What is Holistic Wellbeing?

By Patricia Fuller, PhD, Director of Wellness Engineering

and Casey Bean, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Woman sitting in field full of dandelions on sunny day

What does wellbeing look like to you? Some programs and products sell the idea that getting rich quick or burning fat fast will make you well. Although they will help you improve financial or physical wellbeing, there is no sole solution to improving overall wellbeing. Wellbeing must be viewed holistically. Each action you take to improve one dimension of your life impacts the others. The Five Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing provide a framework for improving your overall wellbeing by taking action to improve each dimension.

The 5 Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing

The Five Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing provide a framework for improving your overall wellbeing by taking action to improve each dimension.

1. Physical

Make positive choices to effectively manage your health. Making seemingly small, habitual changes to your daily routine can significantly impact your energy, long-term health, and overall wellbeing. Sleeping seven to eight hours each night will give you the energy to take on the day ahead. Walking to a colleague’s desk for help, instead of calling or sending them an email, will get you moving and engaged in social interaction. Cooking healthy meals for yourself and others, versus dining out, can help you save money and learn a new skill. Improving your physical wellbeing can help you avoid expensive hospital trips, give you more energy to devote to your purpose and build self-confidence to help you be more socially active.

2. Social

Develop meaningful connections with other people and bring love into your life. Spending six hours a day socializing with friends, family and colleagues will help you strengthen relationships and boost your social wellbeing. Plan a family game night to bond and create lasting memories. Join a volunteer organization to improve your community with other people. Play in a recreational sports league to exercise while socializing with others. By strengthening the relationships in your social network, it will be easier to spread and receive positive energy that impacts your overall wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. The people you surround yourself with can help you enjoy life, be healthy, and achieve.

3. Community

Live in the perfect place for you where you feel proud to contribute. Community wellbeing is shaped by the geography of where you live and how you give back to that community. Your community should meet your fundamental needs – safety, comfort, cleanliness – and be a good fit for your personality, family, interests, and other pursuits. When you live in a community that supports your needs, you will feel a desire to give back. Share your passions and interests with other people. They can help you get involved with relevant groups and causes you may not have known about. No matter how big or small your contribution may be, giving back to your community can improve your social wellbeing and give you purpose.

4. Purpose

Your career, passions, and interests define your purpose. Whether you’re a student, parent, volunteer, retiree, or have a more conventional job, spend the majority of your time each day doing something you love. Join an organization that aligns with your personal mission and values. Build relationships with other people in that same group, school, or office. Those people will help support your development because they share a similar purpose. Work, hobbies, and studies are more fulfilling when you utilize your strengths and become engaged in your work. If you love what you do most of the day, you will avoid stress and negativity that interfere with improving the other dimensions of your wellbeing.

5. Financial

Focus on creating financial security and how you spend your money versus accumulating wealth. How you spend your money has a much greater impact on your financial wellbeing than the amount of money you have. Financial security increases wellbeing threefold because it lessens day-to-day worries and stress. When your budget allows for extra spending, spend your money on other people rather than yourself and experiences rather than material goods. Donate to a local charity, treat a friend to dinner or book a family vacation. Joy from material goods fades quickly but memories of experiences will last a lifetime. Sharing those experiences with family or friends will increase their wellbeing and yours.

When choosing a wellness program for your business or personal needs, consider how The Five Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing factor into that program. Don’t get hung up on focusing your efforts on just the physical dimension of your wellbeing. The actions you take to improve each dimension impact your overall wellbeing. BKS designs wellness programs for our clients that incorporate The Five Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing. To learn more about our approach to wellness, please contact one of our Employee Benefits Advisors.

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