August is National Wellness Month, a time to reflect on the many aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Creating healthy habits and routines can make all the difference in your life, and we’ll go over ways that you can incorporate them into your life.
When people think of their wellness typically, physical health is the first to come to mind. But there are eight Dimensions of Wellness that help make up our overall health: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, and environmental.
Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand our emotions and to be able to cope with the challenges that life may bring at any time.
Maintaining a healthy emotional life is essential for your overall health.
Here are some ways to stay emotionally healthy:
- Establish boundaries throughout all aspects of your life
- Each day take some time just for yourself, whether that is when you do your skincare or if you take fifteen minutes to read from your book.
- Try and get at least eight hours of sleep.
- Acknowledge and share your feelings (anger, fear, sadness, stress, hope, love, joy, and happiness).
- Ask for help, and if you need help, reach out to someone and talk.
If you need to speak with someone, you can visit imhurting.org or call the VOA Crisis Care Line at 1-800-584-3578.
Environmental Wellness is taking care of your global environment and your personal surroundings.
Here are a few ways that you can take care of the environment around you:
- De-cluttering your home by giving away old clothes, going through your junk drawers
- Separate your garbage from recycle
- Volunteer in your community
Physical Wellness is maintaining a healthy quality of life through both your mental and physical health.
The ability to recognize that our reactions have a significant impact on our wellness and mental health can affect your body, just as physical conditions can be straining on your mental health.
But by adopting healthy habits in your life, you can help improve or maintain your physical wellness. Here are a few ways that you can keep your body in tip-top shape:
- Routine check-ups with your doctor, dentist, and any other specialist you may see
- Eating a balanced diet
- Healthy sleeping habits
Intellectual Wellness is the capacity to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can contribute to personal decisions, group interactions, and community advancement.
This is where you push yourself to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek out challenges to continue to challenge their mind to grow and learn more.
Here are some ways to brain in tip-top shape:
- Read- whether it’s for fun or a self-help book
- Start keeping a journal about the highs and lows of your life
- Explore getting into arts
- Play games that push your mind in ways to keep it strong (like a brain work out)
Social Wellness is being able to relate to and connect with other people.
By surrounding yourself with a positive social network, you can establish a network filled with friends, family, and co-workers who can provide support and guidance when you are feeling stressed or are going through a difficult time.
Here are some ways to keep you healthy and centered around the people you associate with:
- Recognize how the people you associate with influence you, and the decisions you may make, or have made in the past
- Be honest about your feelings
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others
- Listen to the people around you talk about things without judgement, and or potentially blame
- Try and not be overly critical of others, and try and avoid angry outbursts
Spiritual Wellness is the ability to expand your sense of purpose and meaning in life, including your beliefs, morals, and ethics, whether they be derived from a religion or not.
Spending time asking and exploring your spiritual side can be essential to your wellness.
Here are some ways to keep yourself balanced:
- Spend time in nature, some place that you can feel balanced
- Learn how to meditate
- Give back to your community by volunteering
- If church is something you associate with or want to be part of, feel comfortable to lean into it.
Occupational Wellness is achieving a balanced life between work and your personal life in a way that promotes personal and professional growth.
For some people, it can be from choosing a profession that provides a feeling of purpose and productivity while also providing personal growth, fulfillment, and satisfaction while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Giving yourself a healthy work-life balance can help you avoid burnout.
Here are a few tips to keep your work-life balance healthy:
- Don’t settle for the position you currently hold, keep yourself motivated, and keep moving towards your ultimate goal
- Keep networking by making connections with fellow employees and clients
- Enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy
Financial Wellness is your relationship with money and skills in managing it appropriately and having the ability to understand and live within your financial means while also planning for your financial future.
You can accomplish this by creating a budget and making wise financial decisions while not overstepping your means. Learning to create a budget can be tricky, but online there are many great templates for keeping track of your spending.
Here is a budgeting sheet for beginners: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/budget-worksheet
Opening your mind to the eight Dimensions of Wellness and incorporating them into your daily life can help you learn to establish healthy habits.