Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a ‘‘perfect life.’’ Some might measure their happiness in terms of possessions they’ve acquired, and others might be focused on family life and relationships, while for others still, climbing the career ladder might spark the most joy. But, what matters to us is you — what do you visualize in a perfect life? And most importantly, how do you think it will factor into your wellbeing?

Our aspirations may vary, but our right to live in a healthy neighborhood remains something we should all seek. No matter how minor our lifestyle changes may seem, it all starts with one small  step followed by another so that we’re able to experience the results in their full glory!

How Maintaining a Healthy Environment Can Promote Holistic Wellbeing

The concept of holistic wellbeing encompasses not only physical health, but also mental, environmental, economic, social, and spiritual wellness. So, it’s only reasonable that a healthy neighborhood would significantly promote our holistic wellbeing! Though we realize that people’s needs differ, there are some factors that may help boost your community’s holistic health. Here’s how!

Let’s consider four of the six health dimensions: physical, mental, environmental, and social. These aspects play a crucial role in how well we feel and function throughout our day-to-day activities. Furthermore, caring for our neighborhood can help us foster healthier social connections and gain economic stability, which  has the ability to majorly boost the overall quality of our lives. 

Physical health is massively impacted by the environment we live in. Being outside, in green spaces, is great for our health! It can boost our sleep quality, reduce cancer risks, and even increase our life expectancy! For a good and healthy neighborhood to help us enhance the quality of our lives, there are some elements that we can try to optimize. It can start with small actions, like urging the neighborhood’s authorities to create a bike lane, as it’s one of the key factors that can help us sneak some physical activity throughout our busy days! It can also cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions! Just as important are clean sidewalks and green parks; they can stimulate people to get regular physical activity, as they can be used for daily walks in the fresh air! This can lower the risk of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions.

Mental wellbeing is also closely tied to the environment in which we live. A healthy neighborhood can create a sense of protection and security, both of which are necessary for mental wellbeing. Access to green areas and natural environments can also improve mental health by promoting relaxation and stress reduction. A feeling of community and social interaction can also inspire a sense of belonging and support, which can stimulate better mental and emotional wellbeing.

Social integration is a key component of a healthy neighborhood. Access to community centers, libraries, and other public spaces can provide opportunities for social engagement and meaningful connections. Community gardens, volunteer opportunities, and other programs can also nurture a sense of community and social engagement, which can help alleviate potential feelings of loneliness. This sense of  connectedness and social bonds can also reduce chances of people feeling like “outsiders,” creating a sense of belonging for everyone in the neighborhood. On a less direct note, it is believed that proper social integration can actively induce purpose and fulfillment within us, which can enhance overall wellbeing.

Feeling at home in your neighborhood is something that some of us tend to take for granted. But, experiencing all elements that help you feel supported; recognition of means that honor and protect your rights! Some of which are breathing quality air, eating nutritious food, and drinking fresh and clean water, having access to reliable medical care, as well as proper education opportunities all contribute to making a simple house in a neighborhood a safe sanctuary!  

Additionally, the benefits of a healthy neighborhood extend beyond the individuals who live there. A strong community can have a positive impact on local businesses, schools, and the local economy altogether. When people have access to locally produced goods, for instance, they’re supporting their domestic economies. Needless to say, having proper educational opportunities can increase our chances in obtaining a well-paid job. Furthermore, people who experience physical and mental health are more likely to be productive, engaged in their work, and motivated to excel in their careers. This can in turn lead to an increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout symptoms.

Though there are circumstances that may make it seem like a healthy neighborhood is out of our control, there are other aspects that we can learn to master to help us get there!  

5 Ways You Can Help Promote a Holistically Healthy Neighborhood:

  1. Create a group with your neighbors where you can go on walks to clean up all the littering that may occur in your neighborhood. Not only can it reduce the amount of litter, but the fact you’re doing this on foot can also stimulate better physical health, all the while lowering the negative impact on our ozone layer.
  1. Planning events where you encourage social gatherings can also heighten your social health and strengthen your feelings of happiness. These events can be for charities, or a get-together where you invite people from your neighborhood to join for some shared food and fun! This is also a “two birds, one stone” situation, as you’d be helping your social health and strengthening connections within your society!
  1. Create a ‘‘giving garden,’’ where you and other members of your community can grow healthy food, and everyone can get their food for free (similar to food banks). This helps support your advocacy for social activities and healthy nutrition. There are towns that don’t have an adequate supply of healthy nutrition, what we call a food desert, and this small action can improve your community! 
  1. Donate clothes you don’t need to the local community centers, churches, orphanages, and schools. Apart from it being a selfless and kind act, donating clothes can help the underprivileged community gain self-esteem, and adds their chances of contribution to the society. Did you know that lack of clothing affects young children’s ability to go to school? Added to that, donating clothes can be a great step in helping the community as whole, in that you’d show your care for the environment, some clothes consist of unsustainable material that aren’t easily disposable. Giving it away, can ensure that it gets recycled, repurposed, or to simply put a smile on someone’s face! 
  1. When you’re driving, slow down, and pay attention to the road signs, to ensure everyone’s safety. If you spot any road issues or misplaced signs, contact your local police to inform them. This is you getting your neighborhood one step closer to a safer place!

These are just a few of the activities that we can do to amp up our neighborhood’s health and make our community feel safer. Taking the first steps is the most important thing — working together and taking baby steps toward improvement. Remind yourself that it’s possible to create positive change and build a stronger, more vibrant community. Ultimately, the goal is to create a neighborhood that is safe, healthy, and beautiful for everyone who lives in it. 

A holistic approach to health and wellbeing that takes into account environmental, physical, mental, social and economic wellbeing is essential to creating a healthy neighborhood and a healthy community. We can build communities that are not just physically and psychologically healthy, but also dynamic, inclusive, and economically wealthy by investing in green areas, community involvement initiatives, and supporting policies and programs. In the end, this would result in an improved quality of life for everyone, as well as a stronger and more sustainable future for the generations to come.