In our previous blog we discovered the many dimensions of wellness and how they are all connected. Since health is wealth, we will help you figure out how you can attend to all of these dimensions and maximize your personal wellness!
First, let’s get physical! Now this can sound very basic but if you are dehydrated, hungry, sleep deprived, or sore, we can imagine that it does not make you the happiest person at your 8 am shift on a Monday morning. It’s the same thing as people who get easily grumpy (or "hangry") when they are hungry. If you want to maximize your overall wellness, taking your physical health seriously is important.
There are many ways to approach this, and it can be personalized to what works for YOUR body! Exercising daily for 30 minutes is usually what we hear all of the time but try to put your own spin on this. Exercising does not only require you running on a treadmill or lifting heavy weights at the gym, but you can also try yoga, play sports or simply go on a hike. These are all amazing ways to get your body moving and your blood pumping!
Other ways to maximize your physical health is eating more whole foods and avoiding fried foods, soft drinks, processed meats, and sweets. We know that this can sound pretty difficult - take it slow and give your body time to adjust!
Lastly, getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night is crucial. Sleep is fuel for your body, it also gives your body time to heal, rest, and regenerate! One way to see this is by imagining your body like a car - what happens when you run out of fuel?
Remember, a happy body starts with a happy mind! Emotional wellness tends to be overlooked and often neglected. Some ways to maximize your emotional wellness is trying your best to maintain a positive attitude even when problems arise. Practicing patience, calmness, self-awareness, and resilience are very helpful ways to strengthen your emotional well-being.
We understand that stress is a common emotion that everyone feels from time to time and how you react to difficulties matters! Something that can help is discovering your personal stress reliever. This includes self-care such as hobbies that you can mentally invest in (e.g. pottery classes or going to a dance studio) to keep your mind off of whatever is stressing you out.
With that being said, having a good support system is key! Find someone that you trust and who you can openly share your feelings with! Whether it’s a friend, family member, therapist or partner, having someone you can confide in can help prevent loneliness and decrease your anxiety levels.
Speaking of a support system, this is your relational wellness! This dimension focuses on establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with yourself, other individuals, groups and communities! Having a network that is grounded in supportive relationships, can help create feelings of satisfaction and security. Some ways to foster your relational wellbeing include joining a club or an organization and staying in touch with family and friends!
Life can become hectic and busy with children, careers, etc., so maintaining a balance between work and social time also fosters relational wellness! When it comes to romantic relationships this may consist of scheduling a date night every month or if you and your partner(s) prioritize physical intimacy - planning "sexy and/or cuddle time".
Keep in mind that it is VERY important to take care of yourself! It is easy for us to forget about ourselves and focus all of our attention on our loved ones. You can love and take care of others better if you ensure that you are taking care of YOU too!
Support systems also connect to the idea of communities which brings us to our next point on cultural wellness. This means supporting cultural diversity in your community. It involves building positive relationships and interacting respectfully with people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, genders, ethnicities, abilities, and ages. This could look like travelling the world to explore different cultures, or attending food festivals to expand your knowledge on different traditional foods. Cultural wellness also looks like taking care of yourself and those around you when faced with oppression and prejudice.
Let's not forget your spiritual wellness! Overall, spiritual well-being brings you peace of mind and a sense of purpose. This can look different for everyone such as stopping at a place along a hike and reflecting or spending time before bed to talk to your God. You may take time to meditate! While managing your time and daily tasks, it is crucial to devote time to connecting with yourself and your spirituality.
You could also try exploring your spiritual core. By exploring this, you are simply asking yourself questions about the person that you are and your meaning. Questions may include: Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I value most? These questions allow deeper self-reflection about what may bring you a sense of fulfillment.
Next is intellectual wellness, which means engaging in creative and mentally-stimulating activities! These activities expand your knowledge and skills while allowing you to share your talents with others. This could be as tiny as doing Sudoku, word searches, or Escape Rooms or it could be as big as going to national conferences and building your own business. All of these activities encourage learning. Anything that helps build your mind can shape your intellectual wellness!
On another note, our everyday jobs can become boring and mundane, and vocational wellness is one of the dimensions of overall wellness. Your vocational wellness means having a balance of work and leisure in a way that promotes health, invites personal satisfaction, and is financially rewarding!
Maintaining a positive attitude while effectively handling work, school, career goals, and other responsibilities will greatly influence your wellness. Some ways to foster vocational wellness can include not settling, and instead staying motivated to work towards your aspirations, learn new skills in your profession, recognizing the benefits and positive outcomes of your job, and networking!
But let’s also not forget about work boundaries in vocational wellness! It is common for people to overwork themselves and then experience burnout, so finding a balance between work and life is also important to maximizing your wellness!
Speaking of your job, financial wellness is “a state of being wherein you have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances; have the capacity to absorb a financial shock; are on track to meet your financial goals; and have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life!” Having a reliable income is the cornerstone of financial wellness and increasing your income can help you obtain your goals!
You definitely do not need to be a millionaire, but it is important to obtain some level of income stability. Try to live off a set income level and add to your investments. Allowing your interest-earning accounts to grow will help you offset any downturns or emergency expenses! Financial wellness can also include building your savings and attending financial courses to help you better manage and invest your money.
Overall, each dimension contributes to our sense of wellness and each affects and overlaps with the others. At times, one may be more prominent, but neglecting dimensions has adverse effects on overall health! Try your best to balance your wellness and know that is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. Remember that your health is wealth, it is integral to invest in it!
If you are not sure where to start or you are struggling to attend to some of the dimensions of wellness - we are here to help!
Our therapists would be happy to support you in Maximizing your Wellness!