When we talk about health, we often emphasize diet and exercise, but physical health is only one of the seven dimensions of wellness. June is Professional Wellness Month. As you focus on your well-being in your personal and professional life this month, be sure you’re taking steps to improve all seven areas of wellness. Take a closer look at these dimensions of wellness below.
Social wellness highlights positive relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. It also involves balancing those relationships. Focusing on your social wellness allows you to build a supportive network as well as establish trust, communication skills, and conflict management skills. Social wellness can be nurtured by keeping in touch with family and friends, joining social groups, such as clubs or organizations, and practicing active listening.
Physical wellness involves adopting healthy habits that affect your physical body. This includes both diet and exercise as well as lifestyle choices such as avoiding tobacco and alcohol, seeing your doctor regularly, and balancing your activities as to avoid unnecessary physical stress. You can also improve your physical wellness by getting enough sleep at night and practicing safe sex.
Emotional wellness refers to your mental health. It encompasses the ability to understand yourself, share your feelings, and cope with life’s challenges. Emotional wellness is important for stress relief, decision making, and learning from your experiences. This dimension of wellness can be improved through optimism, meditation, self-acceptance, and awareness. Daily activities involve seeking or accepting help when needed and expressing gratitude.
Career wellness, or occupational wellness, emphasizes personal fulfillment through your career choices. This dimension of wellness focuses particularly on job satisfaction and the meaning individuals find through work. Conflict management in the workplace is also an important aspect of career wellness.
When seeking to balance your career wellness with the other wellness dimensions, start by reflecting on your occupational needs. Do you feel fulfilled in your job role? If you’re unhappy where you are, is it due to your career choice or your current job or employer? Consider exploring both paid work and volunteer opportunities to identify your interests. Nurture your career wellness by setting realistic goals and working to achieve them.
Intellectual wellness is about engaging in mentally stimulating experiences and trying new things. This may involve going to school, practicing new skills in the workplace, or expanding your knowledge in your personal life. Personal hobbies and community activities can be as equally stimulating as academics. Intellectual wellness is practiced through open-mindedness, creative expression, hobbies, travel, and more.
Environmental wellness refers to how you impact your environment. This can include your immediate environment, such as your home or office, as well as the world. On a small scale, you can improve your environmental wellness by organizing your space so you feel comfortable in your everyday environment. On a global scale, this dimension of wellness can be practiced through environmental-friendly activities such as recycling, carpooling, shopping local, and more.
Spiritual wellness focuses on tuning into your spiritual self and finding peace in your life. This can be achieved through practicing a religious faith, but it also emphasizes defining and sticking to your own morals, ethics, and values. Religion is not needed in spiritual wellness, but it’s a route many people take to find meaning and connect with their inner selves. Along with religion, practicing self-reflection, meditation, and acceptance can help improve a person’s spiritual dimension of wellness.
The seven dimensions of wellness can be remembered through the acronym SPECIES. It takes all the pieces of the puzzle to balance one another and achieve a strong sense of well-being. What will you do this month to improve your overall wellness?