WHAT IS “WELLNESS”
#wellnesswednesday – this hashtag concept is something that most people attribute to fitness, nutrition, or certain self-care practices. While I love to have a set plan for my food + workouts for the week ahead, I also spend time thinking about what else I can provide myself with to feed not only my body, but my soul, mind, + emotional well-being.
WHAT DOES ‘WELLNESS’ MEAN?
Wellness can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but when it has been discussed within my education and industry, wellness is divided into 8 pillars. Two of those pillars are physical + nutrition. However, being “well” is a balance between all of the pillars that create our foundation as whole, healthy people.
This is definitely a topic that can feed into so many thought-provoking + significant conversations with others + within yourself. I wrote a blog about the pillars + how I identify with them in my life TODAY. These concepts will ebb + flow, shift, change, and challenge you throughout your life. The meaning and significance of each is personal + absolutely different for everyone.
Sitting with yourself + writing out what each pillar means to you, goals you have for yourself within each, + then finding ways to enrich each one within your life is a practice to begin in order to live well on all levels within yourself.
This discussion comes in time for the time of year where most people self-reflect. I encourage my clients to think about what is important to them, where their current strengths + weaknesses lie, + where they think they struggle the most in their lives or what makes them feel the most challenged before I have them write down specific goals.
CHALLENGE: Get to know yourself with this “wellness” exercise before NY resolutions take hold!
HOW-TO: AN EXERCISE IN DEFINING YOUR ‘WELL-LIFE’
Within the categories below, ask what each means to you (write it down,) rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the ‘best,’) of how healthy + strong you think this pillar is for you + why, then write out ways you can try and fortify that pillar.
8 PILLARS OF WELLNESS
PHYSICAL: physical wellness is moving daily, taking time for exercising, going to your timely doctor visits, sleeping well, + taking care of your overall hygiene.
Your body is your temple, as we’ve been told. It is important to treat it well by nurturing it through self-care, using it (daily movement + purposeful exercise,) resting with consistent + quality sleep so it can reboot, + ensuring that it is running well from the inside, out with regularly scheduled check-ups. Then, listening to your body + medical professionals so you treat it accordingly. Yes, this seems like it takes effort, but these are the basics of life that should be routine.
NUTRITION: clearly closely tied to physical health, is the focus on the fuel you give yourself daily to run efficiently + effectively. It is providing yourself with a clean, quality, whole foods diet filled with color, variety, + nutrients. It is hydrating yourself, taking the appropriate supplements as-needed, giving yourself a balanced food regimen that fortifies your physical health + gives you energy.
EMOTIONAL: a pillar that is tough to simplify, but when thinking about your emotional wellness, it is important to start with your ‘self.’ How do you navigate your feelings? Meaning: can you easily identify and asses your own feelings and communicate them to others? Simply put for me is that I ask myself if I am confident in my self-awareness and how I explain myself to those around me as well as to myself.
SOCIAL: your social network should be a set of positive connections with others that provide a support system for you. Building and maintaining these networks takes time and energy because social wellness is also giving as well as receiving love and support.
SPIRITUAL: while not a specific belief system, spirituality is generally described as a sense of purpose, direction, or meaning in one’s life. What that is for you and how you cultivate that in your life will vary greatly amongst people. Self reflection, mindfulness, meditation, writing, defining your intentions…these are all ways people can identify with their spiritual health. Defining your core values as a person is a great way to begin or redefine this journey with yourself.
INTELLECTUAL: can be defined as continually engaging your mind. Learning new things, challenging your brain with puzzles and activities, read or take classes you’re interested in, participate in discussions or current events that stimulate your mind. It’s a muscle people- we have to use it, push it, strengthen it, + more.
FINANCIAL: prosperity within your life financially is important to qualify, monitor, + plan ahead to achieve. Financial wellness is different for everyone, but actively assessing your monetary status is key to keeping it in check.
ENVIRONMENTAL: your surroundings and community as a whole are directly related to how you thrive. Do you have an organized home, a efficient work space, sense of safety, connection to the community, do you give back? Identifying your connection + care given to your physical surroundings will show you your true environmental wellbeing.