Wellbeing can be quite a broad term and is something that most of us seek throughout our lives. Wellbeing includes many things such as the experience of health, happiness, contentment and being purposeful.
The Māori model of health, Te Whare Tapa Whā, incorporates the four cornerstones of health. When one of these cornerstones becomes unbalanced, we can become unwell. These dimensions are taha tinana (physical), taha wairua (spiritual), taha whānau (family) and taha hinengaro (mental).
There are several ways in which we can achieve wellbeing. These include:
This involves being good and kind to yourself, taking a break and stepping back in order to replenish resources and centre yourself. We can practise self-care in sensory, emotional, spiritual, physical and social ways.
Sensory – calming the mind:
Emotional – remembering that it is healthy to experience a range of emotions – accept, acknowledge and move forward:
Spiritual – getting in touch with your values and what matters to you (this does not need to be religious based):
Physical – this is a vital aspect of your body’s wellbeing – let off some steam:
Social – maintaining connection:
Exercise has been found to reduce stress, improve mood, boost our energy levels and promote better quality sleep. However often you wish to exercise is up to the individual and what is manageable, but recommended guidelines suggest 20-30 minutes 5 days per week.
Examples of some good ways to get active are to go for a walk, run, do yoga, or pilates, do some strength training, participate in sports, or jump on your bike and go for a ride.
The environment in which we work and live greatly impacts our overall wellbeing. It can influence our moods, behaviours, motivations or our stress levels.
Ways we can improve our surroundings include:
Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water has been shown to improve our energy levels, improve sleep quality, improve our overall health and lessen our chances of other health risks. It is recommended that adults should eat a variety of foods every day from all four of the food groups. These are:
We should also make sure that we consume regular fluid throughout the day so we remain hydrated. It is recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day for adults.
Getting a good, quality sleep helps us prepare for the day ahead and it is important for good health and wellbeing. Quality sleep helps to support healthy brain function and maintain physical health. On average adults should aim to be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Ways we can improve this include:
Healthy relationships are a vital component to our wellbeing. Having meaningful relationships can provide us with a sense of security and self-esteem and be a good buffer in the reduction of stress. Relationships can also be crucial when the sense of loneliness comes creeping in.
We can maintain relationships in many ways such as: