Last week we talked about environmental wellness. This week let’s move on to how choices we make impact our emotional, social and spiritual wellness.
Eight Areas of Wellness
1. physical wellness
2. occupational wellness
3. financial wellness
4. intellectual wellness
5. environmental wellness
6. emotional wellness—taking care of yourself from a “feeling” perspective; living as stress free as possible in a place of optimism, seeking relationships which feed, rather than deplete, you
7. social wellness—how you operate in the larger world; your interactions with fellow humans; your support system and your sense of “belonging”
8. spiritual wellness—your connection to a higher power; being in harmony and balance with the world outside your own physical being, and your purpose in life
Day-to-day life has changed significantly in the past thirty years. Not only has the division between home life and work life been blurred, even people who don’t work outside, or inside, the home have more on their, proverbial, plates than ever. Technology has us constantly connected. Demands on our time are limitless. We rush from one thing to the other, trying to squeeze in all that we think we “have to” do, and balance is often sacrificed.
Balance is a state of equilibrium that, in many of our lives, simply doesn’t exist. If we try to keep too many balls in the air, sometimes, what falls to the ground is us. From a wellness perspective you have to ask, “What am I doing? What am I rushing to or from? What am I’m missing in the blur that’s my life?” Too many people get to the twilight years of their lives, worn out, realizing they missed so much and think, “If I could do it over again, I’d recognize what’s truly important”.
We can be responsible, successful people, and still have balance—which is critical in maintaining wellness. The key is prioritizing what’s important and not forgetting that you need to be on that list. After all, you can’t be there for others if you’re falling apart yourself.
Most of us have heard the expression, “thinking outside the box”—choosing to look at situations, and people, from a perspective different from how we normally perceive them. “Breathing outside the box,” means taking the time to hear our breath, to slow down, and to be aware of breathing in and out, purposefully, in order to honor and acknowledge the breath we take for granted everyday.
Breathing sounds so simple doesn’t it? But, like everything that’s going on in our amazing bodies, it’s a process. If you feel like you’re a pressure cooker about to blow, or you become aware that you’re caught in a cycle of repetition—doing the same thing over and over without even thinking about it, hit “pause”. Observe what you’re doing both physically and mentally. Then breathe, inhaling and exhaling purposefully. It’s important for both your physical and mental wellness.
Not being able to say “no” has a significant impact on wellness. If you can’t say “no” to: more stuff being brought into your house, to unreasonable expectations, to one more after work get together, or charity event—no matter how great the cause—you often create chaos, or the feeling of being taken advantage of, or the pressure of being overcommitted. Sometimes you need “no” to create balance and peace of mind. Saying, “no” is empowering.
Choose what you want to add to your schedule. When you allow others to dictate how you spend your time, you give up your personal power. Not having the energy or desire to do something is okay. You probably think about what you spend your money on. What are you “spending” your time on? Look at the hours you have daily as the “time currency” of that day. Decide how to allocate them, just like you decide how to allocate your money.
When you’re frazzled, overwhelmed or simply exhausted, listen to the things that you’re saying, to yourself, about what you still have to accomplish. “I still have to read my son a bedtime story” is lot more important than, “I still have to run some errands”. The errands will still be there; the time with someone you care about is irreplaceable.
Intentional Living means planning, with deliberation, the manner in which you spend your time. When you get caught up in the entanglements of everyday life, you can forget to live in a way that cultivates overall wellness.
Living with intention takes effort. It calls out for you to make a plan, recognize what’s important, commit to that, and then breathe life into it. To accomplish that, you have to know what you want. That requires thinking about it with intention—instead of simply being okay with what happens to you, owning your life, and then following through.
There’s no magic wand to erase the past—the nights you worked too late, the lunches you grabbed on the run, or the vacations and conversations you didn’t have, but you can choose your wellness paths moving forward. And, wellness leads to peacefulness. Couldn’t we all use a little more of that?
©peace full home™/intentional living
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