Wellness: There’s more to being healthy than “not being sick.”

There’s a troubling healthcare mindset in America: you go to doctors when you’re sick so they can fix you, and that’s how the healthcare system works. Many doctors would much prefer that you come in for a check up when you’re healthy so that they can help you stay that way. The simple truth is, it’s easier and cheaper to maintain good health than it is to treat and recover from an illness or injury.


The S.P.E.M.S. Assessment: How Healthy Are You, Really?

The first step of focusing on wellness rather than illness is assessing where you stand, right now. Exactly how healthy are you? A simple tool for gauging this is the S.P.E.M.S. Assessment. Basically, the idea is to rank your health in five key areas: Social, Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual. 


SOCIALSocial: How healthy are your relationships with family, friends and colleagues?

Physical: How healthy is your relationship with food, exercise and your body?

Emotional: Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?

Mental: How healthy is your relationship with yourself?

Spiritual: Not in the religious sense, necessarily… but how is your relationship with the world around you?


Rank these 5 areas on a scale of 1-10, then connect the dots and then shade in the space inside, you get a distinct visual representation of your overall health. A perfect 10 out of 10 in every aspect would just about show the entire circle colored in. Chances are yours is not a full circle (fun fact: no one’s is. No one is perfect).


See, quick, easy and relatively painless! The whole thing should take less than five minutes.


You Have Your Baseline… Now What?

No one is perfect, of course, but humans have a bad habit of focusing on the negatives. So first, take stock of those areas you ranked a 7 or higher. Celebrate these for a moment. These are things you are doing right, and you should keep doing more of the things that got you here! Well done!


Now let’s take a look at the things you ranked 4 or lower. It might look bad, but these are also likely areas where small changes can have a big impact. Pick the one that you believe would have the most impact if you were to raise the score by just one point. Make a list of five actions you could take that would start moving the needle up to the next number, including one action you could take RIGHT NOW… something simple. Scheduling an appointment. Making a phone call. Being the bigger person and apologizing (even if it wasn’t really your fault). Drinking a glass of water instead of another soft drink. Take that first step now, and start building momentum. 


Commit to doing what it takes to move that score up by 1. Then do the same with any other areas you ranked a 4 or less. 


Check In Regularly.

Assessing your health regularly is an awesome habit to develop. In the beginning, as you are working to get all of your scores at 5 or better, schedule regular, weekly check-ins– literally enter them in your calendar and set an alert or alarm to notify you when it’s time. 


Once you get your scores to 5 or higher, you can switch your check-ins to monthly– but keep working on improvement, with a goal to try to get every aspect of the S.P.E.M.S. Assessment to 7 or better. Once you hit that, you can back off to quarterly check-ins. 


Aside from the obvious general improvement in your well-being, if you do this assessment regularly, then when you visit your physician for a check-up, you will have a whole list of things to discuss. Where you were on your last visit, where you stand now and what you did to get there. The more attuned you are to the factors that impact your well-being, the more likely you are to notice things that you ought to bring up to your doctor… things that increase the likelihood of catching illness or injury before it turns into a serious health challenge.


Benefits, Wellness and Financial Stability

Here at Onin, we offer the best benefits program in the industry, the cornerstone of which is radically affordable health care. These benefits can form a strong foundation for financial wellness as well. With $5 copays on doctors visits and prescriptions, taking the insights you gain from your assessment to your doctor during checkups is easy and affordable. Free vision, dental and mental health services mean money is no barrier to solid physical, mental and emotional health. Free Teledoc service means you can get professional medical insight on urgent or serious concerns you might encounter during an assessment. Real vacation and holiday time you can use for a little R&R does wonders for your emotional wellbeing. 


There are two important things to take away from this article: first, the S.P.E.M.S. Assessment is a simple tool you can use to create a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Second, Onin provides the superior benefits you need to make the most of the insights you gain from that assessment.