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Recovery and the 8 Dimensions of Wellness

Just a couple weeks ago, we made a social media post about wellness and it got us thinking… how can we effectively achieve it? The conscious awareness that people uphold to promote healthy decision making and internal harmony depends on the individual’s interpretation of the concept. You can want wellness, though you will not achieve it until you work for it. While some believe wellness adheres to the physical aspect of life, others claim it is a person’s mental well-being that completes the human being. In reality, one without the other impacts overall functioning- crazy right?! Such a simple concept with such a complex background.

“I’ve strived for wellness and still haven’t achieved it- I don’t understand why!” Well, friend, let us tell you how we can help. What many don’t understand is that stress can be a part of wellness (a healthy amount of course, don’t run yourself into the grave!) Well-being is not something that we strive to achieve just once, but is rather something that should be recurring on a daily basis. To do so, there are 8 principal dimensions that we must analyze. Yes… eight is a lot to focus on at one time but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do nearly anything. Below is a brief explanation of each aspect of wellness and some ideas on how you can start your journey to a healthier and happier recovery:

1. Emotional: Fostering confidence, optimism, and self-acceptance to cope with stressors and form satisfying relationships.
• Try some self-reflection exercises! By writing out goals and engaging in regular leisure activities, you begin to establish a more solid emotional response system.
• This is a very personal dimension… doing things that you love, such as your hobbies, is very important to achieving emotional optimism.

2. Physical: Taking care of yourself! This includes adopting healthy regular habits to maintain a thriving lifestyle.
• This includes: a healthy diet, a sufficient amount of sleep, regular medical check-ups, physical activity, and a balanced schedule.
• “How can I master this dimension?” We’re glad you asked! Try making any necessary appointments (therapy, doctor, dentist, car, etc.) ahead of time and assign a timeslot for physical activity at least 4 times a week. In addition, monitor your sleep schedule! Are you getting the full eight hours of sleep you need? Probably not. By creating a schedule, you are more likely to fully achieve the physical dimension.

3. Intellectual: Engaging in mentally stimulating and creative ideas to promote responsible decision making, see different points of view, and inspire curiosity.
• Do you have any hidden talents? Show them. What challenges you? Do it. Wanna learn something new? Absolutely! Step out of your comfort zone and get inspired. Here are some ideas on how to get you going:
– Paint, draw, or make clay sculptures. That’s right- art. Use different coloured paints and unique tools to make it fun!
– Crosswords or sudoku… trust us, it’ll make you think in strategic ways.
– Research. Yes, this might sound generic but looking up a topic that you find interesting could grow your knowledge base and stimulate effective original ideas.
– Have you ever had a passion to teach? Try tutoring! Sharing your knowledge will encourage others to bounce ideas off of you and will make you understand different perspectives.

4. Financial: Learning to effectively manage money- this means making confident financial decisions and preparing for future expenses to reach monetary satisfaction.
• As one of the world’s most common stressors, finances will definitely have a toll on your lifestyle. How can you achieve your ideal way of living? Start by creating budgets and opening (if you don’t have one already) a savings account. Regularly depositing a small sum of money in the bank will prepare you for any financial emergencies that could arise. Another way you can improve is to cut back on unnecessary spending and make the majority of your meals at home. This way, you will have a little spending money here and there to treat yo self😉

5. Spiritual: Finding your personal set of beliefs and values to expand your sense of meaning and purpose in life.
• Common activities that will help you realize your spiritual dimension are things like: meditation, volunteering, prayer, or community involvement with a religious or spiritual purpose. How do you know if the spiritual aspect of your life is healthy? Internal peace. This includes self-confidence and a clear set of morals but most importantly… connection within the self.

6. Social: Developing healthy connections and a sense of belonging to establish a good support system
• A trusting and loyal support system can be difficult to find in recovery. Thus, it is important to step out of your comfort zone and initiate. Yes, introducing yourself to a new colleague can be nerve-wrecking, but it could also be the start of a 30 year friendship!
• What you can do to make it happen: Join a community club or class, meet people online, ask a friend out for lunch, and most importantly… don’t be afraid to say yes! If someone invites you to go ziplining, do it!
• Strive and work towards: effective communication skills, being yourself, being respectful, and setting boundaries. Yes, it is good to take new opportunities, but it is also important to know your limits. That being said, it is OK to say no to someone if you need to take care of your personal well-being.

7. Occupational: Attaining personal satisfaction in your professional life and growing within the workplace.
• To grow within a company, you must be learning new things and proving yourself. While this can be hard, it’s worth it! Choose an occupation that matches your values and write out professional goals. It is a good idea that your boss or supervisor conduct a “performance assessment” once in a while so that you can grow from your current position towards a worthy promotion.

8. Environmental: Surrounding yourself in a positive, opportunity-driven atmosphere that assumes responsibility for the quality of social and natural environments.

• Social: If you are surrounded by negativity and social toxicity- whether it be in the workplace, on social media, or around your loved ones- chances are you’re being directly affected. In recovery, it is very important that you choose the people that uplift your goals and push you to achieve them. If they are holding you back in any way, have a conversation with them. You do not need to be friends or acquaintances with everyone you see. This could make the difference between personal growth or a life in limbo. Your choice!

• Environmental: Land, water, and air pollution are just a few of the environmental concerns that affect us today. Sure, this may impact our quality of life, but you can take action to do something about it! Use the recycling program, plant a garden, or purchase environmentally-friendly products. It’s the little steps that count!

If you’re severely lacking in just one dimension, it could affect your overall quality of life. Let’s not forget our purpose: to have a happy life! By giving just a little bit of attention to each of the 8 wellness dimensions, you will notice a difference in your daily social interactions and situational approaches. It will take time, little steps will be necessary, it may be frustrating but the results will be SO worth it.

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