The wellbeing wheel
Our wellbeing works likes a wheel with different areas of our life and the various wellbeing pillars acting as the spokes.
If any area is out of balance, life won’t flow and we won’t feel right in ourselves.
The different wellbeing pillars are: physical, mental, emotional, creative, financial, social and spiritual. At the level of our life, we have a work, home and social life and an internal world.
If any of these areas are out of balance or not moving well, the wheel buckles. When this happens we have to slow down, and perhaps even stop to give attention to that area and solve related problems if we want to get back to living fully and completely.
Your physical wellbeing involves having a good diet, staying well hydrated, exercising (150 minutes a week is the recommended amount), sleeping enough, taking some time to relax daily and breathing well. If you are not exercising enough you may ‘get away with it’, but you will not feel as energized as if you were. Mental wellbeing comes when we think positively and are able focus well. Meditation helps greatly with both. Being a life-long learner is also a great boost to mental wellbeing, making your mind stronger, more balanced and flexible as you continuously give it new food (knowledge and ideas) to grow and make life interesting. Emotional wellbeing comes when you connect with what you want in life rather than what you don’t want or aren’t happy about. Social wellbeing happens when you enjoy good relationships with others which normally starts with a good relationship with yourself. Financial wellbeing happens when you achieve balance financially and spend less than what is coming in every month (or what you have). If you are spending more than you earn consistently, that will cause active stress and many other problems too.
Spiritual wellbeing comes when you are connected to what brings meaning and purpose to your spirit and your life. What is important is that you spend time engaging with what you value and what brings meaning and that you connect in some way to that in daily life. Creative wellbeing involves creating ‘something new’ or making something new happen – that could be a work of art or it could involve you introducing two people to each other because you feel they will get along. It could involve writing, laying out your house differently or so many other things. Ultimately, it is about connecting the dots in some way that is new and then acting on that to bring something new into existence or solving a problem. Everyone has a unique creativity. When we are creating, we are always in the moment.
If any one area is out of balance or not moving, the spokes on the wheel are off-balance and the wheel slows down or even stops. Bigger problems cause bigger stress which can be very debilitating the longer they go on or the more severe they are. If you are not sleeping, that leads to so many other problems. If you are not getting along with family, friends, or colleagues at work, over time that eats into your wellbeing. If you are not being true to yourself and meeting your own needs, that causes other problems.
There isn’t a one size fits all formula for wellbeing as we are all unique. There are general parameters and we need to keep all areas moving forward to be at our best.
This week, look at your own life. If any area needs a little bit extra or special care and attention, look after it. Every area of your life will work better when one area isn’t holding you back.