Wellness is a difficult word to define. Traditionally wellness has meant the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently wellness has come to describe something that you have personal control over. Wellness is now a word used to describe living the best possible life you can regardless of whether you have a disease or disability. Your wellness is not only related to your physical health, but is a combination of things including spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Wellness is seen as a combination of mind, body and spirit. Different people may have different ideas about wellness. There is no single set standard for wellness and wellness is a difficult thing to quantify.
1 AnswerWhile you’re young, you can avoid chronic problems years down the road. Adopting a healthy lifestyle as early as possible includes healthy eating, regular exercise and preventive physicals. It’s important to stay ahead of the game with preventive physical exams and health screenings, depending on your age group.
1 AnswerWorkplaces are starting to understand the negative impact of sitting for too long on workers’ health and are making some changes. For example, some companies are:
- Incorporating stand-up desks
- Expanding areas for walking or exercising
- Allowing more breaks from sitting at workstations
- Consulting ergonomics experts to help employees sit at their computers properly
1 AnswerYou can develop disabilities from sitting disease (sitting too much) because you’re not moving muscles and joints and there is less blood flow. Less blood flow negatively affects blood pressure, cholesterol and your overall heart health. Sitting for too long also increases insulin resistance and increases the possibility of diabetes. There is also a greater probability of chronic neck and back pain from too much sitting.
1 AnswerHere are the primary factors in preparing for aging while young:
- Exercise: Countless studies remind the public of the benefits of regular exercise for overall health and stress management.
- Eating healthy: Nutritional experts recommend a balanced diet containing the proper portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein sources.
- Regular checkups: Regular physical exams and blood tests are very important in detecting early risk factors for heart disease and other conditions.
- Stress management: Many studies have found that stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma.
- Don’t smoke: Avoiding habits that are detrimental to your health may be an obvious factor, but many young people are still opting to smoke cigarettes despite decades of studies linking chemicals in tobacco products to various cancers and heart disease.
1 AnswerMuch of the responsibility for motivating young people to think about their long-term health is falling on employers across the nation. More companies are actively encouraging employees to get annual physicals, sometimes even offering basic lab services and health insurance rebates as incentives. Companies understand that if they keep their employees healthy in the long term, they can save both lives and money.
1 AnswerTypically, young adults don’t think much about aging and its potential link to chronic health problems. Attending college, launching careers and starting families are often priorities for the 20- and 30-something crowd. But preparing for aging? That’s a tough order.
But good health should be a way of life from the earliest stage of adulthood. The prescription for your senior years: If you want to age well, you need to start now. That’s the prevailing wellness and prevention theme that a growing number of family doctors, internists and primary care doctors are telling young people.
1 AnswerGetting information by breaking through bureaucratic logjams can be daunting. There often doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the rules that have been established. When one approach doesn’t work, try another. Be creative. Turn an idea on its head and try looking at it from another direction.
Remember, you don’t have to find everything out yourself -- divide and conquer is a time-honored approach. Put the word out that you are looking for information or need help navigating the social service system. Ask a friend, colleague, or relative to lend you a hand, especially in a time of crisis. You’ll be giving those who want to help a straightforward task they can sink their teeth into.
1 AnswerThere are many ways to coax a person on the other end of the telephone line into helping you if you need specific information. Here are a few of them:
- Be aware of the pitch of your voice. Try to make it lower. A voice in a high register apparently can be disturbing to many people.
- Be modest. Tell the person on the other end of the line that you’re an amateur and that you hope they can give you some guidance. Enlist sympathy and, thereby, help.
- If you’re calling someone you think you’ll need to call again, try to establish a relationship. Find out the person’s name and some personal information if at all possible.
- Avoid “yes” or “no” questions. They don’t open people up. Always leave people room for suggesting possibilities.
- Be empathetic. Say, “I realize it is late in the day and you must be tired, but I really need your help.” Make the person feel like your mentor.
- Compliment helpfulness, even if you didn’t quite get what you needed. The next time you call, people will be more likely to go out of their way to help you.
- If the person you want isn’t in, rather than just leaving a call back number, find out when he or she is expected. This shows you want to make things easier -- and you might be surprised to learn the person just left for a two-week vacation. If you hadn’t asked, the information might not have been offered. If you are transferred to voice mail, leave a short but specific message. It can eliminate the game of telephone tag.
- Be polite, but don’t allow yourself to be brushed off. You have a right to information, especially from public agencies. If you’ve really tried to get help but are constantly meeting roadblocks, ask to speak to a supervisor.
- Always get the name of the person to whom you are speaking. It’s helpful when you get conflicting information and you can say, “So-and-so in the department of such-and-such said…” Knowing the person’s name also shows you really listened and puts you in control.
1 AnswerIf you need specific information, before you pick up the phone, review written materials first, if at all possible. Underline key points or names and phone numbers of people and organizations you think you’ll want to call.
For each encounter, make a list of the questions you want to ask. Write them down. Be clear about what information you need. If you can’t explain what you want, how can someone else tell you where to find it?
Establish a system for yourself. For example, a check mark can mean you got through to the person, a minus can mean you are waiting for a call back, and a star can mean you actually resolved your problem.
Have a notebook or other organizer in which to record your information. Don’t put it on little scraps of paper that can easily get lost. Try creating columns or headings at the top of the page: one for the name of the person, another for the name of the agency or company, another for the phone number, etc.
“Psych” yourself up to make the calls.
Do a little role-playing first if it will help calm your jitters and put you in the right mood. Are you a morning person? If so, make your calls then. Know when you’re at your best and most alert. There’s no point in just getting started when you are already tired.