Simplify Your Wellness
By Joy Walsh, LCSW
Finding an effective balance in all areas of health does not need to be an overwhelming goal. The Wellness Wheel separates the areas of your life into six simple focuses. The five pieces in the center circle are the core areas (spiritual, emotional, intellectual, relational and physical). The external circle (creativity and inspiration) is what you can do to protect the core areas.
- Spiritual: How you understand and appreciate your world, express beliefs and appreciation. This can include religious practice.
- Emotional: How you allow yourself to identify, process and experience your feelings.
- Intellectual: How you expand your mind, wisdom and experience. This can include your career and finances, too.
- Relational: This includes your relationship with yourself! And also what you are doing to identify your boundaries and keep them strong. Don’t forget to add in your social life and pets.
- Physical: These are your basic needs, such as food, sleep, water. This can also include your physical environment, breathing exercises and medical concerns.
- Creativity and Inspiration: When life becomes too stressful, the external circle is typically the first piece of this wheel to lose focus. In order to enhance the protection do not take your creativity and inspiration lightly. It will provide you with the most energy in order to fulfill the five core areas.
Continue reading to see how to apply this exercise to yourself in order to work towards developing more balance, focus and enrichment in your life.
How to use a Wellness Wheel
- Determine how often you want to create a wellness wheel. I would suggest starting with one each week and once you get the hang of it decrease the frequency to once a month.
- Begin by filling out each of the areas with the things you already do.
- Go back and add one or two more things to each area that you want to begin including in your daily life or accomplish in the next week or month.
- Put your Wellness Wheel in a place where you will see it often in order to keep yourself focused.
- Once you feel ready, or your week or month is up, review the progress you made and get started on your next wellness wheel.
Some Tips and Tricks
- Keep it simple.
- Start small, see what you can do, and add to it or make changes if needed.
- Give yourself credit for the accomplishments and progress you made, even if you did not complete all of your Wellness Wheel tasks.
- Some of the things you do might fit in more than one of the areas, or all of them.
- For example, a walk in nature could be appropriate for physical (exercise), emotional (mindfulness), relational (healthy alone time), spiritual (meditation and appreciation), intellectual (enhance knowledge of surroundings) and creativity (inspiration from flora and fauna).
- Make the Wellness Wheel a piece of art and source of creativity by adding your own personal flair, colors, and design to it.
- Keep a journal of all of your Wellness Wheels to have them all in one place. Give yourself a chance to reflect on the changes you have made since starting them.
- It’s ok to carry over some tasks and goals from a previous Wellness Wheel.
- Wellness Wheels are great for any age or lifestyle.
For a tutorial with more tips and tricks, make sure to watch this quick video: