What is wellness?
Wellness considers the link between physical, occupational, emotional, spiritual, and social elements within our lives. It helps us look at our health from a holistic view. Everyone approaches wellness differently, and wellness is influenced by our environments, activities, routines, and state of mind. Incorporating wellness into our lives requires us to be aware of ourselves and what benefits our own physical and mental wellbeing.
When wellness is present in our lives, it can increase our happiness and improve mental health. Within cancer recovery, there can be a large focus on the physical side which means sometimes there are parts of a person that are forgotten. By focusing on wellness within recovery, a holistic view of a person can occur which supports both physical and mental health.
Below are different responses from people in cancer recovery about their views on wellness.
“I just keep coming back to healthy state of mind and healthy body”
“Wellness is making all efforts to surround yourself with information and persons, medical and allied health, to enable you to function to the best of your ability”
“If I can be well enough to be able to work, I’m going to work. If I can work, I’m happy”
Participants in Nixon et al (2021) study.
5 Elements of Wellness
Each of these elements contribute to achieving wellness in our everyday lives. Personal preference is used to prioritise what elements we want to engage with, and everyone’s wellness journey is unique to their needs.
(Nixon et al 2021) (Grassi et al 2017) (Stoewen 2017)
Barriers to achieving wellness
These are some examples of challenges people face when trying to achieve wellness.
- Feeling unwell or fatigued
- Lack of physical and financial accessibility to wellness activities
- Loss of motivation to participate in activities
- Uncertainty around what wellness activities are enjoyable for them
- Feeling overwhelmed to start something new
Below are some tips on how to overcome these barriers
Starting your wellness journey
Start small. Understand what you want and what is achievable for you.
Be self-aware, having knowledge of your strengths, challenges, what is meaningful to you and your health can help establish what your wellness journey encompasses.
Ask for help, it can be valuable to ask a friend, family member or health care professional to support you to decide and initiate engagement in an activity that you feel will contribute positively to your wellbeing.
Create habits, incorporating wellness into your lifestyle can be dynamic, but having established habits that work towards wellness allows you to maintain consistent practices in everyday life.
Use strategies that help you achieve participation in activities, such as understanding when you might need to slow down or have the capacity to speed up. This may involve scheduling a routine, which can create accountability for yourself and act as a reminder to what you are working towards.
How can The Christina Ghobadi Foundation support your wellness journey?
The Christina Ghobadi Foundation recognises the importance of wellness as a positive driver within cancer recovery. We aim to support you within your cancer recovery to have access to activities that contribute positively to your wellness journey. The grants provided at the foundation can support you to begin your journey of wellness through improving access to activities that have meaning and value to you.
Below are some words previous grant applicants have used to describe their wellness experiences.
You are in control of your wellness journey; the hardest part sometimes is just starting.
If you or someone you know is eligible for a wellness grant, please fill out a grant application through the link below or head to the receive a grant tab on our website.
Baxter, M. F., Newman, R., Longpré, S. M, & Polo, K. M., (2017). Occupational Therapy’s Role in Cancer Survivorship as a Chronic Condition. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(3), 7103090010P1–7103090010P7. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.713001
Buckland, N., & Mackenzie, L., (2017). Exploring the role of occupational therapy in caring for cancer survivors in Australia: A cross sectional study. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal., 64(5), 358–368. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1630.12386
Fatemeh A, & Mahmood S K. (2015). Mindfulness-based intervention in relation to wellness, emotional wellbeing, and quality of life in breast cancer patients. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 6(7), 700. Retrieved from http://ez.library.latrobe.edu.au/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ez.library.latrobe.edu.au/scholarly-journals/mindfulness-based-intervention-relation-wellness/docview/1718295994/se-2?accountid=12001
Grassi, L., Spiegel, D., & Riba, M. (2017). Advancing psychosocial care in cancer patients. F1000Research, 6, 2083. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11902.1
Queensland Health (2020). Building a daily routine. Retrieved from https://mentalwellbeing.initiatives.qld.gov.au/coronavirus-support/building-a-daily-routine
Nixon, J., Chan, R., McKinnell, E., Ward, E., Pinkham, E., Wishart, L., Miller, E., & Brown, Bena. (2021). Rethinking the Meaning of “Wellness” for a Person with Cancer: A Qualitative Study to Explore What Elements Constitute “Wellness” Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing, 8(4), 360–368. https://doi.org/10.4103/apjon.apjon-212
Stoewen D. L. (2017). Dimensions of wellness: Change your habits, change your life. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne, 58(8), 861–862.
Word Art (2021) Word it out. https://worditout.com/word-cloud/4775422
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