The Wellness Wheel- A Beginner’s Guide

One of my sisters recently reintroduced me to the concept of the Wellness Wheel. The Wellness Wheel is a visual model that illustrates the seven key dimensions of our lives. These seven dimensions are: emotional/mental, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial/occupational, and spiritual. All are interconnected and vital to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. That’s a mouthful, I know, but hear me out.

Remember how back before the Covid lockdowns started, you’d tell yourself, “if only I had more time at home I would…”? Well, here you are. This is not what you had in mind when you yearned for more time at home, for sure. It’s not what any of us had in mind. But when life hands you lemons, you can either squirt them in people’s eyes, or you can look at them as being half full… or something like that. The point is, we can think positively about this increased time at home. Seriously, it’s the perfect opportunity to start the hard work of balancing our wellness wheel.

What Is The Wellness Wheel? Here's How It Can Help You Lead A Plentiful, Balanced Life | AllWork.Space

So how do we know which dimensions of our wellness wheel are off-balance?

  • take a self-assessment quiz. This quiz from Princeton University is a quick and easy starting point.
  • develop an action plan. The possibilities are endless, but here’s what it might look like:

Sample Action Plan

Physical

  • exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • maintain personal hygiene (skin care, hair care)

Intellectual

  • watch an interesting documentary
  • read at least one book/month
  • listen to podcasts

Spiritual

  • truly think about ethical and religious beliefs
  • read religious texts
  • meditate

Environment

  • declutter living space
  • be mindful of recycling and sustainability
  • redesign living space for beauty and function

Social

  • connect with friends and family at least once a week
  • reach out to old friends

Financial/Occupational

  • create a budget and stick to it
  • be selective about shopping choices

Emotional/Mental

  • keep a gratitude journal
  • sleep regularly
  • seek counseling and professional help

There are so many approaches that you can take! This is definitely not an exhaustive list. In the meantime, check out these past posts on wellness rituals:

Happy New Year! Here’s What to Expect From Arsenic & Old Place This Year

Happy New Year, you guys! Just like everybody, I’m super excited that 2020 finally came to an end, and I’m even more excited about what the future holds. Coronavirus has truly rocked our lives and turned the world as we know it upside down. That being said, I’m always looking for a silver lining. Even though our lives have changed so drastically, there are definitely a few things that remain the same. Not only are these things the same, but they’ve become more important than ever. Wellness, self-care, nutrition, gratitude, physical, and emotional fitness are all going to play a major role in our journey through 2021.

As always, I will continue to share with you all of my favorite recipes, tips for self-care, and of course, the best in interior design inspiration. I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen, testing out different self-care options, as well as home fitness solutions, and redesigning spaces to function for all the things. Seriously, we have so much to talk about! If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we have the opportunity and the tools to think differently about the ways in which we maintain our health and wellness, the ways in which our immediate environments work for (or against us), and the ways that our choices affect our community and the world. Let’s go, 2021!

5 Self Care Podcasts to Inspire Your Practice

As our lives become increasingly more chaotic with a steady diet of bad news, overwhelmingly divisive rhetoric, and a never ending stream of work emails pouring into our phones even after business hours, the need for self care has never been more important. I’m sure you’ve heard that the path to self care is paved with aromatherapy candles and soft bath towels. You’ve heard that all you need to do to travel that path is to unplug for a while and meditate. The fact of the matter is, it’s just as impossible to meditate while crammed on a Manhattan bound, rush hour 2 train as it is to get more than 10 minutes to yourself on a busy weeknight.

Self care is a little more complex than all that. That’s not to say that ritual baths and relaxation aren’t a necessary part of self care. Intention is key. It’s not about escaping, it’s about letting go of what is standing in the way of your overall well-being. Whether it’s anxiety and mental health, or lack of sleep and feeling overwhelmed, we all have challenges in our lives that can’t be ignored. So as part of my self care practice, I’ve been listening to some mind blowing podcasts. These self care podcasts offer honest conversations and real life strategies for improving overall wellness. Here are some of my favorites!

Sarah James, a lifestyle blogger and self-help aficionado, and her bestie Kristen Howerton, a writer and psychotherapist, tackle the tricky and often elusive aspects of caring for ourselves on the weekly podacst, Selfie. Their conversations explore questions like: Why don’t I eat the way I should? How do I get enough sleep? What aspects of my personality make self-care tricky? And what’s the best way to deal with pubic hair? From the silly to the serious, Kristen and Sarah are taking a vulnerable and often humorous look at body, mind and spirit . . . and maybe a touch of the random, all while looking at the distractions and defenses that keep us from caring for ourselves like we should.

