In Personal

How Do You Define Health and Wellness?

Lately I've been thinking about what health and wellness means to me.

My first thoughts always jump to the obvious: working out (mostly at home even though I hate exercising) and clean eating (which for me means a mostly vegetarian / sometimes vegan diet that cuts out most processed food).

But total health and wellness includes a lot more than that. The National Wellness Institute promotes the Six Dimensions of Wellness:

Based on the model, I spend a lot of time focusing on my physical wellness but I think that I've honestly been ignoring the other important aspects of health and wellness.

Clearly my definition of health and wellness needs to be expanded upon.

I thought that I'd share some thoughts on how I define health and wellness in my life and then expand upon each dimension in greater detail over the next couple of months.

How I'd like to define health and wellness in my life

  1. Occupational
  2. Ensuring that I keep my values and ideals present in my work during all times.

  3. Social
  4. Staying active with organizations that contribute to social betterment. My current favorite is ASPCA. Also, I'd like to consume less (and live a more minimalist life).

  5. Intellectual
  6. Finish my PhD program. Does that count? Additionally, I'd like to read more, especially more non-fiction. Thankfully I still have some room on my summer reading list.

  7. Spiritual
  8. To steal directly from the National Wellness Institute, I'd like to make sure that I “live each day in a way that is consistent with [my] values and beliefs.”

  9. Emotional
  10. Findings more constructive ways to de-stress.

  11. Physical
  12. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and using switching to all natural / DIY / cruelty-free beauty products.

    My personal definition of health and wellness will continue to evolve over time but for now I'm content.

    How do you define health and wellness in your life?

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Nicole is a treasure hunter and pup mama located in Seattle, Washington. Loves travel, politics, lifestyle, TV, & wine. She's an unapologetic SJW & feminist AF.

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  1. Kaelene Spence
    4 years ago

    I define health and wellness as staying physically active and eating well. I also think being social and having something that stimulates your mind (work, school, etc) is really important.

  2. Margo
    4 years ago

    On the note of social wellness, I really appreciate the interest and encouragement among bloggers to consume less (Amanda at Speaking in Another Language mentions this often). It’s not only going to be imperative for the generations to come, it just feels good. Ever since my fiancee quit his job to join me in Germany we’ve been on frivolous spending freeze and I love it. In stark contrast to our former lives as heavy consumers in DC, nowadays we funnel our energy and dollars into travel, not more shirts and accessories that we don’t need. Thanks for sharing, Nicole. :)

  3. Allie @ Between Dreams
    4 years ago

    I think if you would’ve asked me this a few years ago, I would’ve focused in on the physical aspect of health and wellness… but oh, how my mind has shifted! Which brings me to emotional wellness – which I believe is everything. If you’re not in a good place emotionally, it leaks out into all other areas of your life.

    So – for me, health and wellness is really about listening to my intuition and following through on that. That might be working out/ doing yoga, digging into an inspirational book, meditation, a long chat with a friend, cooking up a fantastic meal, or simply being okay with sitting with my emotions, and seeing what comes up. (Maybe that involves a wicked solo dance party or even a cry, as long as I honour myself on a moment-to-moment basis.)

  4. Kristian Olson
    4 years ago

    This is pretty interesting. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, we talked about the emotional and social (though more as in having a support system and one that understands and does not well meaningly nag) and intellectually (in the sense of knowing what is going on with our bodies). But here I like how much fuller each area is defined and also had never heard of occupational wellness. But I can see how important that really would be- and how many time people lack it!

  5. Andi Perullo de Ledesma
    4 years ago

    This is fantastic! I’m going to use this in my Wellness Center, thank you!!!

  6. Kelly
    4 years ago

    Love this! For social wellness, I would also add surrounding myself with people who are good influences on me and who contribute positively to my life.

  7. Anna Belle
    4 years ago

    What an interesting way to think about it! I certainly tend to forget about social wellness. I’ll definitely have to think more about this!

  8. Chelsea
    4 years ago

    I love this concept!

  9. Amanda
    4 years ago

    When I think about health and wellness in my life I rarely give thought (ironic) to my intellectual wellness. But it’s so important! (And I think if your phD program doesn’t count than nothing does ;) ) x

  10. Kayli Schattner
    4 years ago

    This is such a great resource + concept to think about! Thanks!

  11. Niki Caron
    4 years ago

    This is really interesting. I focus a lot on my spiritual and physical wellness, but I could do a better job with the rest!

  12. Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    4 years ago

    I started out as a “healthy living blogger” and spent most of my time writing about food and running. While both of those things have their place in my life, I have realized that truly healthfulness has to do with more than just those two things. Now I try to embrace the fact that living healthy means laughing, it means loving yourself, and it means realizing all of the facets that you discussed. That realization has made me a better blogger, and really I think a more well-rounded person.

  13. Melinda DiOrio
    4 years ago

    Living a healthy lifestyle is something that’s so important. A lot of people think “being healthy” means just eating well and exercising. These are two factors, but there are so many other ones! I agree with the chart above, but I would also add environment to the mix. Our cells are directly affected by a polluted environment. I believe that if you really care about keeping your body healthy, you should care about keeping our earth healthy too! They are directly connected. If our bodies aren’t healthy, it’s pretty hard to feel “well”.

    I love this topic, and actually would love to see even more bloggers getting in on the health and wellness conversation! I blog about a different topic on this subject, every week on my “Wellness Wednesday” post.

  14. Molly @ The Move to America
    4 years ago

    Goodness – I read this just at the right time because I was just thinking about this too and struggling with how to define it. This really helped.

  15. stephanie court
    4 years ago

    This is such a great way to look at health and wellness. The topic has been on my mind a lot lately because I, too, typically just think of it as working out and eating well but I can’t help but feel like there’s more to it than just that. I’ve been much better about physical wellbeing, especially since discovering my gluten intolerance, but social, spiritual, & intellectual health and wellness are three areas that never even crossed my mind before. You’ve given me a lot to think about. :)

  16. Amanda
    4 years ago

    This is a really interesting way to think about this topic. Definitely need to think about how I would apply this to my own health and wellness. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Alicia | Jaybird Blog
    4 years ago

    Health is both personal and multidimensional–this six-pronged approach is a helpful new perspective! I like the inclusion of intellectual, emotional and spiritual, all things that may not immediately come to people’s minds when thinking of wellness.