Wellness is defined as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”. It is a term that means something different to so many. How we each come to define wellness is largely impacted by where we are born, where we live, where we work, and how we age. The idea behind this theme came from the exposure of COVID-19 and the crisis in lack of health service access for so many. Not only is this unfair, but it is also very preventable. Prevention begins with education and the importance of learning the components of wellness.
Before you read further, take a moment to pause and think- how do you define wellness? What do you do each day that counts as a measure of preventative medicine? Take whatever is coming to mind and compare it to our list of components below. Does any of it resonate with you? Is there a part of your life you’d like to bring a bit more wellness into? Keep reading and see what you may discover about the 8 components of wellness.
#1 Emotional + Mental: Involves the ability to successfully handle life's stresses and adapt to change and difficult times. We were all surely stressed out before the pandemic and now, over a year in, its likely true that that feeling of stress may not have decreased. Have you asked yourself and checked in and really dug in to see how your stress levels are doing? Have you checked in on your mental health? Have you been taking care of yourself? One thing we recommend that can help is beginning a meditation practice. Check out this article on reasons you should give it a try. If you are looking for an app to help guide you, we recommend Headspace.
#2 Financial: This is a multidimensional concept incorporating financial satisfaction, objective status of your financial situation, financial attitudes, and behavior. Finances can be a taboo topic, but more and more people are discussing them and not being afraid of the truth about them. Our money habits can stem from what we learned growing up, the people around us, our current and past incomes, our jobs, among other things. Financial literacy is extremely important. It is also important to be honest with yourself about your finances. Here is a great article on where to start so you can begin to do just that.
#3 Environmental: Occupying a pleasant and stimulating environment is something many of us don’t realize the importance of. A healthy living space is also something that looks different for all. Many enjoy including plants, opening windows, and even taking time to declutter their living spaces. This study explains the benefits of decluttering and how impactful it can be on our health.
#4 Intellectual: Recognizing ways to expand knowledge and skills through intellectually stimulating activities is a great way to refresh our minds and become knowledgeable about a subject we have been wanting to learn more about. If something has previously sparked your interest, in the never too late to try to learn more about it. Some ways to do this are to read books about the topic or sign up for a free trial of Skill Share or Masterclass. It won’t hurt to see what’s out there for you to learn. The possibilities are endless.
#5 Occupational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment from your work is something that has been talked about more so in recent years than ever before. People are seeing the importance of being able to find joy in the mundane day to day part of your job. We spend 1/3 our lives working, so if you aren’t loving your job or career path, remember that you can always look into adjusting it. You owe it to yourself to do at least that. You never know what it could turn into.
#6 Physical: This includes 4 sub-categories, exercise, nutrition, sleep and personal health choices. Taking care of your physical body helps us prevent diseases and be able to live a long and productive life. Physical and mental wellness have become two primary focuses for many since the COVID-19 pandemic. Align your sleep, your exercise, your diet and your personal health choices to your life, your goals, and the way you feel.
#7 Spiritual: This category consists of attending to our sense of purpose and meaning in life and this doesn’t necessarily have to be religious like most people think! “Spiritual wellness involves being connected to something greater than yourself. It means having a set of values, principles, morals and beliefs that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life, then using those principles to guide your actions”. It’s about something bigger than yourself and how you find it and navigate it is up to you. If you want to dive a bit more in to your spiritual component of wellness these books are a great place to start: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey, and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
#8 Social: Social wellness is all about “developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.” Developing and maintaining strong and healthy social relationships with others is an important component of personal wellness. Living in a city like Cleveland presents excellent opportunities for meeting a diverse range of people and making new friends- even virtually! In addition to making new friends, part of healthy social relationships includes adjusting to changes in family relationships and friendships. With changing roles or even distance, it can be challenging for you and your family members to redefine your relationships. Similar changes happen in friendships, regardless of whether you’re dealing with being far away from close friends or navigating through your professional career.
Wellness is something that encompasses many things. The categories above are the main areas of wellness we can all improve upon to help create healthier lifestyles and prevent many issues from arising as we all age. If you could improve your life with the things mentioned in this article, would you? Where would you start? Think about it and let us know on Instagram @trilogycle. We’d love to hear where you are on your wellness journey!