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What is Wellness Anyway?

What is "wellness" anyway?

It's May 4th, 2020. COVID-19 still abounds, and consequently, WELLNESS has become a prevalent topic of conversation amongst my friends, family, and clientele. This word gets thrown around a lot, but what exactly does it encompass? Take a moment to reflect on the images that come to mind when you think of the term "wellness." Maybe it's a kid sitting in doctor's office with a thermometer in his mouth, or maybe you envision a couple on a hike in the sunshine, or maybe it's an image of sitting in bed with a good book, cuddled up with your dog, and a cup of lemon-ginger tea resting on the bedside table beside you. Whatever your take on wellness, you're typically going to envision some sort of activity that generates a feeling of self care and wellbeing, but what IS wellness exactly, and how do we "achieve" it?

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as having six essential dimensions; emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Each of these dimensions contain considerably interchangeable components, and the dynamics of each dimension have a significant impact on one another. If we consider the fact that the over all health and well being of the mind directly correlates to the health and well being of the body and vice versa, it becomes impossible to deny that each of these dimensions of overall wellness need and DESERVE our attention in order to maintain upkeep. So how do we define each of these dimensions?

Emotional wellness.

What it looks like -

Being aware and in tune with ones feelings, taking responsibility for one's actions, being conscious of how you are perceived in a way that is based in reality, having a positive overall feeling about oneself, having the ability to express and manage emotions, maintaining healthy relationships, setting reasonable expectations for oneself.

What is DOES NOT look like -

Comparing ones life and successes to others, feelings of insecurity, maintaining a pessimistic attitude, denying ones emotions, maintaining codependent relationships.

Occupational wellness.

What it looks like -

Recognizing and taking pride in the contributions one offers to society through unique skill sets, having a good attitude about work, pursuing a sense of self worth through ones work, maintaining a career that aligns with one's values, maintaining a career that allows room for personal growth and development.

What is does NOT look like -

Inability to take pride in one's work, poor attitude about one's career, maintaining a career path that does not align with one's values or interests, lack of ambition, maintaining a career path that lacks meaning or a sense of contribution.

Intellectual wellness.

What it looks like -

Pursuing creative endeavors, reading books, expanding one's mental capacity, actively engaging in courses of action that seek to overcome personal problems, seeking outside sources to expand ones understanding of oneself and one's values.

What it does NOT look like -

Blaming outside variables for ones lack of knowledge, remaining out of touch with current events, retaining a feeling of being "stuck," an unwillingness to challenge oneself, overthinking as opposed to taking action.

Physical wellness.

What it looks like -

Maintaining physical fitness via strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular training, pursuing a diet that consists of whole, nutritious food and ingredients, supplementing your diet with vitamins, developing a fitness regimen that is consistent, adhering to any bodily warning signs that may indicate an imbalance.

What it does NOT look like -

Ignoring the body's warning signs and/or taking pills to avoid a real problem, skipping routine doctor visits, poor hygiene, alcohol and drug abuse, choosing a poor diet on a regular basis, abstaining from physical activity.

Social wellness.

What it looks like -

Having a feeling of contributing to one's community, maintaining healthy communication skills, maintaining an understanding of purpose that lies outside of just oneself, living in harmony with nature, being socially and culturally aware.

What it does NOT look like -

Isolating oneself, avoiding interaction with nature, acting from a place of selfishness, distancing oneself from family or friends, lacking empathy.

Spiritual wellness.

What it looks like -

Being aware and acting upon one's system of values, an understanding that life is compiled of continuous "ups and downs," acting true to one's character, developing a belief system that provides meaning to one's existence, seeking emotional stability.

What it does NOT look like -

Lacking a sense of purpose, maintaining a "victim mentality," maintaining a system of values that do not reflect personal growth and introspection, acting in ways that do not reflect ones character, being inconsistent with ones beliefs.

"Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential." Becoming aware of our wellness and the barometers of which we choose to measure the dimensions of wellness takes constant and consistent reflection. Wellness enables us to be resilient, objective, and logical in the face of adversity (looking at you, global pandemic!). When we are wellness conscious, we are actively choosing a path that will lead towards becoming the best versions of ourselves.

Take a few moments to reflect on which of these dimensions has been receiving your love and attention, and which ones could use some extra care. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to make the time to adhere to your wellness, whatever that may look like. It could mean only 15 extra minutes a day to journal, meditate, or make a phone call. It is simple, but not easy, and it has to be intentional.

Visit my website for guided meditations that will make room for self reflection, and are easy to squeeze into a busy day.

I am always in your corner.

To your success and wellness, all my love!

-Em

References:

National Wellness Institute

https://www.nationalwellness.org/page/Six_Dimensions

Download a PDF that covers the 6 dimensions of wellness in depth:

https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nationalwellness.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/sixdimensionsfactsheet.pdf



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