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Holistic Wellness is the alignment and celebration of the links between mental health across 8 dimensions, or facets, with an eye toward overall balance. It is about creating space for and being mindful of our well-being across this spectrum, as the impact of not doing so can be pervasive.
When we fail to show up authentically for ourselves across one or more of these facets, the results can be both physically and mentally taxing. Stress, anxiety, and burnout are common. Oftentimes our body lets us know we’re unbalanced through chronic pain or illness. We find ourselves unable to see the forest for the trees, feeling overwhelmed instead of relying on our knowledge of, and attention to, the other facets to help us find harmony.
As we begin to find ourselves in harmony, or balance, across these facets we start to look at ourselves a bit more wholly. We shift our definition of ourselves from the narrow confines of only a couple of dimensions to a wide spectrum, enabling us to face the surprises life inevitably throws at us by leaning in, viewing who we are through a richer lens, and recognizing that what we are in control of how we respond to them. This level of resiliency forms as we recognize the unique multi-faceted space we hold.
Physical Wellness promotes proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning through exercise, movement, nutrition, water intake, and sleep.
Emotional Wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses, adapting to change and difficult times. This is the space where our emotions are generated. We grow through strengthened communication, intimacy, boundary setting, and emotional regulation.
Social Wellness involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships, as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around us. Circumstances where we most often find ourselves interacting with others include family, friends, colleagues, and our community.
Spiritual Wellness enables us to live a life consistent with our own belief and moral systems, while we establish our feeling of purpose and find meaning in life events. It may be as simple as communing with nature, seeing the good in others, or practicing gratitude; or as formal as participation in an organized religious group or associated activities.
Intellectual Wellness encourages us to engage in creative and mentally-stimulating activities. These activities expand our knowledge, perspective, and skills while allowing us to share this growth with others through continued learning, teaching, and thought-provoking discussions.
Occupational Wellness inspires us to find purpose and accomplishment in our work. It encourages us to explore our career through personal growth and development. This facet recognizes the importance of job satisfaction, meaning, and fulfillment.
Environmental Wellness promotes conscientious interaction with nature and our personal environment. It addresses not only our impact on our environment but our environment’s impact on us. This includes conservation and waste reduction, as well as the physical and emotional impact of our household, community, and working environments.
Financial Wellness is the ability to have a healthy financial life. It means our debts are payable and we have ample emergency, college and retirement funds, as relevant. Perhaps we are investing. We’re well prepared to handle any financial crisis. It’s about feeling good about our financial health now and in the future.
To break that down,
Physical and Emotional Wellness center around Self Care (prioritizing health and happiness)
Social Wellness focuses on relationships (friends and family matter)
Spiritual and Intellectual Wellness prioritize personal development (we never stop growing)
Financial and Environmental Wellness (our environment’s impact on us) target resources (time and money)
Occupational and Environmental Wellness (your impact on the environment) address how we identify vocationally (at our job/career, in our community)
We are the make up of all of these various elements every single day, whether we’re consciously paying attention to them or not. Our focus can frequently shift with priorities and outside stimulus. Holistic Wellness strives to bring that control back squarely into our wheelhouse.
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