WHAT IS WELLNESS?
The National Wellness Institute (NWI) shares the following model of wellness:
- Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential
- Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
- Wellness is positive and affirming
When we, in the HR department, talk about wellness we’re thinking about the total picture and how overall wellness is what we all need to strive for. The NWI has a Six Dimensions of Wellness model that focuses on the emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual. I believe total wellness health includes two additional categories of financial and environmental. Being aware of these wellness goals and actively working to improve ourselves through better, mindful choices in each category leads to healthier living.
BASIC APPLICATIONS OF WELLNESS
If you’re not yet actively applying wellness principles to your life, starting can be as simple as working on some basics within each of the eight categories.
Occupational: Exploring continuing education, whether you’re a therapist, assistant or in an administrative role. Fostering new skills and talents that are personally and professionally rewarding.
Physical: Caring for your body by engaging in consistent exercise and proper nutrition. Getting enough sleep. Avoiding harmful habits like tobacco or excessive drinking.
Emotional: Understanding your emotional responses and being able to cope with the challenges of life.
Financial: Finding balance and control over your finances so you can reach your goals in every stage of your financial life.
Spiritual: Having a sense that life is meaningful and has a purpose. Realizing your values, beliefs, principles and morals.
Intellectual: Engaging in continuous learning. Connecting with others. Living a stimulating life.
Environmental: Living and working a life free of hazards. Conserving our natural resources. Striving to better the environment.
Social: Building and maintaining relationships, for all aspects of our lives, that includes family and friends.
With all these dimensions, I think of it as well-being more than wellness. How do you define wellness? How are you applying a wellness approach in your own life?