7 Components of Wellness
It’s more than getting your daily run in, it’s more than counting your macros, it’s more than going to yoga class, and it’s more than eating a salad for lunch. Wellness includes aspects of physical, mental, emotional, environmental, occupational, social, intellectual, and spiritual health. Wellness is not just the absence of illness, it’s engaging in everyday life and living each day to it’s fullest as it pertains to you. Wellness is unique to everyone, but it consists of some aspect of balance between these components.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The World Health Organization
Wellness is an active process, and you are in the driver’s seat. Let’s break down some components of wellness…
Physical Wellness: This is probably the first thing you think of when you think of health and wellness. But physical health is much more than “losing a few pounds”. Physical wellness is taking the necessary steps to maintain optimal health and functioning. This includes participating in physical activity and maintaining proper nutrition by eating a well-balanced diet.
Some ideas to achieve physical wellness:
- participate in physical activity everyday for 30 minutes
- take the stairs instead of the elevator
- learn how to read nutrition labels
- eat a variety of foods and understand portion sizes
- maintain a regular sleep schedule
Emotional Wellness: This includes stress management, self-care, relaxation, and understanding/managing your emotions. It allows you to recognize and understand your emotions, cope with them, and express them.
- Take time for yourself to process, unwind, rejuvenate by finding a few minutes to be alone each day
- Stay positive! write notes to yourself, stick post-it’s around the house/office to remind yourself
- Maintain a gratitude practice
- Explore and practice mindfulness
- Give yourself grace, see all opportunities as experiences for learning and growth
Spiritual Wellness: this can refer to religion, values, faith, ethics, morals, etc. It allows you to be in touch with yourself and what you believe in. In this aspect you are likely to find meaning, purpose, appreciation, and your guiding compass.
- If you identify with a specific religion, continue to explore that. If you don’t, be open to exploring different belief systems
- Take time for self-inquiry, get curious about knowing yourself and what you align with
- Maintain your spiritual or religious practices
Social Wellness: This has to do with the relationships you have and interaction with others, how you relate and connect with others. Having strong and positive relationships provides you with support as well as self-esteem, joy, and connection.
- Join a club or organization that interests you
- Take the time to call an old friend to catch up
- Keep in touch with supportive friends and family, distance yourself from toxic individuals
- Identify what you look for in social relationships, what you need, and what you can give
Environmental Wellness: This refers to your relationship with your environment, living in harmony with the Earth, and taking care of the surroundings. Just like plants, we need sunlight, fresh air, and fresh water to thrive.
- Recycle, conserve energy, reduce your footprint
- Spend time outside
- Try earthing
Occupational Wellness: This refers to how we interact with our job, our achievements at work, and our outlook of the work we do. Our attitude toward our work directly influences our overall health.
- Explore different career options, if you’re not doing what you love investigate alternative jobs
- If a career switch isn’t in your cards (and even if it is) look into non-paid/volunteer work that interests and motivates you
- Set realistic career goals, and work toward them
Intellectual Wellness: This refers to participation in new and creative activities, learning and exploring new skills.
- Try something new, explore new hobbies
- Be open-minded
- Find new ways to be creative
So then, how do we achieve this? It’s a lot of information! And a lot of different things to consider. To know the answer to this question, you have to ask yourself many questions. Wellness might look different for you than it does to me, but it would include a satisfying balance of physical health, mental health, social health, and spiritual richness with a side of occupational satisfaction and environmental fulfillment. What do you need daily to feel good, to feel full, and be balanced? What do you need to do to feel “well” and good?
I think it’s safe to say we all want to be ‘healthier’. What’s more important is that we are taking baby steps towards shifting our lifestyle to lend itself toward this. It’s impossible to think we can transform over night, or even in a month. But we can set the intention to be well and good in mindset, body, and soul.