Welcome to our very first Quick Read!
We racked our brains trying to come up with the perfect topic to kickstart our wellness journey and wanted to write about so many different things! We finally decided to tackle a topic that many of us are struggling with right now given the current circumstances – maintaining our wellness. In the craziness that is a global pandemic, our lives have been turned upside down in more ways than one; which is likely having a significant impact on our overall well-being. But, in order to maintain and improve our wellness, we need to know exactly what wellness is. This led us to our first Quick Read Series: The Eight Dimensions of Wellness.
Now, eight whole components may seem daunting; but the reality is that they affect each other so intimately, that small changes to one can have a major impact on the others, and in turn your entire well-being. Before we talk about how to manage each of these pieces, maybe we should get to know them a bit better. With a quick online search, you may find that some define wellness as having a varying number of dimensions. We chose to focus on eight because we feel they most broadly encompass what wellness means; after all, it is not a simple thing. The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University defines The Eight Dimensions of Wellness as:
Environmental: Occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
Intellectual: Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
Physical: Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition
Occupational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work
Spiritual: Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life
Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
Financial: Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
Emotional: Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
I’d be willing to say that while reading that list, you were already thinking about countless ways this global pandemic has largely affected almost every one of those. Am I right? ‘Stay-at-home orders’, ‘shelter in place’, ‘quarantine’, whatever you are currently doing, is having a major impact on each and every one of these eight elements. It’s adding increased stress, toying with our emotions, decreasing our activity levels, changing our environments, limiting our social connections (never thought you’d miss hugs so much, huh?); and it’s changing how we are working, what we’re getting out of it, or compromising our ability to work completely (AKA screwing with our financial stability). The world is extremely concerned about a virus that attacks us physically, and our focus is on protecting humanity – rightfully so; but we cannot be naïve to how the current events are impacting us right at home. I’m not sure we’ve collectively experienced something that is affecting our wellness as much as COVID-19 is, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Despite this, maybe we can use this time to learn more about ourselves and our wellness dimensions for better health now and in the future!
We hope to bring a new light to dire times by discussing each of the dimensions in detail, and providing tips, advice, research, and support. As physical therapists, we are most keen with the physical dimension of wellness; however, we know very well how the other seven come into play and how crucially interconnected they are. So, follow along as we tackle one dimension of wellness at a time through our weekly Quick Reads! Along the way, we would love to hear feedback, and learn what you are doing at home to support these eight dimensions!
If this piqued your interest, make sure to subscribe and stay tuned for future Quick Reads! Up first: ‘Social-distancing’: How to keep your friends close, and your health closer.
Cheers! And thanks for helping us kickstart Mobility Innovated!
Elle and Taylor