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Personal prescription: self-assessment and ways to improve my current health and wellness

Terry Ganda

Personal prescription: self -assessment and ways to improve my current health and wellness.

What is wellness? What is the difference between health and wellness? Health refers

simply a physical body being free from diseases. Rene Dubos (1968) proposed wellness as a

broader definition of health. He argues that wellness is a holistic balance involving physical,

emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, and environmental well-being. Richie (2009) argues that

we have to develop a wellness philosophy before we improve our wellness. A philosophy

provides unity and understanding about interdependent relationship among six dimensions. To

achieve wellness, we have to fulfil all dimensions. Self-assessment is important to evaluate if we

have fulfilled all six dimensions of wellness.

I just did self-assessment, and I was surprised with the result. I thought I only need to

improve my physical wellness, but the result says that I have to improve my emotional wellness

as well. I felt like I do not have problem with my emotional wellness because I am doing good at

school, and I never use drugs. I just realize that I feel overwhelmed with all my responsibilities. I

am a head of household who take care my son and my disabled mother. My ex-husband is in

Indonesia, so I have full custody of my son. Moreover, my mother just got hip fracture surgery. I

am the only kid, so I do not any sibling who can help me. Because of overwhelming, I become

too critical and judge others too fast. In addition, I am not easy to adjust to change in positive

way. I am glad I did self-assessment, so I know that I have to improve both physical and

emotional wellness.

To improve our wellness means we have to improve our healthy behavior. Changing

behavior is not easy because it is not a singular event but a process that needs commitment. This

process requires preparation, has several stages, and takes time to occur. In her text book,

Rebecca (2017) explains that there are four steps in changing behavior. Step one: increase your

awareness. This is a good start before we make a change. This step allow us to evaluate what

biology and behavior aspect support our life, what the obstacles are, how our social and physical

environment support this changing. Step two: contemplate change. In this step, we examine our

current health habits, identify a target behavior, learn more about the target behavior, assess our

motivation, develop self-efficacy, and cultivate an internal locus of control. Step three: Prepare

for change. In this step, we have to set SMART goals (Specifics, Measurable, Action, Realistic,

Time-oriented), create the steps, anticipate the obstacle, enlist people who can support, and sign

a contract. Step four: take action to change. In this step, we have to substitute old behavior with

new behavior, control the situation, reward ourselves, write a journal, and make simple strategies

when we return to old behavior.

After we succeed to change our unhealthy behavior to healthy behavior, we have to

sustain our new behavior. We have to keep in mind that to maintain is harder than to improve.

Many people are very enthusiastic in the beginning, and they change their behavior extremely.

Thus, they get bored and tired easily, and go back to old behavior. We have to start this changing

slowly and gradually in order to maintain our new healthy behavior. The result from maintaining

healthy lifestyle is we will live long, healthy, and happy with abundance of energy and vitality

for the rest of our life.

Based on self-assessment, I aware I need to improve my physical wellness. Although my

total cholesterol 138, my HDL is 40 (too low). I examine that I have to do more physical activity

to increase my HDL. Although I go to gym, I do not exercise seriously. I am aware I need to

improve my emotional wellness because I become too critical and judge others too fast due to

overwhelming responsibilities. I examine that I have to manage my time wisely and share my

responsibilities with my son. I have to make time for my leisure time without being bothered by

my son and my mother. I just realized that although I have free time at home, I always do little

things for my son and my mother.

I have to prepare for change. Since I am very busy, time is the biggest obstacle to do this

program. Thus, I have to create my program efficiently that incorporate physical and emotional

wellness into one activity. To make my activity more fun and interesting, I will involve my

boyfriend to do this activity together. I am fortunate because he likes to do outdoor activity and

meditation. I have created three goals for this change in order to improve my physical and

emotional wellness.

First goal: I will do more hiking instead of going to gym. I feel more relax by interacting

with nature. I will go hiking with my boyfriend every Saturday and Sunday from noon till

evening. We will go to Eaten Canyon, Sturtevant Falls, and Switzer Falls soon. They have small

waterfalls and close from my house. Watching waterfall and hear Waterfall’s sound make me

relax. He is taking yoga class, so he can teach me how to do meditation near waterfall. My body

and soul will unite with nature. This activity improve my physical and emotional wellness in the

same time. Also it can make our relationship healthier and stronger by doing healthy activity


Second goal: I will walk to grocery store and other places that less than 1 mile. Haines

(2007) studies 120 college faculties and staffs before and after 12-week walking program. Here

are the data before 12-week program: mean BMI = 29.96, mean blood glucose = 101.48, mean

cholesterol = 188.58. And here are the data after 12-week walking program: mean BMI = 28.76,

mean blood glucose = 91.44, mean cholesterol = 178.81. The result prove that waking program

can improve physical wellness. Thus, I decided to go to grocery and other places by walking if

the distance less than 1 mile. It also reduce air pollution caused by burning fossil fuel from my


Third goal: I will share my responsibilities with my son. After dinner, I do not want to be

bothered except emergency. I need to focus for to study and do homework from 7pm till I go to

bed. I realize when I have distraction during studying, it will affect my grade and I end up upset.

This is not good for my emotional wellness. Thus, when I am studying, my son will take over

certain responsibilities that he is capable. For example, he will wash dishes, clean up the kitchen,

and take care my mother if she needs help.

Henderson (2010) argues that poor health is plaguing America. Many people are

suffering from obesity includes type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases, hypertension,

respiratory problems, and stroke. She argues that this is not individual problem. If citizens do not

care about their health, government, school, corporation, and all entire system will suffer from

sick populations. As a U.S citizen who is studying in medical field, I have to change my

unhealthy behavior to healthy behavior. It will improve my holistic wellness that make my life

longer and happy with abundance of energy and vitality for the rest of my life. In addition, by

doing that, I give a good role model for society. I encourage people surrounding me to change

their unhealthy behavior. That means I make change in my community. I hope everybody

especially students majoring in medical field become role models for their society. Eventually

people in U.S will have healthy lifestyle.


Donatelle, Rebecca J. (2017). Health: The Basics, The MasteringHealth Edition, Twelve Edition.

New York, New York: Pearson Education, Inc.

Haines, D. (2007). A pilot intervention to promote walking and wellness and to improve the

health of college faculty and staff. Journal of American College Health, 55(4), 219-25.

Henderson, B. (2010). Making the case for community-based wellness programs. National Civic

Review, 99(1), 27-34. doi:10.1002/ncr.20006.

Richie, S. (2009). Programming through the dimensions of wellness. Functional U, 7(4).