What is Wellness
Wellness - a term we've all heard a million times but probably don't truly understand what it means. What is it, aside from the buzzword of the moment, that thing everyone on Instagram seems to be talking about and the concept all companies want to adopt.
I believe we all have some notion of what wellness is - at least to ourselves - almost instinctually. Though, in my experience, my view was somewhat limited when compared to the true scope of what wellness means. Wellness encompasses several areas, also known as dimensions, with each one contributing to your overall Wellness, in this month's post we will explore these dimensions and consider what wellness really means.
WHAT IS WELLNESS?
Wellness can be seen as the act of practicing healthy habits or actions on a daily basis in order to achieve a better physical and mental health.
When we reference health, it's important to note that this is intrinsically linked to wellness and encompasses both physical and mental wellbeing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
This definition goes someway to show the depth and scope of wellness. It is not, as we often think, just being fit, eating a "healthy" diet or being stress free. Wellness encompasses several dimensions, with each one playing a key role in our overall health or wellness.
These Dimension are:
1. Social Connectedness
No this doesn't refer to the amount of time you spend on social media. It's about connecting with loved ones and friends, not letting relationships slip away and getting along with your work colleagues or superiors.
Whether it's 30 minutes or 2 hours, a run, a group class or a sport. A walk, the chores at home or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It's about being active and mobile in an enjoyable way.
Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or a meat eater, it's about making smart choices, picking wholesome foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables. Drinking enough water and avoiding processed foods whenever possible.
It's important to get enough sleep each night. Form a routine by going to bed and waking up at similar times, avoid phones and gadgets before bed and restrict light and noise as much as possible.
Mindfulness is about taking a moment to yourself. Analyse your thoughts, process information or switch off and meditate. It can be a great tool to become more aware of yourself and how you react or respond to specific situations. It can be used for visualisation and relaxation.
Personally, I believe each of these can be broken down further into more specific concepts or sub-dimensions. It is these components which make up each dimension as a whole and should be considered when looking at your own wellness.
We all thrive within 1 or 2 dimensions, with another 1 or 2 partially covered, leaving a potential 1-3 dimensions which have plenty of room for improvement. Some of these habits or actions will come easily, others will require more work or a change in lifestyle. Be sure to start small and incorporate any changes slowly and in manageable chunks. Check out our post on Habits for some tips on forming long lasting habits.
Let's take a look at the Sub Dimensions:
1. Social Connectedness
- Communication with friends and family
- Interactions at work with colleagus
- Interactions during your day to day
- How you treat people and how you are treated
- Frequency of exercise
- Type of exercise
- Flexibility and mobility
- Injury and pain
- Perceived ability and achievement
- Food intake
- Meal times
- Diet type - vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, omnivore
- Water intake
- Types of food - wholemeal, wholewheat
- Variety of food sources
- Impact of environment
- Duration of sleep
- Quality of sleep
- Night time routine
- Awareness of self
- Connection to nature
- Switched off from work and gadgets
When we look at the sub-dimensions we can really start to analyse our weak areas and take meaningful steps to improve them in an effort to enhance our overall well being.
Take a moment to think about your own wellness. Which areas do you thrive in? Which require more dedicated work? Are there aspects you struggle with?
Ultimately, wellness comes down to achieving balance within and throughout our lives. Each dimension has a positive effect on the others and if we can take steps to improve our weaknesses we will be sure to reap the benefits.
How is your Wellness?
The Springhealth Team