Wednesday Wellness: Do I have to be fit..
to improve my wellness?
Not necessarily. According to the National Wellness Institute model (graphic credit) , there are 6 dimension of wellness, and physical wellness is only one part.
One of the reasons that physical activity and fitness is touted as a major player in boosting wellness may be because it can also have a positive affect on the other dimensions. However, that can be true of other dimensions. Perhaps a job or occupation is unsatisfying or overly demanding, creating barriers to balancing other areas of this model. Modifying the occupational segment may allow the others to shift into better balance.
Rather than thinking about them each as separate dimensions, consider them fluid areas that change shape and character with life and circumstances. Even if exercise is not someone’s preferred method of improving personal wellness, improvement in other areas can improve the physical dimension.
When you’re considering where to start in your own efforts, ask yourself some simple questions:
- How am I feeling? Not in a general sense, but really take time to answer. Instead of “busy”, consider exactly what that feeling is: anxiety, exhaustion, envy, or maybe joy. Take a moment to pause, take inventory, and give it a name.
- Is it okay? Sometimes temporarily stretching out of our “comfort zone” is okay, and even healthy and good for productivity and creativity. The more frequently or consistently we stay in that space though, stress can begin to take a toll. We may even become less and less resilient to those changes.
- What is ONE thing that would bring life more into balance? Notice that the questions is NOT: What makes me happy? Happiness is elusive, and tends to have and positive or negative association. Choose language to identify with carefully, and examine what small change might cause a shift in those fluid categories, creating a slightly more balanced sense of personal wellness.
Each individual has a unique brand of personal wellness, and it’s important to pay attention to all areas- not just the physical. Whether you aren’t ready to start exercising, don’t have time, or maybe are dealing with an illness that is prohibitive: It’s only part of the whole. Start with inventory, and make one small shift at a time.
Audra Labert is a Peak Program Coordinator, Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, RYT200 Yoga instructor, Kripalu student of Therapeutic Yoga, and avid wanderer.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.