Untangle is the meditation podcast produced by the Meditation Studio app. This podcast features interviews with experts who have devoted their lives to helping others through meditation.

In this podcast series, Fearne Cotton, author of the bestseller Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect, interviews inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life.

On Make Light, bestselling author, speaker, and photographer Karen Walrond interviews light-seekers and light-makers from around the world, learning how they live with intention and a sense of adventure.

On the Mom Hour, Megan Francis and Sarah Powers, two moms with eight kids between them from preschool to teen, take on parenting topics and issues related to motherhood in a tone that is reassuring and real— with lots of room for laughter.

Natural Tonic for Improved Mental Health

This brain-boosting tonic with adaptogenic herbs will aid in improving your overall mental health by balancing your neurotransmitters to keep you happy, stress-free, focused, and energized.

Mental Health Natural Tonic Ingredient Breakdown

Lemon

Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, and a healthy dose of vitamin C can fight infection, reduce kidney stones, relieve indigestion, decrease headache pain, and help detoxify the body.

Cucumber

Cucumbers help maintain water balance in the body.

Fresh Turmeric Root

Turmeric is known to improve mood and feelings of depression.

Fresh Ginger Root

Ginger fights inflammation and is great for healing and protecting the gut.

Beets

Beets support heart health and liver function by helping our bodies maintain healthy blood sugar levels. While the antioxidant power of beets improves nerve function.

Pears

Pears are a low-sugar fruit. They are excellent for anxiety as they soothe the nervous system with vitamin C, which triggers the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, the happy neurotransmitters. They are also a great source of potassium, an essential electrolyte for the proper function of nerves, muscles, joints, and the heart.

Adaptogens

During cold and flu season, the addition of adaptogens like goldenseal and elderberry extract have both been shown to support a health immune system and are available as herbal tinctures (liqud form) that you can easily add to your tonic just before drinking it. To help alleviate stress, add ashwagandha and astralagus, which are both adaptogens known for their calming effects on our bodies.

Mental Health Natural Tonic

Ingredients

  • One whole lemon with peel cut off
  • One whole cucumber with peel
  • One 2-inch root of ginger (if you’re not a fan of ginger, cut this amount in half)
  • Two 3- to 4-inch roots of turmeric
  • One whole pear
  • One yellow or red beet

adaptogens such as

  • extract of ashwagandha
  • extract of astragalus
  • extract of goldenseal
  • extract of elderberry

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a juicer, and add extracts of ashwaghandha and astragalus (for further adaptogenic support) or goldenseal and elderberry during flu season.
  2. Serve immediately.

De-stress With These Mini Self Massage Techniques + A DIY Warming Massage Oil Recipe

Giving yourself a massage might seems as futile as trying to tickle yourself, but believe me when I say that not only is it possible, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll be surprised at how effective these techniques are in reducing stress and promoting your overall sense of wellness. Add the oil blend below and you’re well on your way to a happy ending… I couldn’t resist.

Self Massage Techniques

Neck/Shoulders

Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Slowly tuck your chin in toward your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Place your fingertips on the back of your neck where your shoulders meet your neck. Apply pressure and hold for a few breaths. Release. Roll your shoulders slowly in a circular motion. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Lower Back

So this one requires a tennis ball. Yeah, I totally had to buy one too. I don’t know anyone who plays tennis and Serena wasn’t answering her phone so yeah. Anyway, place your brand new tennis ball on the floor, or in the space between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly so that the tennis ball massages any tension in your lower back. Avoid rolling the ball along your spine. in applying pressure, try to find a balance that’s right for you so that you don’t further aggravate soreness.

Lower Leg

Using the heels of your palm, knead along both sides of your calf in small circles. Work your way up your calf slowly from the ankle until you reach the knee, flexing and pointing your toes as you go. Again, starting at the ankle, drag the heels of your palms along either side of your calf until you reach the knee. Repeat these steps to alleviate lower leg pain caused by rocking high heels, or yesterday’s spin class.

Feet

You can stick to the tried and true tennis ball rolling treatment, or you can grab some oil and give yourself a proper foot rub. Sit with your ankle resting on the opposite knee. Grasp each toe, one at a time, and rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise, Bend each toe backward and forward, and finally give each toe a gentle pull. After giving each little piggy some attention, use both hands to firmly grasp your foot on either side.  Wiggle your foot back and forth with your hands paying attention to ball of your foot and your arch.

Warming Massage Oil

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil

Directions

  • Add all ingredients into an amber glass bottle.
  • Give it a little shake to blend the oils.
  • To use, add a few drops to the palm of your hand before practicing any of the massage techniques above.