Updated: May 13, 2021
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on wellness in the later half of 2016 and I am now just one semester away from finishing graduate school at Rowan University. Over the past year and a half as a graduate student I have been challenged to become a more “reflective practitioner” both in and out of the classroom. This means that I have spent a great deal of time in my own head analyzing my perceptions, biases, and thoughts and how they influence my counseling and my worldview. For me, reflection began as a necessary homework assignment but has since turned into way of life that is engrained in my daily activity.
So as I head into 2017, I certainly don’t want to take a break from thinking and reflecting but I want to add more doing to my practice. I have thought and reflected long and hard enough, and I will continue to do so, but with lots of excitement ahead of me, it is time to take some action. Thus here I am, beginning with my own wellness. Wellness, as I have come to learn, is more, so much more, than just your physical health. Wellness is in fact composed of seven, or sometimes more, components working in synchronicity to make up your holistically well self. The seven components of wellness that I have come to know and love are the following:
Social wellness is made up of one’s interpersonal skills, how one interacts and relates to others, and maintains healthy relationships with the people around you.
Emotional wellness is the ability to identify and cope with the many emotions of the human experience, both good and bad. Emotional wellness includes expressing and acknowledging these emotions in ways that are constructive and beneficial to your being.
Spiritual wellness is centered around your ability to find peace and purpose in your experiences. Spiritual wellness may or may not be connected to a religious doctrine or set of beliefs. Instead spiritual wellness is a unique set of personal values and level of connectedness one has with their one existence.
Environmental wellness is the ability to recognize one’s role as a stewardess of the earth. The realization that the choices one makes have a larger impact on our world that can be felt both near and far.
Occupational wellness is the ability to experience fulfillment from a chosen career and continued challenge, growth, and support form that work environment.Occupational wellness is a way in which we can contribute to the society of which we are a part.
Intellectual wellness is ones engagement in lifelong learning whether that be in or out of a formal education setting. Lifelong learning allows one to challenge existing thoughts and ideas by introducing new ways of thinking.
Physical wellness, may be the most obvious as it is the one most commonly associated with New Year’s Resolutions. Physical wellness is ones ability to make informed decisions about their health in order to enhance their quality of life. Physical wellness may include personal health and fitness related goals and lifestyle choices.
Over the next few weeks, as I get into the groove of a new year, I will be sharing my personal “wellness plans” and goals for each component of wellness. I hope that you join me in giving each component of wellness the attention it deserves in 2017, because you and your well being are worth it.