Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Environmental, Occupational, Intellectual, Physical.
Most people will naturally associate wellness with physical health and mental wealth. But when you really start to dig deep into the different attributes that make up your wellbeing, it actually goes far beyond these two ‘umbrella terms’…
In a nutshell, it’s your ability to interact with other people. Human beings are social creatures, and if you think about your support network of friends and family and imagine going through a difficult time without them then this starts to make more sense. Social wellness is about how you relate and connect to other people, which can make a massive difference in the workplace; how you build and maintain professional relationships will impact your sense of belonging to a community, foster collaboration and greatly improve your sense of work / life balance.
Often this is what we think of when we talk about mental wellbeing, as this is how well we understand ourselves and are able to cope with the challenges and curve balls that life throws at us.
How well can you identify how you’re feeling? Do you know why you feel this way?
There is still plenty of stigma attached to this particular aspect of wellness, but the aim for corporates should be to provide an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing how they feel.
Spiritual and emotional wellness are intrinsically linked. When you are able to establish peace and feel fulfilled by what you do on a day to day basis then it is likely you will have a greater sense of emotional wellness as your values and actions are aligned.
This is easier to recognise in companies where the overarching purpose is shared, and employees are able to implement a set of guiding beliefs and principles that govern not only their personal morals but also those of the workplace.
Ever more important in the current global climate, and frequently bottom of the priority list in big cities, is an awareness of nature and our impact on our local surroundings.
This isn’t just about the number of people driving to work every morning, it’s also about maintaining the optimum office temperature, making use of as much natural light as possible, and reducing the use of single use plastic in office spaces.
This is like a more practical application of spiritual wellness, where it directly relates to our chosen occupation and career path. We have already briefly mentioned work / life balance, and this branch of wellbeing aims to ensure that we feel fulfilled by the job we do without having to compromise other equally important areas of our lives.
It also encompasses internal health and disease prevention, and companies should aim to provide a work environment that focuses on productivity, presenteeism, and prevention; people typically spend at least 40 hours of their week at work so this is a vital area to get right.
Ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? That it’s been a really long time since you last engaged your brain?
Cue intellectual wellness.
This concerns your ability to open your mind to new ideas and experiences that challenge and develop you as a person. People who would class themselves as intellectually well are constantly learning, taking advantage of resources available to them to broaden their existing knowledge. This can be professional career development, or hobbies and academic learning that will also benefit our personal lives.
Often the most referred to in terms of wellness, it’s about how well we take care of our bodies so that they can function at an optimum level. You should be able to complete daily activities without fatigue or physical stress, and companies should focus on this as reduced physical wellness often leads to reduced productivity, and increased absenteeism in the workplace.
Nutrition plays a big role within this category, and all too often we see London employees surviving on coffee and fast foods to get them through the day and to their next meeting.
Wellness is not a quick fix, rather it is a series of positive healthy habits that need reinforcement in the world of corporate business in order to maintain a sustainable and thriving workforce.