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The 8 dimensions of self wellness

For many, when asked about wellness, we only think about our physical health. However, there are so many layers to who we are. As a result, we need to be mindful of all the areas of our lives and how they affect us. As a car relies on several parts to work together smoothly, so there are eight dimensions of wellness to keep us in check. They include physical, environmental, financial, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational and intellectual wellness.

Emotional Wellness: Coping and resiliency are not just buzzwords. It is the ability to rest and recover from setbacks that affect our mental health. Believing you can learn and grow from hardship can give you an optimistic perspective that can help you get through a difficult situation.  For example, being realistic about expectations and knowing when to ask for help.

Environmental Wellness: Being intentional about our surrounding is key because our environments help stimulate our well-being. For example, getting outdoors and enjoying green spaces can help you feel better. Secondly, taking advantage of good weather to study outside or take a walk can be simply relaxing. It is vital to take care of the environments we live in, work in and play in by not littering and cluttering.

Financial Wellness: How satisfied are you with your current financial situations?  Money is a tool that helps you achieve your goals while meeting your basic needs. When money is not working for you, it can cause a lot of stress. Financial wellness is a journey and it takes time to be good with money. For example, learning to manage your resources so that you live within your means, setting realistic goals as you prepare for emergencies, short-term or long-term needs. Above all we need to be aware that everyone’s financial values, needs and circumstances are unique to them.

Intellectual Wellness: It is the ability to think critically, reason objectively, make responsible decisions and explore new ideas and different points of view. How are you using your intellect to be creative? In addition to your academic achievements, target to recognize your abilities and find ways to expand your knowledge and skills. For example, getting involved in community service initiatives.  When we learn new information and skills, it builds our confidence and encourages lifelong learning that inspires curiosity.

Occupational Wellness: Do you find fulfilment in what you do? Work wellness involves preparing and participating in work that provides personal satisfaction and life enrichment that is consistent with your values, goals, skills and interests. Focus on the experience you will gain and strive to build positive relationships with your co-workers. It is important to balance work and your personal life to avoid burnout.

Physical Wellness: It is not the absence of illness but thriving as a being.  It includes adopting healthy habits such as routine medical exams, safety precautions, adequate sleep, balanced diet, regular exercise etc. Our bodies do so much for us. Do your best to give your body what it needs to perform in the way you would like it to. Most importantly, discover what healthy habits make you feel better and suit your lifestyle.

Social Wellness: As the saying goes no man is an island. It encourages taking an active part in connecting with others, establishing supportive social networks, developing meaningful relationships and creating safe and inclusive spaces. The strength of your social networks and relationships with your loved ones not only make life fulfilling but can affect how well we overcome challenging situations.

Spiritual Wellness:  Is deeply personal and can shift over time based on life experiences.  It expands our sense of purpose and meaning in life. It can be explored in several ways such as a faith practice or finding a deeper meaning through nature.  It is more than prayer and believing. A spiritually well person seeks harmony, expresses compassion towards others, practices gratitude and appreciates self-reflection.  When we integrate practices of spiritual wellness, we are able to connect in mind, body, and soul.

Wellness is more than health.  It is living fully. Wellness is fueling your body, engaging your mind and nurturing your spirit.  While all dimensions of wellness need our attention for us to truly flourish, the goal is to find a personal harmony with the dimensions that are most authentic for us.  You cannot get there passively; it requires active awareness, acceptance and commitment through the choices you are making every day no matter how small.


The article was compiled by Annete Karanja.


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