COVID-19 is reaching another peak in the USA and maintaining health is top of mind to many but what does being healthy even mean? Social media will lead you to believe it is about eating kale, sipping on smoothies, and practicing goat yoga but health and wellness runs much deeper than that.
Health and wellness is about living a lifestyle that sustains eight pillars: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, financial, and environmental.
1. Physical Wellness – the health and longevity of the human body can be increased with physical exercise. It is also important to factor in sleep, hygiene, and a healthy diet. Also, remember your water, it prevents dehydration which causes cloudy thinking, mood swings, and constipation.
2. Emotional Wellness – the ability to recognize, identify and define emotions and their triggers. One way to achieve this is to practice self-awareness by noticing how we feel and naming it. Another is to practice adaptability when a change cycles into our lives. Also, remember to have compassion for yourself by setting time for a long shower (or bath) journaling (with tarot), or meditating.
3. Social Wellness – the network of family, friends, and acquaintances that provide meaningful connections. Spending time with people you love creates a support system that endures life’s ups and downs. However, during the pandemic it is important consider CDC guidelines of preventing the spread of COVID and it can be done if safety is considered. Keep the gathering small, practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands, and stay home if you are unwell. If staying home is for you, how about writing thoughtful letters and or cards to your friends and family?
4. Intellectual Wellness – the stimulation of the intellect to cognitively engage. Check out online courses on topics you find interesting, attend your local community meetings online, start journaling and studying.
5. Spiritual Wellness – the devotion of time to connecting spiritually to feel grounded. This includes but is not limited to religion, it is more about one’s sense of purpose, direction, and meaning in life.
6. Financial Wellness – stability of income to manage savings, expenses, and debts. How much money is earned plays a role but the most important aspect is managing income to live within means by avoiding: overspending, hoarding, excessive frugality and focusing on building an emergency fund, saving for the future, and creating a budget.
7. Occupational Wellness – job satisfaction and fulfillment. Feeling happy about going to work comes from feeling supported, respected, accomplished while growing and developing professionally.
8. Environmental Wellness – appreciation of the Earth’s natural resources and immersion and experience with nature. Having a reciprocal relationship with the environment strengthens local and global communities. This can be achieved by keeping your space clutter free, producing less waste (cut down on disposable items), cutting back on motorized transport, every small step adds up for large impact.
Being well means you can focus on yourself as an induvial to set and reach your personal goals. Look at the wheel above, which ones are balanced? Which ones get too much attention? Too little attention? The balance is what will give you a heathy life.