The Wellness Fad
Is it just me, or does it appear that everywhere you look someone is talking about or promoting wellness? It seems like the wellness industry is becoming more of a fad than an actual lifestyle.
Here is a challenge:
Log into any of your social media accounts in this very moment…
Now tell me...
- How many posts did you have to look through before you came across a post related to fitness, exercise, working out, “clean-eating”, “being mindful”, and/or “thinking positive”?
- How long does it take before you see a promotional post of some product, “diet”, or program that claims and guarantees you will “lose weight”, “get fit”, and “feel great”?
I bet it took you longer to brush your teeth this morning than it did to find a post that was promoting “holistic” or wellness related content-right? –assuming you brushed your teeth, of course.
Our minds are consumed each day via media with someone participating in some fitness challenge, posting post-workout “swelfies” (sweat selfies), followed by a post of them fueling their bodies with some form of a “clean” or nutritional healthy meal/shake. (If you didn’t find anything wellness related in your social media feeds, I challenge you to shoot me an email: Findyourwill@gmail.com, because this tells me, you’re not following the right people.)
I know some people might be tired or feel annoyed by all the posts related to wellness. Believe it or not, as a Certified Wellness Coach, I am tired of it too. However, my exhaustion isn’t with the promotion of wellness, it’s more so with the lack of promotion of what wellness really means!
Sooo, what exactly IS wellness? Have you ever stopped to think about what this word really means?
Well, you’re in luck, because I’m going to break it down for you.
Wellness isn’t just about eating right, getting fit, and being conscious. There is soo much more that goes into the quality of your life as it pertains to wellness--WHOLE-listic wellness that can add to your overall well-being.
Represented in my logo, Find Your Will Wellness, I have 8 colorful leaves which represent the eight components or dimensions of wellness. I acquired the knowledge from my education/research but more importantly from personal experience. These are all areas I have worked on throughout my personal wellness/fitness journey and continue to work on with myself and my wellness clients. As you read the eight components below, I want you to assess what areas of wellness you can improve on.
Physical Wellness: Physical wellness doesn’t simply refer to your actual physique. When you think of the physical: you shouldn't just be thinking of how you look in the mirror or in a bathing suit. You should be thinking of yourself internally as well. Are your organs healthy? Do you have any physical health/medical conditions or ailments that hinder your well-being? What are you putting into your body (food, substances, toxins, etc.)? Physical wellness isn't simply about weight or fat. Physical wellness can be assessed in how comfortable you are in your own clothing and more importantly, how comfortable you are in your own skin! When I first began my wellness journey, I remember the "a ha" moment, when I couldn't keep up with my nephews while playing in the park: I was 24 and in my mind, there was no reason why I felt sooo exhausted and uncomfortable taking a few strides to chase them. This let me know my physical well being was at risk. So I decided it was time to make a change-and I did!
Mental/Emotional Wellness: Mental/emotional wellness refers to your overall mental health. When was the last time you got a "check up from the neck up"? Many of us suffer from mental health illnesses and don't even realize it. In order to detox the body we must first detox the mind. The rest will fall into place. During my journey, I realized I was not mentally stable. I sought out mental health outpatient therapy. I learned new ways to cope with things and was able to talk through some issues I had harbored for so long. It was the best decision I could have made for my health. Like I always say, "change begins in your mind."
Spiritual Wellness: When you think of spirituality, it doesn't necessarily have to be religion. Spiritual wellness comes from within as it relates to your overall values and belief system. For me, I began practicing mindfulness and meditation while in graduate school. I took a course called Spirituality in Social Work where I learned how to have a spiritual-centered approach with not just clients but myself. I began learning about Buddhist practices, read more self-development books, studied the Law of Attraction, practiced deep-breathing techniques, defined my belief system, learned about Chakra balancing, and just became spiritually conscious. In order to be well, we have to understand our spiritual existence and what that means to each of us.
Financial Wellness: This is a HUGE part of wellness. Unfortunately, money is a necessity for survival. Without it, you wouldn't be able to purchase food to nourish your body, pay for that gym membership, or participate in activities that are conducive to your overall quality of life. Often times, lack of money is the root source for why people don't make healthier choices for themselves. Lack of finances or inability to budget effectively can contribute to a decrease in mental stability. Poor financial wellness can create a domino effect that can affect all of the other components of wellness. The key is to budget effectively and not live beyond your means. Something I strive to work on daily!
Environmental Wellness: Environmental wellness refers to your environment in it's entirety. Where do you live and work? What kind of air are you breathing? Are you around toxins such as lingering chemicals from cleaning products, smokers, etc. Are the individuals around you conducive to your wellness. These are all factors to consider when you think of your environmental wellness.
Occupational/Career Wellness: Are you happy with your job/career? Are you happy with your workplace or work environment? Is it a hostile environment? Do you often find that work is adding stress to your life? Or maybe you feel like you're not yet in your career and are struggling to find it. I have experienced working jobs I absolutely dreaded going to. I didn't allow myself to get "stuck" so I devised a plan to make a change, tune into my passion and do what I love. Confucius said it best, "find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." If you are unhappy with your work or lack thereof-it's time to reassess your occupational/career wellness.
Social Wellness: Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging. If we look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and our psychological needs, we can assess that we as humans crave intimacy, friendships, and companionship. Your overall social wellness refers to this. Do you have friends? Who are they? Are they contributing to your livelihood? Do they support you? Studies show that we are an average of the 5 individuals we hang out with the most. Assess this for yourself and if there are some changes that need to be made, adjust accordingly. Sometimes it’s best to just let go and love some people from afar. Surround yourself with individuals who push you to be better, people who give you the raw supportive truth about you; the good, the bad, and the ugly. This also pertains to social media- who are you following and what are they posting- is it good brain fuel? Your relationships-whether romantic or not, play a key factor into your overall wellness. It wasn’t until I exited some toxic relationships that I realized how much it actually hindered my wellness progress. Don’t be afraid to unfollow people in real life too. If it does not serve you, let it go.
Intellectual Wellness: Intellectual wellness refers to personal development. What are you doing to be a better you-educationally? How are you training your mind? Are you taking on a new hobby? Course? Learning new things? The brain needs to be constantly challenged. My suggestion: start by reading self-development books. If you are not a reader, than look into a self-development podcasts or audiobooks to listen to. Take on a new hobby or learn a new skill. Surprise yourself. You will feel so proud of yourself in the end because you were able to do something you didn't think you could while also increasing your overall intellect.
So there you have it: The 8 Components of Wellness. Wellness isn’t a fad or a trend, it truly is a lifestyle you commit to. I hope you were able to assess your own overall wellness and make plans to increase the quality of each. I would love to hear from you and what areas you are going to work on. Do not hesitate to contact me. Remember-live WELL!
Guest Post by:
Iris L. Mendez, MSW
Find Your Will Wellness
Certified Wellness & Beachbody Coach
"Change begins in your mind."