Do you ever wonder if the new year feels so rejuvenating simply because we can finally leave behind the seasonal stress we created for ourselves during the holidays? Or maybe we’re biologically geared to refresh ourselves after the darkest peak of winter passes.
Whatever the reason, January brings an overwhelming feeling readiness and newness. Something beyond the social media pressures of “new year, new me” is pulling us into our new selves, but before we follow the flow of transformation, we need to make sure we are tending to our personal wellness.
The 7 dimensions of wellness
You may have already heard about the 7 dimensions of wellness, established by Dr. Bill Hettle, co-founder of the National Institute of Wellness. These 7 dimensions of wellness are thought to be a holistic approach to creating a healthy and happy life.
They are all interconnected, so it’s important to give each area attention to create a harmonious balance in your life. The new year is an intuitive time to reset your wellness and make sure you are caring for every aspect of yourself.
Your intellect is what creates wonder and curiosity within you. The more you stretch and build your intellect, the better you are at processing information (which helps with your emotional wellness, see, interconnected). Having a healthy intellectual wellness also promotes creativity and active learning. Your intellect can get bogged down by biases and fixed mindsets that don’t allow for growth.
How to tend to your brain this new year
A good way to reset your intellectual wellness to kick off the new year is to create a book list based on your passions or interests. We naturally want to learn more about things that appeal to us, and books are a great way to do so.
Your passion book list will allow you to explore new fields you’ve maybe put on hold in the past because you were too busy with work, kids, or whatever the world has thrown in your way.
2019 will be the year of real social connection. We need to reset our view of what healthy social interactions are. Using social media to post your highlight reel while comparing yourself to your friends’ (and most of the time strangers’) highlight reel is unhealthy.
By only showing the best of ourselves on social media we a creating a persona that makes us feel inadequate, because let’s face it, we can’t be perfect ALL the time. And neither can your friends. Watching their stories of glamour shot in Tulum and five-star meals with a view will make you wonder why you aren’t constantly doing something amazing. Relying on social media to fulfill our social wants and needs can lead us down a very depressing road.
Where to focus our attention instead
Instead, we need to focus our time on building real, strong connections with people that matter to us. Some people will tell you to delete all your social media apps for a healthy social wellness, but in this day and age, most of us use social media for our jobs. It feels a little to archaic to abandon the latest technologies and hope we’ll still be relevant in this digital workplace.
But cutting down on social media usage is always a good thing. If you search your phone’s battery usage (under “Battery” in your “Settings” app) you can see how many hours a day you spend on each app.
How to cut down on social media
To reset your social wellness in 2019 set a goal to allocate a portion of your average social media time to catching up with old friends and family members either on the phone, Facetime, or bum bum bum… in person.
Start small by skimming 20 minutes off the top of your weekly social media use and call your old college roommate.
Spirituality is not about any specific religion (although religion is a common way for people to express their spirituality). Spirituality is a connection to something larger than yourself. Having healthy spiritual wellness can make us feel less alone and are the foundation for positive thinking.
How to make a commitment to spirituality
Making a commitment to yourself to meditate daily will help reset your spiritual wellness and keep you focused on staying connected to something bigger than ourselves.
Everybody has an excuse for why meditating just doesn’t fit into their lives, but if you make the time for it the benefits of mediating are countless.
We normally see new year’s goals centered around our physical wellness. While it’s important to look after your physical health, we need to view our wellness from a holistic perspective.
Healthy, practical physical goals
Your physicality has a large effect on every part of your wellness. Your diet and exercise affect your emotions and how you view other aspects of your life. Physical goals don’t need to be as extreme as running a marathon or committing to a hyper-intense fad diet.
They can be as simple as making a choice to eat in and cook your dinner one more night a week than you usually do, or move your body for 30 minutes whether that’s dancing in front of your mirror or biking to work. Physical goals can be very personal, so I’ll give you space to craft your own.
Our environmental wellness is shaped by the spaces we surround ourselves with. This includes everything from the places we spend our time, the organization or clutter they hold, and the people we encounter there.
If we spend all our time in a neon-lit office building surrounded by people who make us feel inadequate there’s no way we’ll ever be happy. It’s hard to control your shared office space, but make sure you’re getting out into nature as much as possible to stay grounded.
How to reset your environmental wellness
We can, however, control our home. Designing a space that hold true to the Japanese principles of feng shui will reset your environmental wellness. To do this, make sure your space has as much natural light and air flow as possible, clear all clutter, and work within your lucky numbers.
There’s more to it and than that and if you want a deep dive check out the link above. I also recommend cleansing our space by burning palo santo and removing any built up negative energy in your home.
Our occupational wellness is constantly referred to as work/life balance nowadays, but it also means that you feel the work you’re doing if fulfilling and holds meaning. By feeding our intellectual wellness with our passion book list, hopefully we will also gain some insight into whether or not we are occupationally fulfilled. If not, maybe it’s time for a change.
How to freshen up your work life
One thing that will help in any job is open communication with your boss and coworkers. We tend to assume we are being heard even when we aren’t fully explaining ourselves. The new year is a perfect time to reset expectations for the upcoming year and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Emotional wellness seems to be the thread that weaves it all together. If your wellness is off in any area, your emotional wellness will show this. Being emotionally healthy doesn’t necessarily mean being even tempered all the time. It means you are able to acknowledge, understand and work through the emotions that present themselves to you.
How to maintain emotional wellness
The best way to support healthy emotional wellness is to journal daily. Not only will this let you explore and process whatever you’re feeling, but it will also show you how far you’ve grown in dealing with your emotions.
Jessica is a writer & designer who captures the spirit of her generation. She approaches her craft with an anthropological mindset to find the perspective often unseen.
Jessica has studied the art of the written word & honed her craft over the last 8+ years.