As our society has become more and more in-tune with health and wellness, it’s opened up important discussions around what it really means to be healthy. Spoiler alert: True holistic health is much more than what we see on the outside. One way to gauge your holistic wellness from head to toe is by measuring your health through the 8 pillars of wellness. The 8 pillars are categories of health that, together, make up true holistic wellness. The categories include: physical, nutritional, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, financial, and environmental.
Here’s a breakdown of what each of the 8 pillars of wellness means:
This pillar encompasses our physical health and how well we take care of our body. Beyond physical activity, true physical wellness also includes proper sleep habits and self-care.
Similar to physical wellness, this is the pillar about what we choose to fuel our bodies. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary foods when possible.
This pillar is about how well we can understand, navigate and communicate our feelings. Regulate your emotions by journaling, meditating or any other activity that can help you center yourself.
Our relationships with others are so important to our overall health. Strengthen your bond with friends and family by scheduling regular phone-catch ups and meetups when possible.
Spiritual wellness is about the values you hold dear such as kindness, honesty, respect, etc. Meditation and prayer are common ways that people build this pillar, as well as finding a community of like-minded people who you can grow with.
Strengthening your mind is just as important as your body. You can keep your mind sharp by reading books that open your mind to new ways of thinking, try new games and puzzles and have deep conversations with friends to challenge your thinking.
Financial wellness is about what you have. To build a more solid foundation for this pillar, it’s important to live within your means and save for your future to erase stress and anxiety that can come with living in debt.
Just as it’s important to care for our body, it’s important to care for our surroundings as well. Environmental wellness encompasses your immediate surroundings and where you work — and your impact on that environment. Try to lessen your carbon footprint where you can to help improve this pillar.
While a few of the pillars (nutritional and physical) may seem a little obvious, other elements of the 8 pillars have to do with our internal health. Intellectual, emotional, spiritual wellness are some of those categories that don’t get as much attention because it’s not quite as easy as getting in 30 minutes of exercise or adding vitamins and minerals to supplement your diet.
When it comes to our mental health, it’s equally important to focus on building up our emotional wellness and our social wellness pillars so that we have a strong support system for when times get rough. Here are a few tips to strengthen your social and emotional pillars while also being kind to yourself:
- Schedule a phone date with a friend to catch-up.
- Turn off your electronics and unwind with a bath, book, or another activity that brings you peace
- Try meditation by downloading a free app like MyLife Meditation or Healthy Minds Program
- Journal about your day or any struggles you may be facing that you’re not comfortable sharing with others.
Each of the eight individual pillars of wellness is essential in creating true holistic wellness, but it’s important to find a balance between the pillars you have a handle on and the ones you need to work on. Take some time to reflect on which of the eight pillars you need to work on the most so that you can prioritize your specific wellness goals.
No matter what stage you’re at in your wellness journey, it’s important to focus not just on what you see in the mirror, but your internal health. To help spark ideas on how to improve the eight pillars of wellness in your life, Auraglow has created this helpful infographic with tips to improve each pillar and ways to find balance in your life.
Lydia McAllister is a content creator who develops helpful and compelling stories. Her passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. She calls Missouri home and enjoys solving crossword puzzles, practicing yoga and spending time with her family in her spare time.