The wellness wheel is a model of eight parts that make up a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. It is a visual reminder that our lives are made up of many facets and that each one is important and should be recognized. If we are out of balance in one area, that will affect other areas of our lives. Just like an unbalanced tire on a car will make the ride very uncomfortable, so will an out-of-balance life wheel. As a result, we can lose our sense of well-being and experience anxiety, depression, or unspecified distress.
Eight parts of the wheel
This area of the wheel highlights the importance of emotional connections and meaningful relationships; when we feel like we are a vital part of a community, our overall feeling of wellness increases. So, how are you attending to your social wellness?
Taking care of your body is essential and can be done in various ways. It involves eating healthy meals and snacks, regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep. Creating a healthy physical wellness routine will help you commit and continue to taking care of your body. Some suggestions: regular exercise, taking time out of your day to practice deep breathing, choosing to eat the rainbow (lots of colorful fruits and veggies), paying attention to your body, and making and keeping routine doctor visits.
What is emotional wellness? Being aware of your feelings and validating them is crucial. So what can you do to strengthen your emotional health? Learn relaxation techniques, seek the help of a counselor in times of stress and anxiety, practice self-acceptance, let go of the things you can’t change, and be kind to yourself.
Occupational wellness has to do with your career, schooling, and the choices you make to feel like a contributing member of society. You don’t have to love your job to contribute to the community, but it helps. Are you experiencing burnout? Are you experiencing overwhelm? How can you find a way to relieve the pressures you are feeling at work or school? What things can you change? Establishing a sense of control will help when your occupational wellness is out of balance.
Using your values to provide the compass for your decisions and choices in life and being part of the common good make up spiritual wellness. Attending religious ceremonies, meditation, and positive self-talk contribute to your spiritual health.
Do you have times in your daily life where you can engage in critical and creative thinking? Staying informed of daily news and continuing to be curious and learn are essential parts of wellness. If you are experiencing a loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, or procrastination, you may need to attend to this aspect of wellness. Reading more fiction and non-fiction, watching documentaries, finding something you are interested in, and learning more about it are all ways to work on intellectual wellness.
A connection to the physical world around you, including your home, workspace, and nature, makes up the section of environmental wellness. In the winter, in areas of the country that experience a decrease in sunlight, environmental health becomes an important section of the wheel. Scandinavian communities can teach us much about how to handle seasonal darkness. These communities seem to thrive in darkness by having a positive winter mindset. They even have a word for this thriving hygge (pronounced hooga). For more information on the art of hygge, click here.
Financial wellness does not simply mean having money in the bank. This section of the wheel encompasses the ability to navigate through difficult economic times, create and commit to a financial plan, and use the resources available to you to get the help you need. Indeed when money is tight and bills are stacking up, this part of life can become unbalanced. Many experienced this lack of wellness during the pandemic with the loss of employment and income uncertainty. If you are facing a financial crisis, look for the resources your community has to help. Find a local food pantry, reach out to your creditors, and explore how you can find help or how you can offer help to others.