A few weeks ago, I started a new course at my local recovery college. It’s something I’ve been wanting to learn about for a while now but I was waiting for the face-to-face courses to start again. Anyway, it’s all about exploring and assessing 8 different key areas of your life to make sure equal time and attention is given to each to try to achieve balance. This week, I thought I’d share some information about the concept of The Wheel Of Wellness and introduce the 8 aspects of life which we’ll be looking at in depth at our weekly sessions. If you are familiar with The Level 10 Life by Hal Elrod you will notice similarities, but this model is more related to mental wellbeing than achieving your best life. I hope you enjoy reading my series of Monday posts and my articles prompt you to reflect on your current lifestyle in relation to the dimensions of the wheel.
The Wheel Of Wellness model
There are lots of pictorial images of the Wheel Of Wellness online, some with more spokes than others, but the one I’ve chosen matches the life categories that I’m covering in my college course. As it’s a recovery college that I’m attending, the sessions focus on how each aspect relates to individuals who live with mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. However, I think the wheel is useful to anyone who has an interest in improving or maintaining their own wellbeing (which in my opinion should be everyone!).
The following example illustrates a wellness model with eight dimensions, namely emotional, physical, financial, intellectual, occupational, environmental, social and spiritual. All of the dimensions are interconnected and equally important for a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle and working on maintaining good mental health.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be taking each aspect in turn and considering ways in which they impact on life and also how your mental health can have an effect on that particular dimension. I also suggest some ideas for making improvements in that particular area of the wheel. For now, here’s a brief explanation of each which includes things we discussed in our introductory session and my own ideas which I would like to raise:
How effectively you cope with life and its many challenges. Awareness and management of your different feelings. Self esteem, self confidence, compassion and resilience. How mindfulness can help. Creating positive and satisfying relationships with others. How your emotions affect your mood and mindset and strategies for managing this.
Diet, exercise and sleep and their effect on your wellbeing. The impact life stresses and a busy lifestyle can have on these. How physical and mental health can affect all 3. Ways in which you can care for your body and signs which suggest you might be neglecting to look after yourself well.
Living within your means and managing your money effectively. How mental health can affect money decisions. How financial difficulties can impact on your wellbeing. Making responsible choices to ensure a good financial future.
Work and leisure activities that stimulate your mind. Keeping your brain active to avoid memory loss. Staying curious and cultivating your desire to learn new things throughout your life. Problem solving. Listening to the ideas of others and showing respect for their opinions. Finding ways to expand your knowledge and skills. Recognising your creative abilities and finding time to explore them. Keeping up to date with social and political issues.
Finding work that satisfies you and enriches your life. Seeking a career that is interesting, enjoyable and meaningful. Engaging in activity that contributes to society in some way. Other work related activities such as volunteering for a worthwhile cause or doing things for the good of the community.
Ways in which we can look after and care for our immediate environment and our planet e.g. reducing and reusing, recycling, upcycling, assessing our carbon footprint and conserving electricity. Being aware of the spaces we spend our time in and thinking about positive changes we can make to our environment. Keeping your home clean and organised. Decluttering.
The positive and negative impact of social media. Connections between you are your family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and anyone else in your life. Effective communication, feeling like you can be yourself with others, maintaining and developing relationships. Ways in which you can find out what’s on in your local community and how to get involved in projects in your locality.
Living a life which reflects your core beliefs and values. Ways to boost your spiritual wellbeing through gratitude, meditation, developing a mindfulness practice, self awareness and reflection, setting meaningful and fulfilling goals. Understanding your purpose in life. Consideration of your ethical or religious beliefs. Establishing peace and harmony in our lives.
Now that I’ve shared the eight dimensions of the wheel of wellness you might like to consider which areas which you feel you do really well in and which do you think you could give greater attention to. I know for myself intellectual wellness is a big priority in my life as I have always been keen to learn new things and will often find ways to improve my knowledge of different subjects through reading and talking to others. I also like to explore my creativity and will always find time to engage in creative pursuits such as papercrafting, journalling, painting, drawing, handlettering, photography and jewellery making to name just a few! Physical wellness has also become very important to me at the moment and as well as finding different ways to be active including going to the gym and joining fitness classes, I’m also evaluating my diet and working on making healthier choices and trying out lots of nutritious recipes. The main areas I’d like to work on next are occupational wellness and socialization and I’m looking forward to deep diving into these as part of my college sessions.
It would be great if you could give this post a like if you are interested in learning more about the eight dimensions of wellness and I would also love to hear about areas in which you feel you thrive, as well as aspects of your life you’d like to work on in the future.