It’s easy enough to hear the word “wellness” and assume that this is just another word for “eat right, exercise, drink enough water and try to not stress out so much.” Sure, those make their way in there, but the concept of wellness is a lot more complex than that. In fact, the author Debbie Stoewen has identified eight dimensions of wellness which are easy to wrap your head around.
The Physical Dimension
Physical wellness is the most obvious one, because we’re in it every day. Staying healthy physically by eating the right foods, hydrating, exercising, and not exerting ourselves to the point of injury respects the body and its place in our lives.
The Intellectual Dimension
Intellectual wellness is all about letting the brain shine. Giving time to the Intellectual Dimension is allowing time to learn, valuing that learning, and continuing to learn. It’s also about being sure to share your knowledge with those around you once you’ve gained it. Curiosity is key.
The Emotional Dimension
Emotional wellness involves digging deep to get at the core of who you are. This can involve therapy or meditation or other means, but it always involve looking within. This not only helps you understand and manage your own emotions, but it helps you respect them. This helps you, in turn, do the same for others.
The Social Dimension
Social wellness is all about who you keep company with. Interacting with others can be difficult in a time where socializing isn’t always possible, face-to-face. Finding a healthy way to that interaction allows relationships of mutual care and respect. This is also about finding a way to contribute to your community, at whatever scale you’re comfortable with.
The Spiritual Dimension
Many elements can come together to contribute to spiritual wellness. For some, this is organized religion and for others, it might be linked more to looking inward for that inspiration. It helps you understand your own beliefs, and allows you to keep what you do consistent with how you feel about the world.
The Vocational Dimension
Where we spend our non-social time can be critical to how we feel about ourselves. Finding the right job that keeps us afloat mentally and aligns with our values is important, as is finding work that lets us feel our contributions.
The Financial Dimension
Not all elements are always under our control, but being aware of our financial state can help us with our financial wellness. The Financial Dimension is all about the management of financial resources and making the right financial decisions with what you have. It is also about respecting the financial situations of others.
The Environmental Dimension
It never hurts to remind ourselves that we’re a piece of a very large puzzle. It refers to everything from our home to our planet, and how we interact with it and take care of it. Wellness should expand beyond us when it can.
Wellness can start in any of these dimensions, and at any time. Perhaps looking at one of these will allow you to tackle just one element of your personal wellness, making each successive step that much easier.
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