Many parts of the eight dimensions of wellness impact one another. With these elements interacting and affecting each other, it can sometimes be difficult to separate those elements. However, that may not be such a bad thing.
When you select an activity that engages and utilizes several different wellness dimensions, it will stimulate your residents more than if the activity was solely focused on one dimension. Finding a few activities that cover all dimensions of wellness is a sure-fire (and easy) way of maintaining overall healthy well-being for your residents and staff.
Here are a few wellness activities that combine different dimensions into one activity:
Begin your journey to better health from the inside out by making self-compassion practices a part of your daily routine. Every day, write down a few things you like about yourself, such as "I like that I complimented someone" or "I like that I held the door open for that person." This exercise can improve your feeling of self-worth and lead to greater overall well-being. You can also make a list of things you would like to learn to love about yourself to create a more loving and accepting environment for yourself.
Participating in a creative process has full-body benefits, including enhanced connectivity to the brain and improved cognitive ability. Whether it be drawing, dancing, or signing, any creative activity that makes you happy and feels productive can benefit your health. Dancing can also double as a physical activity that relieves anxiety and lowers the risk of dementia in seniors who regularly dance. Organize groups to do arts and crafts, outdoor painting sessions, or dance classes to enhance the social aspect.
Challenge yourself to eight (8) hours of sleep
Replace your physical challenge with a sleep challenge to help support your mental health. Getting a good night's sleep is an essential time for the brain to repair and grow. Consistently poor sleep can cause various health problems including, trouble with memory and an increased risk of developing heart disease. This exercise can be done in groups or with a partner, but at least one person should be included to help you keep on track with your goal. Collect your sleep data with your partner to see what you can do to improve your sleep. Check out these tips on how to get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Relaxation techniques to manage stress
Breathing exercises and breath focus can help your mind gently disengage from negative or distracting thoughts and help you positively focus on your body. Progressive muscle relaxation or a body scan can also allow you to focus on your body and gradually release any physical tension you are carrying, increasing your awareness of the mind-body connection. This exercise can help you stay mindful of your body and the stress it holds.
Repetitive prayer is another approach for more spiritual people to connect with their spirituality while also managing stress. Practice this exercise by focusing on your breathing while repeating a short prayer.
Give back to your community
Community gardens are an excellent method for older adults to engage in physical, social, and mental activity. Gardening has been shown to promote mental health by raising self-esteem and lowering anger and anxiety, and gardening in a group only adds to those benefits. Community gardens also help improve soil and air quality and increase plant and animal biodiversity. If your community does not have a communal garden, consider creating one to have access to the many benefits.
Hold a financial wellness seminar
With a financial wellness seminar, you can stimulate your residents' intellectual and financial well-being demands. Teach seniors computer and financial literacy to help them understand the risks they face, such as identity theft, fraud, and scams. Keep your residents secure and independent by showing seniors how to navigate the internet and their finances safely.
Hold an outdoor spirituality circle/ prayer time
Select a quiet space in or around your community to gather residents for a calming spiritual cleansing time. Allow your residents to interact with others in meaningful ways. Offer separate times for designated religions to practice or have prayer time.
Shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," is a Japanese therapeutic practice that has become a global trend, with some general practitioners using it to treat depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. The mental and physical benefits of taking a walk or simply being among the trees and connecting with nature are endless, and you could enjoy these benefits in only 30 minutes every (or every other) day.
If you are unable to get outside to walk amid the trees, consider bringing the forest to you. Putting plants in your home can mimic the calming effects of being outside that decreases stress while also purifying the air you breathe.
Explore the healing effects of scent
Your sense of smell has more power over you than you may think. Exploring the benefits of aromatherapy, especially in residents with dementia or Alzheimers, can be an advantageous treatment option. This sensory therapy combines scents that a person may have smelled in the past and uses it to trigger long-forgotten memories. This can take people with neurological disorders back in time and give them a chance to clear their minds. Scent also has a general healing component that can help people that suffer from pain or anxiety and improve their sleep.
Consider also incorporating this practice into spirituality circles or relaxation techniques to give them a more calming effect.
These activities can benefit any who participate. Be sure to open these opportunities to staff as well, so they can join in on the wellness journey.
Wellzesta was built around the desire to provide residents and staff with holistic wellness and give them every opportunity to focus on themselves. Through Wellzesta’s Life and Elevate platforms, residents and staff are able to do just that.
Content is posted daily on Life and Elevate centered around each dimension of wellness. If a resident or staff member wants to focus on a specific wellness dimension, they can filter out and only receive content related to that dimension.
Life also helps communities make it easy to post wellness events and activities, as well as easy sign-on for residents.