Welcome to part one of “The Whole Picture,” our new blog series on wellness! In this series, we’ll dive into the many dimensions of a holistic approach to health, with simple habits and tips from our Mayflower team to help you feel – and live – better.

For many years, the prevailing wisdom on health was simple: Eat right, sleep right, and get plenty of exercise. But as researchers increasingly agree, that traditional approach doesn’t give us the whole picture.

In recent decades, many physicians and healthcare advocates have promoted a new concept of wellness, not as the absence of illness, but as the opposite of illness. Under this model, we can recast our definition of well-being as a state of “health and flourishing” characterized by fulfillment and growth.

“When you only look at the physical human body, you’re seeing one small component of what makes up our well-being,” says Sarah Burke, Wellness Coordinator at The Mayflower. “You’re missing out on so many other aspects that make us healthy and whole and well – from our relationships with friends to the way we express our emotions and engage our minds.”

Likewise, the traits associated with feeling “well” – such as confidence, curiosity, and enthusiasm for change – can also contribute to overall quality of life, often in surprising ways. For example, close friendships are associated with better immunity and longevity. Mindfulness and journaling support sound sleep and healthier eating habits. And regular exercise contributes not only to good physical health, but to keeping your mind and memory sharp.

Since The Mayflower first opened its doors, we’ve always promoted a holistic approach to preventive healthcare that comprises not only diet and exercise, but also factors like social connections, community involvement, and intellectual growth. When Sarah joined the team in 2014, she helped build on that foundation by introducing the Eight Dimensions of Wellness philosophy, created by mental health pioneer Dr. Peggy Swarbrick.

Inspired by the Eight Dimensions model, The Mayflower focuses on eight key factors that promote health and happiness throughout life:

  • Physical wellness: active living and quality healthcare.
  • Nutritional wellness: a fresh, balanced, and varied diet.
  • Cognitive wellness: learning new knowledge and skills.
  • Occupational wellness: applying and sharing one’s talents.
  • Emotional wellness: mindfulness, awareness, and inner peace.
  • Spiritual wellness: a sense of purpose and personal meaning.
  • Social wellness: forging new friendships and strong relationships.
  • Environmental wellness: giving back to nature and the community.

“It’s when we have a connection to all the different dimensions of well-being that we can truly be whole and happy,” says Sarah. “I love seeing how our residents benefit from that philosophy every single day, whether they’re at a fitness class with me or out trying something new.”

Stay tuned for future articles in The Whole Picture series, where we’ll go in-depth with each of the “dimensions of wellness” – or find out today how The Mayflower’s vibrant lifestyle can refresh your outlook, expand your options, and ensure peace of mind for the years ahead.

To request more information or schedule your personal tour, send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620. We look forward to hearing from you!