The new year is a great time to focus on overall wellness and take steps to improve in all areas of life.

“Each day presents a new opportunity to practice self-care,” says Dr. Geoffrey Hopkins, Univera Healthcare senior medical director for behavioral health. “It all comes down to finding a balance and making a plan.” He outlines seven areas of wellness and steps you can take to set out on your wellness journey.

Geoffrey Hopkins, MD

Physical Wellness

Keep your physical body whole and functioning well. Exercise regularly, whether by joining a gym, taking a fitness class, or going for daily walks. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and try to reduce processed and sugary foods. And get enough sleep by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

Emotional Wellness 

Maintain a positive attitude as much as possible and manage stress. Take time for self-care, whether practicing meditation, reading a book, or simply relaxing in a warm bath. Practice gratitude by writing down three things you’re thankful for each day. Your primary care physician is also important if you’re struggling with emotions.

Social Wellness

Connect with others in a healthy and balanced way. Make an effort to keep in touch with friends and family, whether by phone, text messages, or in-person visits. Connect with others by joining a club or organization that aligns with your interests. Or volunteer your time to a cause that’s important to you.

Intellectual Wellness

Keep learning and thinking from new perspectives. Gain a new skill by taking an online course or signing up for a class. Read a book on a topic that interests you. Engage in activities that challenge your mind, such as puzzles or brain games.

Spiritual Wellness

Connect with your inner self. Consider the practice of mindfulness by setting aside time each day to focus on the present moment. You may want to reflect on your values and beliefs.

Environmental wellness

Be mindful of the environment. Spend time in nature to help boost your physical and mental well-being. Caring for the environment can also be an act of self-care, such as recycling or composting to reduce waste.

Occupational wellness

Value your work contributions and strive for a healthy work-life balance. Set career goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Seek opportunities for professional development, take a course or attend a conference. Increase job satisfaction by finding more meaning in your work or making connections with coworkers.

“The journey to well-being is ongoing and each of us follows a unique course,” says Hopkins. “Strive for progress, not perfection.”

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