What the Heck is Holistic Wellness?
At one time I was working government contracts as a Job Coach/ Trainer, and I was asked to create life coaching curriculum to motivate people to pursue further education or gain meaningful employment. This was a challenging endeavor as most of my clients were not physically/ mentally/spiritually or emotionally well due to the ups and downs of life, and being handed the short end of life's stick a few too many times. So, I created holistic wellness workshops to get the group thinking about creating health and wellness in their own lives, which was the first step in moving toward their educational or career goals. I mean, how on earth is someone expected to find and maintain employment when they are struggling with anxiety/ depression/ chronic illness / low self esteem etc? It was through this workshop and the practice of holistic wellness that I watched my clients transform their lives.
Imagine a circle cut into four equal pie shaped parts. Each part represents an aspect of you that needs to be nourished in order to lead a happy, healthy and satisfying life. These parts are working collaboratively to balance your being. We can label these parts: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. The name for this pie and its four encompassed parts is the wellness wheel. The principle behind the wellness wheel is that you are the wheel made up of four key wellness elements that work in unison to create wellness or unhappiness. All four parts need to be feeding and nurturing each other in order for the whole to function optimally. For instance, when we treat our bodies to exercise, our brains produce many " feel good chemicals" that assist in creating a positive mood, which in turn promotes healthy thought patterns. This example depicts how our physical quadrant is directly responsible for improving emotional and mental health. Likewise, if we focus on our spiritual practice (whatever that looks like for you personally- shamanism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism- if it feels good do it) we will typically feel a sense of inner peace, connectedness and trust in our life's path, which leads to stronger emotional and mental wellness. When we visit our doctor with complaints of an unexplained ailment, often times we are asked if we are experiencing stress in our lives, this is because healthcare professionals are acutely aware of the link between our mental and physical health. The point is, each quadrant in the wellness wheel is deeply intertwined, and if a person chooses to take small steps each day to focus on the improvement of each piece of the wellness wheel, great improvements are on the horizon.
The following are some examples of activities that can be practiced to enhance your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness, with one hour of dedication per day, you will be creating a happy, healthy and whole life. You deserve it.
Exercise 3 times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes
Get your finances in order
Rearrange your living space, declutter
Try an organic raw food cleanse
Get tested for allergies
Create and repeat daily body positive affirmations
Practice crossword puzzles daily
Study a subject that stimulates you
Read a book
Attend a drum circle
Join a church
Sit quietly in nature
Spend time with children
Seek counseling for unresolved issues
Connect with supportive family and friends
Read a self help book
Listen to uplifting music
Forgive yourself and others
What are you waiting for? Health and wellness are just around the corner!