As we continue with our wellness series, we’ll be seeing once more how connected these dimensions are and how fluid our wellness can be because of this. The already covered dimensions include social, spiritual, and emotional. We hope you learned how these work together to allow a greater sense of meaning, ability to cope with life’s stresses, and to support you in living a healthy lifestyle!
This week we are discussing the environmental dimension of wellness, which refers to both social and natural surroundings. It also relates to a feeling of responsibility for your environment and the health of the Earth. During the time of COVID, you are likely spending more time at home, which creates an increased importance for your home environment and the impact it has on your wellness. Is it chaotic, or organized? Does it feel safe? Is it a place where you feel you can relax/unwind? How do you pass your time at home, and does this support you the way you want?
Having a home that is free of clutter or disorganization, and one that feels safe, can lead to healthier habits, increased sense of responsibility, and can carry-over into other aspects of life. Surrounding oneself with an environment that is comforting, supportive, and close to those you love is important for enhancing the emotional and social dimensions of wellness. Meanwhile, making responsible choices and understanding how daily actions can impact the Earth, often can create a sense of belonging or purpose – and being a part of something bigger than just yourself.
In addition to the immediate environment, the environment outside the home is completely different as well, right? Staying six feet apart, wearing masks, being unable to interact with people and our environments as we’re used to. This change can take a toll on our emotions and ability to socialize; maybe even more-so as places of business begin to re-open in some way or another. Some other things to consider include whether or not your social environment aligns with your values, and if you feel supported by those in your circle.
With summer being near, one blessing-in-disguise of the ‘rona may be that we’re spending more time outside! This can create huge benefits in our health and wellbeing.
The natural environment has a large impact on wellness and physical health. Being close to nature can improve blood pressure and decrease stress. It also enhances emotional-wellbeing and alleviates feelings of social isolation. And we discussed in our spiritual QuickRead how connecting to nature can help develop a feeling of belonging.
So, as this pandemic is providing more time at home and a change in your environment, think about taking this opportunity to reflect on your environment and enhance it as you see fit. Naval Admiral William McRaven says “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.” Although you may not be changing the world just yet, something like this can kickstart your day with an accomplished task that can snowball into greater productivity. If you’re a WFH employee who is struggling to maintain a productive day, try making your bed each morning and maintaining a clean and organized work environment. If you have the option, spend some working hours outside and be mindful of your natural surroundings.
Something Taylor and I make a priority is our backyard! Planting flowers, hanging hummingbird feeders, and creating a space where we can relax and feel comfortable; a space where we can bring a bit of nature to us, to enjoy daily. These small changes to your environment can have drastic impacts on your stress levels, feelings of security and comfort, and feeling of belonging and responsibility.
And to think bigger, taking a responsibility for your actions toward Earth can lend even greater support toward your sense of belonging and purpose. Recycling as you’re able, conserving water, esp. in drought-common areas, and responsibly using electricity are some relatively simple steps you can take toward a more positive impact on Earth. If you’re unsure where to start, or are interested in making environmentally friendly changes, turning to community resources regarding recycling and responsible waste is a good first move! A couple simple changes Taylor and I have made include recycling more consciously, and using reusable grocery and produce bags at the store!
Our environments are ever changing - Coronavirus or not – and they have really felt the wrath of ‘rona recently. Understanding what you value in your immediate environment, and how you impact your larger environment, is important for leading a healthy life for which you feel responsible. This understanding can help you in maintaining a supportive environment regardless of what this world throws atchya!
Thanks again, for hanging with us these last 5 weeks; we hope we can keep your company! Check it out next week as we challenge our own minds by diving into the Intellectual Dimension of wellness!
Elle and Taylor