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As I reach my thirty-somethings, it seems natural to reevaluate where I am—and where I want to be. From mini freak-outs about my “not so robust” 401K, to fertility conversations with my best friends, to finding what truly gives me fulfillment (guess what, it’s ok to be selfish sometimes), I am learning this thing called life looks different for every one of us. But no matter my age, my mood, or my daily highs and lows, there is one thing (well, seven, actually) that remains constant: the seven dimensions of wellness.
I used to believe “wellness” was working out, eating right, monthly massages, and diffusing essential oils. But the seven dimensions of wellness are so much more than the material things. They incorporate the growth and pursuit of balance in every part of our being. Hell ya! Wellness isn’t cookie-cutter; it’s multidimensional—changing and evolving just like us and the world we live in.
So, as I take a step back to reevaluate and self-reflect on my seven dimensions of wellness, especially during this time of uncertainty, I am rediscovering what these dimensions mean to me, my relationships, and my overall well-being.
THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION
Badass and body positive.
Real talk: confidence isn’t my forte. The struggle has always been real when it comes to accepting my body, especially when I’ve been called “big-boned” for most of my life. This isn’t a pity party; I’m just tapping into my emotional dimension right now. I read a blog before turning 30 that talked about when you turn this age, “something” happens to your perspective—and it has to do with inherently becoming more confident. You know your style, you know your friends, you know what you want (career, love life, etc.) and, drumroll, please, you know your body. Oh, and you know crop tops only go with high waisted pants.
I’ve always tried to take care of myself, but now, a few years later, post-blog, I am rediscovering that my body is capable of amazing things. Self-doubt is a worthless side piece, and self-esteem can (and will) be my new best friend. I am rediscovering that yes, my body is a temple, I’ve got only one, and I deserve to love every inch of my being—and take care of it. From being proud I made it through that mega-hot barre class to trying to eat cleaner with every meal, realizing I need to prioritize what feels right for my body is a win-win. My well-being (and optimal physical wellness) is going to be number one.
THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSION
All. The. Feels.
I am a glass half full type of gal, the person who always has a smile on her face, even when things suck. Bad day at work? Trust me; I will find a workout to de-stress. There are pros to always being positive, but there are also cons, because I tend to mask how I feel deep inside. I need to be a “strong” friend/sister/daughter/wife. I can’t let them see me mad or sad. The fact of the matter is, feeling is part of being human, and how we choose to express ourselves is a lesson we (or at least I) am continuing to understand.
Whether it’s a belly laugh or a bowl full of tears, I am discovering new ways to take an emotional timeout—and find time for myself. Understanding how to decompress, disconnect, and get in-touch with my emotions is a personal choice, and a heavy one at that. I am facing my feeling fears, and I need to be honest about that with those who are closest to me. By acknowledging the way I feel, I am creating a safe space in my mind, body, and soul for my emotions and rediscovering who I am at my very core. Our emotions are a rollercoaster—when we learn where to put our hands up and scream in happiness or hold onto the handlebar tightly in fear, we genuinely enjoy the ride.
THE INTELLECTUAL DIMENSION
Putting the 'mind' in mindful.
We’ve all heard the saying, “when you stop learning, you stop growing,” right? To me, something feels stagnant when my intellectual side (yea, she compliments my social side) isn’t absorbing new stuff. Recently, I have felt uninspired to expanding my mindset, and I’ve let my ambitions get pushed to the side. This has become even more apparent as I work from my couch, multi-tasking with the dog. It’s easy to become lazy with learnings, no matter where you are in your life. For me, when I let my curiosity spark get snuffed out, then I invite self-doubt and boredom in. Come on; I am a fire sign—I can’t let that happen!
It’s time to turn off the Netflix and tune into my creative side. From learning a new skillset (like coding) to discovering a new podcast, it feels like there are a million different ways to expand my intellectual dimension. Thank you, technology. So, what am I waiting for? I am ready to rediscover what powers my mental passions, even if it’s making greeting cards, baking a cake, or burying myself under the covers with a new book. What expands our minds supports our worth and purpose. We all know life can throw us some curveballs (that’s why I was never a catcher in softball), so why not focus on what makes us excel?
THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
Give me a higher love.
