Sometimes we feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done that we need to get done. People often tell us, “You need to find balance!” Well, what does that look like and how do we create a balanced lifestyle? Finding balance is key to obtaining wellness, but we need to look at what areas in our life are being neglected. We also need to look at what areas in our life we’re spending the most of our time. Is there a way to find that balance that we seem to constantly be searching for?
It might be helpful to think of our wellness as having eight different dimensions. We have our emotional, spiritual, intellectual, financial, physical, environmental, occupational, and social wellness. Clinicians often use the “Wellness Wheel” to demonstrate these dimensions.
One of our dimensions, “Emotional”, refers to our ability to express our feelings, adjust to emotional challenges, and cope with life’s stressors. It may be helpful to set aside time to reflect on our emotions, find trusted people for support, and implement coping skill such as journaling to help us get in touch with our emotions.
Our “Spiritual” wellness refers to our personal beliefs and values. It involves having meaning, purpose, and a sense of balance and peace. What philosophies guide your life? Do you take time each day to meditate or reflect on your personal beliefs? Try making a list of your personal values and see if your daily actions are aligning with these values.
As for our “Intellectual” wellness, this involves many things that help keep our brains active. It provides us the ability to look outside of the box, gain new perspectives, and understand multiple views. You can nourish this dimension by reading about a new topic, joining a club, or even teaching a class or leading a workshop on a subject that interests you.
Another dimension, “Financial”, refers to our ability to manage our finances by budgeting, paying off debts, and saving money for emergency situations. There are many ways to achieve financial wellness such as opening up a savings account, working with a financial advisor, or consolidating your total debt.
“Physical” wellness is all about our nutrition, exercise, medication management, and sleep hygiene. Are you getting enough physical exercise throughout the day? Are you eating healthy? What can you start doing today that will help you achieve your long-term physical health goals? Joining a local gym, meal-prepping, and getting on a consistent sleep schedule are just a few ways you can help improve this area of wellness.
Our “Occupational” wellness refers to our health in our place of employment. Are we in a career that provides us with meaning, satisfaction, and that aligns with our personal values? Do you have time in your week for leisure? If you feel like this area of your life is a struggle, take the time to think about what you are really passionate about and what you could do to pursue that avenue. If you feel like what you enjoy most won’t bring you a steady income, try adding it to your schedule as a hobby and see if it can eventually grow into something more.
“Environmental” wellness is all about making our surroundings safe and comfortable—this includes our home, car, or wherever else you spend a large amount of time. Are you keeping up on car maintenance? Are you preserving the areas where you spend the most of your time? Schedule an oil change, tidy up clutter, and look for ways that you can make your environment as comfortable as possible.
And finally, our “Social'' wellness refers to our ability to form and keep healthy relationships with others. Find ways that you can join social events in your community, meet people with similar interests, and set aside quality time with friends and family. Schedule a monthly coffee date with a loved one, or plan a weekly board games night with friends! Meetup.com is a great resource to find local meet ups such as hiking, book clubs, knitting—whatever your interests are—this site helps connect like-minded people. And if you don’t find what you are looking for, you can even create your own meetup!
If you feel like any of these areas of life are on empty, take time to nourish that dimension and keep track of each area using your own wellness wheel. If you feel like you are struggling to find balance, reach out to any of our clinicians to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you create balance and figure out which areas in your life need more support and care.