What is wellness and the whole person?

It seems like there has been a shift into the topic of wellness - which is a good thing (IMHO). The last time I looked my head and body is connected. So why do we think it's ok to talk about anything that affects us from the neck down, and anything from the neck up is a "taboo?"

Wellness is most impactful when we think about the whole person. There are many definitions of the "whole-person", mind, body and soul. If we think about our lives, it is multi-dimensional. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) uses eight dimensions based on the work of Swarbrick, M (2006).



Does this wheel make sense to you? It does to me. Now there may be some dimensions that I spend more time with, and that's where the problem may lie. I have to think am I out of balance? Surprisingly, no two people are alike, which means that depending on the time where we spend our focus, we will need to spend extra time in one area than another.

Like any good models, each of the dimensions have sub-categories, as outlined below. In future postings, I will take each categoryes and its sub components and break them down further to help you determine where you would need to spend your time and energy. Remember what you give focus to you give power to.


The eight wellness categories and their sub dimensions:

  1. Emotional - Feelings/emotions, Self-care, Stress

  2. Spiritual - Beliefs, Involvment, Time

  3. Intellectual - Personal Interests, Education, Brain Exercise, Conversation

  4. Physical - Nutrition, Physical Activity, Sleep, Alcohol, Tobacco, and other drugs, Medication Safety, Preventive Medicine

  5. Environmental - Green Living, Change of Scenery, Home and Work Environment

  6. Financial - Work, Checking/Savings Accounts, Debt, Retirement/Other Accounts

  7. Occupational - Work Relationships, Balance, Accomplishment

  8. Social - Community, New People, Social Time

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