Pick up any lifestyle health magazine and there will always be an article with references on how to find balance in your life. From apps that assist with getting to sleep, superfoods that nurture you & products that make your skin glow. These cover some aspects of our lives and generally give the idea that if you take on just one change your whole life will be forever improved.
To enable us to live a whole and balanced life we need to embrace all parts of our Wellness. There are basically 8 Pillars of Wellness that need our attention. Social, Emotional, Occupational, Nutritional, Environmental, Intellectual, Financial & Spiritual.
A brief overview of each one will give you some insight into why embracing all eight pillars is essential to live a life full of vitality, joy and balance.
Social – developing a sense of connection, belonging, and support with others
Emotional – coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
Physical – acknowledging the importance of physical activity, nutrition and sleep
Occupational – finding personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s work
Environmental – maintaining good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
Intellectual – recognising creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
Financial – feeling satisfied with current and future financial situations
Spiritual – discovering a sense of purpose and meaning in life
These are all within your reach and once you recognise the missing link in the chain or piece of the puzzle your next step is to take the action required. None of us want to live a life that is lonely, constantly battling with our weekly budget, or unable to sleep well. So lets look at each one.
Our social contacts can be friends, family, colleagues & casual acquaintances. Whilst there are times in our lives when we would like to step away, to take time out to be quiet and have some “me” time, our social connections are vitally important for our mental health. Social media can form a part of this but don’t underestimate the importance of physical contact. There is a lot happening in our lives so plan to make time for coffee catch ups, to cook dinner for friends, schedule in a bush walk, a date night with your partner or bike ride with the kids. Write these into your diary just as you would a work meeting, so the time is allocated and you are committed.
Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships is fundamental to being emotionally well. Effectively managing stress is now regognised as a fundamental part of the emotional health spectrum. This is particularly so in our current pandemic environment where many aspects of life are uncertain. It affects how we connect with others & manage our feelings. It impacts on our physical wellbeing, because when we are emotionally drained the first thing that goes out the window is how well we sleep, eat and move. Our lives can go out of kilter and we lose any sight of balance as well as passion for life. Probably one of the most important aspects is to stay connected with those people in your life that support you and those you know you can always count on.
Acknowledging the importance of physical activity, nutrition and sleep is vital for a healthy body & mind. From birth to old age we have differing needs in all three areas, which can also be affected by your body type. While it is not a one size fits all, you have to spend time looking into how you manage these aspects of your wellness. Not everyone likes gyms & I know people that would run a mile before they went into a yoga studio. The important point here is to find some activity that you enjoy so that you will do it on a regular basis. Getting a good night sleep and eating well affects how our bodies function on so many levels. This is a complex one that needs our vigilant attention to ensure optimum health.
After sleeping the next biggest chunk of our life is spent working. For those over-committed to their career it can switch places! For those that follow their passion their work life can be bliss but for most a job is a means to an end. I heard a speaker recently saying that finding your life passion is not a viable option for most.
I tend to agree as it takes a lot of work & effort to uncover and develop our life passion. A skill a lot of people would not even know where to begin without guidance. The speaker was espousing that we should be working hard at the job at hand, looking at the facets that we enjoy and working very hard to be exceptional at these. That is actually how you find your passion and you will either remain in your current position, fulfilled or move on utilising your new-found skills. Alternatively, many choose to move on without acknowledging their skills and it is a rinse & repeat. Lets look at how we can help with changing this for you.
A phrase that is overused but appropriate is ‘’consider your environmental footprint”. Sometimes we feel like our little effort doesn’t make much of a difference. But what if everyone did just a little – imagine the impact on our world. This can begin with shopping locally, recycling, not buying goods that are overly packaged, using green household cleaning products, taking your own bags to the shops, car-pooling, reusing grey water, growing some of your fruit & vegetables to name just a few. Pick one or two to get started. Once you feel they have become part of your daily life move on to another.
If you don’t use it you lose it! And that goes for our brain as well. We are constantly using our brain power at work but need stimulation in other parts of our brain space to keep it fully engaged. Give yourself a regular brain blast by taking online courses or look at learning a new skill or language. Read different books to those you would usually read. If you normally like fiction, find a non-fiction or autobiography of someone that interests you. If it is the reverse, lose yourself in sci-fi or romance for an hour a day. Mix it up and your brain will thank you.
Feeling satisfied with current and future financial situations is so different for everyone. The important factor here is that this is so very personal and everyone will have a different story and idea of what they classify as financial comfort. Most people have had times where they have struggled with paying bills and life throws us those curve balls. Usually once people get past these moments, they revert back to bad habits rather than using that experience to begin to form better money habits. This is easier said than done but essential to reach a balanced wellness in your life.
Without understanding our purpose in life, and our values, we cannot know our path. There are many online courses and classes you can take to help with finding your spiritual path but I believe the underlying practice of yoga & mediation are at the core of your spiritual pillar. Not just the physical practice of yoga but also practicing and living the virtues of a yogic life. With a better understanding of the Yoga Sutras we can find constructive ways to incorporate these practices into your life. With that comes more joy, love & peace.
Stay connected with us
Stay with us as we offer insightful conversations, make connections and build a community of those that want more from life and believe that the 8 Pillars of Wellness is exactly what you need to achieve an amazing life! We can’t do this for you, but we can offer the guidance and some great tools to help you along the way. Stay tuned…lots of exciting news to come.