Wellness is not merely the absence of illness or disorder – it is consistently aiming to be spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally well in life. What exactly does that look like? Take a new car for example, it has all the latest features but without wheels, the car does not function properly. Maybe you have wheels but you do not have windshield wipers; how will you see during inclement weather? I’m sure it’s safe to say that It would be an arduous task.
The same way you would take care of your car, from scheduling a maintenance appointment to getting a carwash, you must make a conscious commitment daily to take care of you. The seven dimensions of wellness is a guide to assist you in achieving optimal health. The objective is not to be functioning at 100% in each of these dimensions but to intentionally work toward balancing your life through each aspect. As I begin to introduce each of these, I challenge you to think about your own wellness wheel and what you can do to find your balance. An easy way to remember the dimensions is by grouping them into the well-known trinity: mind, body, and spirit.
Arthur Fletcher said it best, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Intellectual Wellness is your ability to expand your knowledge by constituently learning and experiencing new things.
Occupational Wellness is essentially being able to balance your work and home life so that they do not negatively overlap. There are many ways to achieve this balance. A common way, is managing your stress on the job and not allowing it to trickle into your home life.
Having a strong support system or network of people that can keep you motivated, uplifted, and feeling connected is Social Wellness. This will look different for everyone, for some it is that one friend but for others it may be community groups or specific clubs that are focused on your passions and or hobbies.
Physical Wellness is not about meeting the national standards of 150 minutes of moderate activity, it is about you working at your pace to consistently strive to maintain a healthy body.
Spiritual Wellness is essentially the personal self-exploration of values and beliefs that gives your life purpose. Some people may get involved in a faith community or practice religious traditions, while others take to nature and meditation for peace.
Environmental Wellness is taking out the trash, literally. The smallest actions can make a global difference. It is important to actively seek ways to create a healthier and cleaner environment, whether it is in the home (dusting, taking out the trash, de cluttering) or out in the community (picking up trash, taking public transportation, etc).
Emotional Wellness is your awareness of your feelings and reactions toward certain emotions. This is a personal self-reflection of you overall state of wellbeing. Decreasing your stressors, eating well, sleeping well, being physically active all work together to form your emotional wellness.
Now that you know different ways to balance your wellness wheel it is time to act. First take some time to reflect on yourself so that you know where your starting point is. Then you should set some daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Do not forget to start small and at your own pace. You know your mind, body, and spirit better than anyone else in your life. Never stop at well enough...strive for optimal health and wellness in your life.