The words health and wellness get thrown around a lot these days, but what do these words truly entail? Health and wellness use the connections between mental, physical, environmental, nutritional, vocational, and financial components for a holistic treatment of self.
Every day we make an array of choices. Some of these choices may seem minute and momentary, such as taking a break from screens between classes, going for a walk, and drinking water, but these actions can have lasting effects on your overall well-being and on your ability to learn and teach. As an educator, it is vital to prioritize health and wellness, both to set a good example for students and to allow you to perform your job to the best of your ability.
Incorporating health and wellness practices in your daily life can help keep you present when teaching and be aware of the social-emotional needs of your students. The environment you live in, work in, or study in can affect your focus, which can in turn affect your productivity and performance. The give-and-take of each component of health and wellness can either work together to boost self-esteem, provide energy for accomplishing tasks, and elevate your mood, or it can grate on each other, making the positive elements more difficult to achieve.
Teaching kids to incorporate health and wellness practices can support them by fulfilling their social-emotional needs, encouraging creative expression, and validating mental health realities. Mindfulness with health can not only make students feel better physically and valued mentally, but it can make them better helpers, friends, and students.
To teach health and wellness, it is important to focus on the concept of mindfulness. Just like everyone learns differently, everyone achieves and feels energized and refreshed in various ways, meaning that it is vital to encourage making choices that are personally supportive rather than statistically helpful. Sprinkling in socializing as needed can also benefit two components of a person’s health at once. For example, walking with a group can help you mentally by connecting you with others. Still more examples include taking a break from due dates and projects so you have a fresh perspective when returning, and elevating your mood with natural light as well as incorporating exercise into your day to help you stay physically active. Health and wellness should be engaging and beneficial, not a chore. Encourage students to find ways to make it so.
We will continue to explore an array of choices proven to help promote health and wellness through a series of blog posts. I hope they help you find choices that fulfill your sense of self and help you maintain deadlines, stay organized, and succeed with assignments and encourage the same for those around you.