May 19, 2019
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In A Word

Wellness: We asked four community advocates to share their thoughts on one word

Robin Deem

“The World Health Organization defines wellness as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmary.’ I think wellness is that and so much more. It is the ability to thrive. Often, people only think of physical health as ‘wellness,’ but there actually are seven dimensions of wellness on the paradigm: physical, mental, spiritual, social, intellectual, environmental, and occupational health. These constructs are constantly shifting according to our focus, but we should always strive to incorporate each into our lives. Consciously cultivating a rich wellness journey allows us to free up space in our minds and bodies. This allows for expansion, growth, and true joy. Having a solid wellness foundation helps us weather life’s adversities and thrive.” 

Deem is the advertising, marketing, and social media and wellness coordinator for ECHO Community Healthcare.


Rob Bingham

“I believe the word wellness is a fine balance between a healthy mind and body. Personally, wellness begins with the physical component. Over the years, I have come to appreciate the importance of staying physically active. I spend a lot of time behind a desk at work (insert banker joke here). It’s important to find time in my daily routine to devote toward a workout or run. Some days, the workouts are better than others, but the real benefit is a nice break in the day to relieve stress and distract the mind. Establishing and working toward a goal such as completing a 5K or a half marathon is physically demanding but comes with a huge positive mental boost. A good friend once told me, ‘It doesn’t matter whether you are running a six-minute pace or a 12-minute pace, everybody is struggling toward to same goal.’ Be active and be well.”

Bingham is the vice president, commercial banking at German American.


Diana Holland

“At the end of the day everyone on planet Earth just wants to be happy. What does ‘being happy’ really mean? I think it means being well in every aspect of your ‘human-ness’ — being well physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and occupationally. True wellness means all pistons are firing in every area of your life. You have vitality and a zest for life. Most people focus on one or two areas and neglect others. Where your focus goes, your energy flows. It’s good to reflect on how you’re doing in each of these areas. You can rate yourself from one to 10. Take inventory of how you’re doing in each area and see how your wheel is rolling. Make a concentrated effort to improve on the neglected areas and round out your wellness wheel of life.”

Holland is a trainer at Bob’s Gym.


Fr. Bernie Etienne

“Wellness, to me, implies wholeness and integration. At the heart of this challenge is the ability to live a balanced life intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a priest, I’m often sought out by folks experiencing personal difficulties or wrestling to make a big decision. As we talk through their challenge, I’m generally led to ask the question, ‘How is your prayer life?’ More often than not, their spiritual life is suffering from lack of attention. In a culture that increasingly places emphasis on physical reality, often at the expense of spiritual reality, it does not come as a surprise so many people are struggling with issues of diminished wellness: anxiety, confusion, depression, isolation, moral laxity, lack of peace, or fulfillment. If we neglect the spiritual life, we fail to attend to our true essence and lose connection to the giver of life. Maybe another word for wellness is holiness.” 

Etienne is the pastor of Holy Rosary Parish.

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