Think for a moment about what comes to mind when you think wellness or health? Imagine what that entails. If you set a goal for yourself to prioritize your health or wellness more, what would that include? Try to imagine at least 3 things you would work on. Okay, now that you’ve thought about this you likely imagined eating healthier, working out, maybe losing some weight, meal prepping, or walking more. It is very often that when individuals think of health and wellness they jump to the ideas of eating healthy and exercise. While these are very important it’s also important for us to recognize that there is more to health and wellness then just that. I like to think of it as a complete circle of wellness.
What’s All Included in the Circle of Wellness?
There are different components of wellness. I like to think of it as all the components make up a circle like a circle of wellness. Depending on where you look you might find the number of components to vary slightly, but we are going to focus on 6 components of wellness. These components include: physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, and spiritual. When you think of improving your wellness we primarily think of physical wellness. You might even be asking yourself how is it possible that the other 5 components of wellness could actually help you when trying to improve your health and even lose weight.
Let’s think about cleaning the house for a moment. When you clean your house think about everything you do. You most likely dust, sweep, vacuum, mop, clean the bathrooms, and wipe down the windows. Now imagine if you only mopped your house. You didn’t do anything else except for mop your house. Would your house seem clean? Imagine if you have an animal that sheds and you only mopped the floor. The house would probably seem even more dirty as now you would have clumps of pet hair all around the house right?
Let’s also imagine decorating a Christmas tree. Think about all of the different components you might have to your Christmas tree. These components might include the ribbon, the tree itself, ornaments, lights, and a topper. Now imagine if you only had the Christmas tree. Nothing was on it. Basically it was just a plain Christmas tree in the corner of the room. It lacked the energy and sparkle of a decorated Christmas tree.
When we try to improve our wellness by only focusing on the physical wellness component we are treating our body like a plain Christmas tree or a house that was cleaned with only a mop.
The physical wellness component is probably the one everyone is the most familiar with. This component includes eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep each night. Maybe you have tried to really focus on this component by dieting, but it just seems to be a never ending cycle. The key is you can’t achieve your goals by only focusing on 1 piece of the equation. There is likely another component that is holding you back.
This is one that many of us could probably benefit from working on. This component includes managing stress and prioritizing self care. There are so many stressful components of life especially right now. A lot of people can also struggle with prioritizing self care, however it is so important. I often find myself trying to remind myself that I can’t pour into others when I’m not pouring into myself. When you don’t focus on your own well-being you are limiting your ability to help others. Another piece of emotional wellness that people may find beneficial is to focus on gratitude. Try practicing thinking of 3 things you are thankful for each day. If you want to learn more about gratitude check out this blog post.
The social wellness component includes your relationships with friends, family, and work/life balance. It is important to prioritize time with friends and family. Socializing with these individuals can truly help our overall well-being. Especially if you surround yourself with a group of people, who truly make you happy and push you to be the best version of yourself. Having a healthy work/life balance is also incredibly important. There will almost always be another task at work that could be completed, but most of the time it can wait until the next day. It’s important to set healthy boundaries for yourself with work.
This component of wellness includes what you surround yourself with daily. Having a clean and organized space around you can help you think clearly, be productive, and focus on the task you are working on. Getting outside to get some fresh air each day can also be incredibly beneficial to your health and overall well-being.
Intellectual wellness can include taking time to allow yourself to grow. Consider learning a new skill, studying a new topic, or spending time each week to read a book that could help with your own personal growth. Working on personal growth can teach you something new while also being incredibly rewarding.
Spiritual growth might look different for each person, but the biggest factor is to try to stay true to your own beliefs and values each day. You might also find it beneficial to work on different ways of growing spiritually too, however that might be for you.
How do I start working on improving my circle of wellness?
Improving your overall wellness can begin by first identifying what areas you could see yourself really needing improvement in. Try to go back through the breakdown of the 6 components to the circle of wellness above and write down 3 specific things you could work on improving. Try to make these 3 things as specific as possible. Don’t just say you need to work on your emotional wellness. Instead write down specifically if that means you need to start prioritizing an hour each week for self care or whatever that might mean for you. Try writing down those 3 specific things to work on and then determine exactly what you are going to do to fulfill that. Try working on these 3 specific things for a month and then re-evaluate. If you’ve been successful working on them then consider adding in some more areas for improvement. If you are not as successful then consider what’s preventing you from accomplishing those 3 goals and try to make some adjustments. Overall remember there’s always room for improvement, so take it one step at a time and you’ll start to see your goals coming together.