Welcome to Wellness Wednesday! Each week I’ll be posting something related to wellness: a post, a quote related to wellness, healthy recipes, etc.
What IS wellness, anyway?
According to UCDavis, “wellness is the process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.” (https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/what-is-wellness) The National Wellness Institute adds that “wellness is a multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.” (https://www.nationalwellness.org/page/SixDimensions?)
Do we have a wellness focus or an illness focus?
Let me just state the obvious — most people who read this blog are not “free from illness.” Does that mean we shouldn’t be concerned with our wellness? Absolutely not! We are so much more than our illness, and although we may not be able to change our circumstances in that particular dimension of wellness, we certainly have the ability to “make choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.”
Let’s take a look at one of the many “wellness wheel” models:
There are a lot of different “wellness wheels” with varying numbers of dimensions of wellness included. I chose this one from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration because of its overlapping of the dimensions. The dimensions of wellness don’t exist in a vacuum; when one area is off-balance, it affects other areas as well. This is how the SAMHSA defines each of the dimensions:
Emotional: Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
Environmental: Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
Financial: Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
Intellectual: Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
Occupational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
Physical: Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep
Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
Spiritual: Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life
This is only one model. As I mentioned, there are many out there, with varying numbers of dimensions included. The beauty of it is that we get to decide what a “fulfilling life” is, and what dimensions need to be included for us to have that.
Hopefully, this visual representation can help us remember, especially when one of those dimensions is taking all our attention, that there is a whole lot more to the big picture than what we’re able to see at the moment.
As I mentioned above, each week I’ll be posting something related to one of these areas of wellness. If there’s something in particular you’d like to know more about or you have a favorite wellness quote to share, please let me know in the comments!