What does wellness look like to you? When you envision someone who is “well” and “healthy,” what comes to mind? Take a few moments to form whatever picture in your head (feel free to even spend some time writing about it). Do you feel like you're this person?
If that question stumps you, don't feel let down. Wellness is actually composed of several factors that all play important role in our lives, but most of them we don't consider fully. For example, physical and emotional wellness are often two of the most popular factors in someone's overall wellness that we tend to focus on a lot, but did you know that wellness is much more than just these two pieces?
Although emotional and physical wellness are crucial to the wellness puzzle, intellectual, financial, spiritual, environmental, occupational, and social are all important pieces too. Ideally, a "well" and "healthy" person has all of their wellness puzzle pieces aligned and balanced. However, our "wellness reality" often means we deal with missing pieces. In other words, when one of our wellness pieces isn't being met, our life and well-being can feel confusing, stressful, depressing, and even hopeless (particularly if our pieces are left unattended for long periods of time). This is why every single dimension of wellness should be taken into consideration on whatever wellness journey you may be on.
Because we are all different, aligning our pieces and finding balance throughout our journey isn't a one-process-fits-all. Therefore, it's important to understand what each piece represents and then discover for yourself how you find harmony with each one.
Emotional wellness refers to your ability to have and maintain satisfying relationships and cope with life's stresses. The ability to be resilient is a strong indicator of emotional wellness.
Physical wellness has a lot to do with your relationship with physical activity, nutrition, sleep, etc.
Intellectual wellness is all about celebrating and using your own unique intelligence (i.e. skills, knowledge, experiences) and the desire to explore and learn.
Financial wellness refers to how content you are with your current financial situation.
Spiritual wellness is related to your satisfaction regarding personal values, spiritual/religious beliefs, and your level of inner peace/contentment.
Environmental wellness is affected by external factors in your environment such as how safe you feel at home or within your community. It can also be much larger when dealing with national or global stressors like the pandemic, racial violence and injustice, pollution, and politics.
Occupational wellness involves your career/job satisfaction and your work/home balance.
Social wellness is all about how connected and involved you feel in your world. Social wellness usually means you have a strong sense of belonging and worthiness.
After a quick review of all the pieces, what areas do you feel are your strongest? Your weakest? Over the next several weeks we will be diving into each piece a little bit deeper; learning more about what they mean, how they affect us, and what we can do to put our wellness puzzle together.