What is wellness? Is it something for yogis to practice or an at-home spa treatment that’s supposed to be part of your self-care regimen? It’s definitely more than just that. It’s about your overall health and wellbeing, but not just if you’re sick or feeling decent, it actually has way more components to it to think and be aware about.
Wellness has been a growing topic especially amongst these unprecedented times. It has forced many of us, if haven’t already, to take hard looks at ourselves, re-access, navigate new challenges and every other thing you can add into pandora’s box that has been opened. Character is defined through how we stand in challenging times. Do we let it get the best of us or do we learn and grow through the process? It’s a check-in: How well are we doing and how can we do better to address, maintain and enrich our health levels?
I think we all want to live a happy life as we strive to feel whole, balance and some form of success and overcoming. To help us get there, we can pay attention to the 9 areas of wellness: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, occupational, and financial.
- Physical : Your physical body is important- it is your home and your vessel. It will effect the more abstract sense of self in how you think and feel. When your physical self feels good, your mind will also follow. The mentality I have in taking care of my physical self is the idea that I most plainly don’t like to feel like sh/t, so why put myself in the position to feel that way about myself? I generally like to eat “healthy”, engage in a sustainable amount of exercise and let myself enjoy tuning into my sleepy moments of rest when I need it. I still eat and enjoy my guilty food pleasures, miss a week of running, or stay up and work through my moments of flow instead of rest, but it’s about finding a balance that’s sustainable. I hardly believe in those quick-fix diets, but they can work to at least jump start you or get you back on track; however, if you want something that lasts, it’s about finding a lifestyle that works for you.
- Mental : This is an ongoing process of growth and realization. With every stage and adversity you are faced with, you are being challenged with expanding what you know and how to cope. You continuously expand your mind in deeper understandings and epiphanies. You learn about the thoughts and frame of minds that help you and let go of the ones that have been hurting you or holding you back that you may have not realized before (aka self-limiting thoughts). To find this, it comes with awareness. You search, ask questions, and really chew on the idea. Shed your old ways. Detox the toxicity. Exfoliate the dead skin. Evolution and change is a beautiful thing. Your history and your past is what once was and is there to teach you and make you better. Honor it and let go of the parts that are holding you back from evolution and a better life. Your mind and mental framework creates the reality you live in.
3. Spiritual : I feel like this is about finding peace and harmony within yourself and the world around you through your beliefs and how you see the world. Working through any turbulence happening inside of you will be projected out onto the world around you through how you see it and your relationships. It can be found when you take notice of your dialogue and how you speak about certain things. It’s all there- you just need to realize it. It’s a matter of working through it by noticing it, understanding it, and changing/accepting/letting go of what that belief is. It all starts with your beliefs because, from there, it will dictate your thoughts and actions.
4. Emotional : This is something some of us suppress or avoid because of the way we were raised or taught to deal with our emotions. We tend to value stoicism, which is also fine, but I think to really help master being stoic is knowing how to properly acknowledge and deal with those emotions. To be able to identify what it is we’re feeling and why we’re feeling that way. From there, you’re more able to navigate and resolve how you feel with yourself and your reaction and communication to others in a mature way.
5. Intellectual : Learning doesn’t start and end with school. Having a thirst for expanded knowledge and understanding is always fruitful to yourself. I think it’s also recognizing that not everyone has the same resources of knowledge and not everyone has the same privilege or resources. Don’t take yours for granted. Also, not everyone has the same viewpoints and experiences, but I think it’s good to understand them versus always fighting to be “right”. I think all topics should be open discussions to expand all party’s views and understandings.
6. Environmental : This is especially important and always has been. The world is all of our homes and we should all be doing our part in taking on the responsibility to care for it. No action is too small in doing your part. Looking at the bigger picture, if you’re doing it, someone else is probably doing the same thing. I like to act in a way to think if I did this, I know someone else is also doing the same. So for example, if I’m trying to recycle, I like to think others are also being conscious over their recycling. Your actions become a domino effect. Model how to help the world.
7. Social : As humans we are social creatures (at varying degrees). It’s good to know and have a solid support system that’s there for you that’s based off of mutual trust and respect. We all need one another. It’s about maintaining healthy relationships amongst family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and even strangers.
8. Occupational : I think this can be anything between work and “play”. I don’t believe this necessarily has to be just about your day job, but how you identify yourself in what your practice is. By practice, I mean what you choose to dedicate yourself in working on and focusing on frequently. That can be what you’re studying in school, doing for work, but also, your hobbies, interests and enjoyments. It’s how your interests align with you, your lifestyle, values and goals.
9. Financial : I’m not one to let money be a huge driver for how I live my life; however, there’s of course benefits to come with financial security and flexiblity . Although, I don’t think it’s about being rich just to be rich and flex, but instead why you want a certain amount of money. It’s thinking about the type of life you want for yourself and then managing your finances to support it.
Check-in with yourself from time to time and see where you can do some work while also appreciating the parts you’re doing well in!