The word “spiritual” has a million different meanings to billions of people—and that, my friend, is the beauty of this fourth dimension. Spiritual wellness is what works for your belief system. The human quest for spiritual fulfillment is one that can last a lifetime, and believe me, my views on spirituality have pivoted a plethora of times. I tend to gravitate to my spiritual side when things get profoundly emotional, and I am feeling lost (or just experienced a loss). With an open mind and open heart, I often find myself reaching for a deeper meaning, a higher purpose. But often, I ask myself, why is it only in the bad times I feel the need to tap into this dimension? It’s because I need to better understand who I am.
By rediscovering my connection to my spiritual side, I am rediscovering an element of self-love, self-worth, and self-acknowledgment. Whether I am stargazing for guidance (dear galaxy, you’re gorgeous), praying to a higher being, gravitating to tarot cards, or finding peace in meditation, I am learning that it is ok to find our connection to ourselves (and something bigger) through practicing what feels right at the right moment. Spiritual wellness is a deeply personal experience, but with an open mind (and heart), I am welcoming a new element that embodies a continual ebb and flow into my well-being.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSION
Channeling a green goddess.
Climate change, plant-based protein shakes, everything organic—our world is continually evolving. And how we treat Mother Earth can define our generation. This dimension is just what it sounds like, bettering the impact we have on our planet. But what does environmental wellness look like to you? Maybe it’s using reusable bags, buying an electric car, vowing to eat vegan. The best part about this type of wellness, is that every little (or big) thing we do with the earth in mind can positively impact the greater good. Loving Mother Earth looks different for every family, every person.
How I give back to our globe is everchanging, just like how I am reinventing ways to take care of our natural resources. My well-being is impacted by the state of our farms, oceans, planet, and I must make small changes to my routine to take care of our natural resources. I am making environmental wellness part of a continual conversation among friends, and by bringing this topic to the top of our gossip chain, I am rediscovering ways (and supporting brands) to make a difference—one straw, one bike ride, one all-natural yoga mat at a time. Rediscovering my impact is changing the way I take care of our only home.
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION
The human connection is the foundation of our existence. From dating apps, to meeting new friends through co-workers, to partying with strangers at Coachella (sorry, mom!), how we engage with others more fully defines what social wellness means to every one of us. While I’m a social butterfly, my best friend is an introvert. But guess what? It just works. It could be the opposites attract phenomenon, or it could be that we are just yin and yang and balance each other out. Cosmic powers or authentic connections, there’s a world of reasons of why we are drawn to or dissuaded by certain people and personas. But when does our social dimension impede on our individual wellness?
To be honest, my social wellness has always been a double-edged sword. I have a large friend group, and I am a people pleaser, but in turn, I often unknowingly push those closest to me away. As I rediscover this dimension, I need to reevaluate my relationships and my ability to set boundaries. I need to learn to be ok with (politely) saying “no”—and I need to acknowledge it’s ok to put me first sometimes. We blossom when we surround ourselves with healthy relationships, and we wilt when we bend too far for those who drain us. This flower needs to bloom big, baby! By eliminating negative social forces, I can find what makes me genuinely happy—and that might not be Sunday brunch, but rather journaling in bed.
THE OCCUPATIONAL DIMENSION
I’m the boss, not bossy.
Work from home. Work from office. Work from Zoom meeting. Whatever your workplace culture, our society values success based on occupational performance. Early mornings, late nights, and deadlines don’t define this final dimension of wellness, but rather your ability to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between work life and personal life. It’s a thin tightrope to walk, trust me. The ability to step away from work is not my strong suit, though the benefits of disconnecting greatly outweigh answering emails from the couch at 10 pm. That’s when burnout happens. It doesn’t pave a gold road to success—it’s detrimental to the six other dimensions of wellness.
My success at work is one of my greatest achievements, but as I take a more in-depth look at this dimension, I realize that this doesn’t just define who I am. It is a piece of me. I am rediscovering that I need to allow myself permission to turn the open sign off and that my hours outside of work should be spent disconnected and reconnecting with myself. I need to allow myself the ability to press the reset button, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a mid-day Pilates class. My work will benefit more from a fresh mind and a fresh perspective.
As I revaluate my seven dimensions of wellness, I am learning to connect with my well-being on a deeper level—and I invite you to do the same with Mindbody. While I may never achieve perfect harmony in every dimension (social, you’re always going to be a struggle), working on myself makes me realize, yes I am human, and, in my opinion, becoming better is pretty positively powerful.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.