The month of August is National Wellness Month. An appropriate time of year to take stock of where we stand and where we’re heading in life. In the short term, as we start to gear up for an often-hectic fall season, it’s vitally important to evaluate how our needs have changed over the year, and how we can best meet them now. Yet also looking at our long-term goals and setting new sights for the years to come. A helpful way to begin this reflective process is by focusing on eight wellness dimensions. Because one’s well-being is so much more than reaching and maintaining physical and emotional health. Holistic wellness requires that we focus on all aspects of living to help establish meaning and purpose. This process is especially important for young adults in a critical period of their lives – perhaps starting college this month. A time when the choices made either open doors to a bright future or takes one down dead-end roads that require more time and energy to reroute from.
The eight areas of emphasis are the Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social and Spiritual dimensions of wellness. An introspective focus on each of these aspects of our lives can lead to genuine happiness. The foundational ground of wellness centers on the mind body soul connections that shape and are shaped by our unique niches in the natural/material world; and both guide and are guided by the inner worlds that we inhabit as we grow into our authentic Self. This 8-dimensional web produces a system of self-care that rounds out our needs and desires, and shapes our actions with a goal-oriented vision.
Our Physical health is determined by our genetics, our diet, our ways of being in the world. And of course, is the most immediate and foundational ground for wellness. Also, perhaps the easiest check on our well-being because of the many ways we can measure and improve it. From this ground flows all the other points that allow us to self-actualize as we grow. Each dimension carries its own weight in establishing meaningful directions in our life.
Emotional wellness is the sphere most influenced by all the others, as we learn to mitigate the pressures each of us face. Different for all because of the varying physical, environmental and social factors. Building up our character strengths and learning to honor our unique gifts (our emotional intelligence) prepares us for life’s endless challenges. When we’re filled with purpose, we use our talents to help others, however indirectly it may be, which ties into our Environmental, Social and Spiritual wellness checks. These three dimensions are shaped by our interactions, our relationships with others, with the divine, with the world around us.
Focusing in on our relationships with others, and with our connections to nature and the spiritual ground of our existence, helps us hone our physical & emotional needs. Which the cultural and social institutions that we establish for ourselves can either bolster or strip away. Each of us requires a healthy and robust environment to help support our dietary and mental health goals; underpinned by traditions (often spiritual in nature) and institutions that allow us to find our purpose and make a difference in this world.
The wellness dimensions that we can shape perhaps most directly with our unique experiences are those of our Financial, Intellectual and Occupational frameworks. Intellectual wellbeing is not simply shaped by our cognitive and mental health development, but also by our values and how we come to understand the world and our place in it. Especially important for young adults, as it is fundamental to our continual growth, is to view knowledge as an end goal; not simply a means to financial wellbeing. Occupational wellness involves not just finding fulfilling work that allows you to use your intellect and provides financial stability. More importantly, your career or favorite hobby should allow you to develop your capabilities to happily enjoy life and provide meaning and purpose. Financial wellness opens the door to help bolster emotional and physical health for us and our families. We come full circle to growing our core self by using our unique attributes. Financial wellness also involves planning for our future goals, and responsibly using our wealth (however limited) to continue the work of self-growth, caring for others, and creating a joyful and fulfilling life.
Ketamine Health Centers is committed to helping individuals work through their challenges and establish wellness in all dimensions of life.