8 types of wellness including emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, financial, social, environmental and spiritual wellness. From that list, choose one that stands out or is curious to you. You can always work on another one in a future month or change course part way in case you learn something new about yourself in real time.
Take stock of what wellness in your chosen area means to you. Take time to journal, draw and talk to your support system about what wellness in your chosen area means to you. Not sure what your chosen area means to you? Review your chosen area of wellness in the link included in this document and see what you want to foster.
Plan/document/practice small and practical steps towards your wellness. Once you have a list that represents what wellness means to you, take stock of how you can foster such with steps that feel approachable and reasonable. This can include noting what you need and who you can seek for encouragement in a given area. After noting and implementing this plan for a few weeks, take stock again and see whether to continue, revise or change the plan based on progress on how working on wellness affects you.
Wellness is a journey - not a destination. As you work on yourself day by day, know that the person who you started as at the beginning of 2022 is different from the person reading this post today. If you implement this resource, talk to your therapist about it next session and see where it goes!
Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.
Thank you for your interest in our Monday Mental Health Moments. Join our mailing list for a weekly newsletter on various mental health topics, and information about upcoming groups or workshops. No spam, we promise!