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What are the Four Pillars of Wellness?

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What are the Four Pillars of Wellness?

  • Mental Health

The last few years have been quite the doozy for most, if not all, of us. We’ve navigated a global pandemic, foreign wars abroad, political chaos, airline nightmares, and more. The silver lining to all of these challenges is that pillars of wellness and well-being have been pushed quite aggressively to the forefront because, it turns out, the way we care for ourselves is, in fact, everything. 

We are no good to the world or our loved ones if we are not resting, recharging, and practicing healthy habits. This article will explore the four pillars of wellness, how they all connect, and, most importantly, how we at Advanced Behavioral Health can serve you in your wellness journey.

Here are the 4 Pillars of Wellness

Exercise: We know, we know – you’ve heard this one countless times before. But there is no way around it; a body in motion stays in motion, and a body that stays in motion is a happier body. But here is a critical thing to remember: exercise doesn’t have to be torture. So you know what we’re gonna do? We’ll retire the word exercise as it has so many negative connotations, and we’ll relabel it as movement. Because at its core, that’s what makes exercise so very crucial when practicing wellness – moving.

What are the different ways you can MOVE your body?

  • Dancing: If you were taught to believe that working out must always be intense, we’re here to tell you that it can actually be enjoyable and, dare I say, FUN. Put in your AirPods, turn on your favorite music, turn off the lights, and have a good time. Within 60 seconds, your energy will be elevated, endorphins will be flowing, and you’ll be letting your body move your soul. We 10/10 recommend trying this.
  • Walking: Another low intense workout option is walking! Try going for a walk around your neighborhood or a local park for 20-30 minutes. Bring your headphones and listen to a podcast if movement scares you a little. The key is to make it enjoyable, and having the distraction of an exciting or uplifting podcast can do just that!
  • Hiking: Ask a friend to join you this weekend for a hike. Being out in nature is one of the fastest ways to disconnect from the world’s noise and reconnect with nature.
  • Restorative or gentle yoga: An excellent option for movement! It stretches the body, helps build long, lean muscles, and calms the nervous system. And you can find tons of free videos of yoga workouts on YouTube and practice right there in your own home! No hefty price tag.  
  • HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training can be a great way to move if you are looking for intense movement. You build up a sweat, push your body past its limits, and get those endorphins moving! It’s amazing how happy you feel afterward.
  • Climbing: Going to a climbing gym or learning to climb outside is another unique way to try movement. You don’t realize how great a workout it is until you go! Check out your local climbing gyms or Groupon for special deals. The critical thing to remember is that movement doesn’t have to be torture. You’re much more likely to stick to a new habit of moving if you enjoy it; trust us!

Good Nutrition: Again, you’ve heard this before, but practicing proper nutrition is huge when wanting to live a more balanced lifestyle.

  • Drink your water during the day (starting first thing in the morning!). Check how much water you should be drinking online, as it varies depending on gender, weight, how often you work out, and other factors.
  • Have a balanced diet. A consistent, whole-food, plant-based diet tends to be the best way to go, but consult a medical professional for best practices for your body.
  • It’s OK to treat yourself now and then; feeling guilty for having a cookie or ice cream is arguably worse for you as your emotions and thoughts affect your well-being, so don’t be so hard on yourself—just practice moderation.

Relaxation: Are you prioritizing rest and relaxation? We live in a culture that is always on the go and worships productivity, so often, we feel like we can’t rest and recharge because we have so much on our plates. But remember, you do not keep the world spinning, and you must relax to feel healthier.

  • Take baths or long showers.
  • Watch your favorite show or movie.
  • Read a good book just for fun.
  • Draw/color/write.
  • Go for a long slow walk to clear your head.
  • Spend time with people you love who positively influence your well-being.
  • Snuggle with your partner.
  • Take a nap! We give you permission.
  • Give yourself grace again and again and again!

Sleep: And lastly, we have sleep. Sleep is the single most important habit you can master for your well-being. If sleep is difficult for you, try these tips (you have to actually try and stick with them to see results)!

  • Step away from electronics 30 minutes – 1 hour before bed (seriously, put the phone down)!
  • Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it.
  • Create a little routine that you enjoy to make it fun – skincare routine, shower, meditation – whatever! Just play around and see what feels good.
  • Try deep breathing exercises to calm the nervous system.
  • Do some light stretching to care for the body
  • Do not watch tv, eat, or do work in your bedroom. If you live in a smaller space, do your best to create physical boundaries between your bed and other spaces.
  • Consider taking a supplement. Many women are deficient in magnesium, and magnesium glycinate can help relax you before bed (remember, brands are important, so do your research).
  • Notice if your brain is negative about sleep. “I am never going to fall asleep” is a common thought, so if you find yourself thinking this way, take a moment to pause and then choose again. “I am doing everything in my power to relax and fall asleep. I’ve got this. It will just take some time” can be a great perspective to adopt.

Contact Us Today

Like any new habit, pillars of wellness take practice, commitment, and time. Don’t expect to try these tips once and then never again. Keep showing up for yourself and your health over and over again, and watch how your life changes.

If you need a helping hand, reach out to one of our experts at ABH by calling 301-345-1022 or visiting us here. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you on your wellness journey. Be well.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.

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