If you are familiar with Gannon University Wellness, you know there are seven zones of wellness – physical, spiritual, emotional, environmental, intellectual, social and occupational.
Did you know neglecting one aspect of your wellness can have great impact on the aspects you choose to focus on?
Here is a scenario to consider – your best friend whom you have known all your life moves to another country. If you do not pay attention to your emotional wellness and work on staying happy in spite of your friend moving, other areas of your life will begin to be affected.
Assuming you used to wake up at 5 a.m. every day to go to the gym with your best friend, you might not feel like doing that anymore. You might begin to eat unhealthy foods to fill up that emptiness you are feeling and you might start skipping classes because you just don’t feel like getting up in the morning to walk alone.
You might also stop going to social events because you can’t find anyone else to go with. All dimensions of wellness are connected and you need to focus on all the dimensions to live a fulfilling life.
Different health professions treat different aspects of a person – the doctor treats your physical wellness and the psychologist treats your emotional wellness.
However, one health profession that treats every area of life is occupational therapy. At the wellness fair this year, occupational therapy (OT) vendors were in all wellness zones.
According to Amy Brzuz, the head of the OT department, this is because OT is a very holistic profession. Brzuz said, “We just don’t focus on someone’s broken leg or the fact that someone has a mental problem. We look at everything. So, when evaluating a person, we are evaluating the whole person. We ask questions like – how are you feeling today? Do you ever get sad? Do you have any pain? We assess their strength and range of emotions. We look at how they are able to do their daily activities. Your occupation is living. So, occupational therapy fits well in all the dimensions of wellness.”
Brzuz, who holds a doctorate in occupational therapy, gave the example that if a person gets a broken hip, the person is unable to do the things he or she usually does such as using the shower, getting dressed, visiting the library, gardening, going to church and so on.
Just one problem has a huge impact on every activity in the person’s life. Occupational therapists work with people through every aspect of their life to help them get back to performing their daily activities such as teaching them how to use an online library and how to use public transport since they are no longer able to drive as a result of the broken hip. In Dr. Brzuz’ words, “We can’t fix a broken bone, but we can teach them how to live and do things despite the broken bones.”
The seven dimensions that continually influence and balance each other, creating wellness.
Each dimension forms a piece of a lifestyle pie; without one piece, there is a void, a missing link that imbalances the remainder of the dimensions. If one’s life is not focused on all seven dimensions, there will be disharmony among the rest and life will be more demanding and unstable.
So, keep in mind that you need to take care of yourself completely and Gannon University Wellness cares about you.