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Hope and wellness go hand-in-hand. Wellness is more than exercise and eating right. It’s about staying connected with our families and friends, finding purpose through our work and community, learning a new skill or hobby, and yes, having hope for the future – even when things get tough.

Below, you’ll find a “wellness wheel” designed to help you evaluate certain areas of your life and generate ideas for how you can improve those areas. When we’re faced with life’s many challenges, some of these areas tend to be neglected, which can have a negative impact on our overall wellness. This can lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life, poor mental and physical health, and even an early death.

As you investigate the categories below, commit yourself to doing the following:

Reflect on your life as it pertains to each category
Pick a specific area and set goals
Later, stretch those goals into other categories

What is it?
  • Regularly engaging in activities that bring you happiness and satisfaction.
  • Are you satisfied with the amount of fun you have in your life?
  • How do you spend your free time?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Enjoy the outdoors by fishing, hiking, biking, or just taking a walk.
  • Engage in hobbies or sports.
  • Read books that interest you.
  • Spend time writing or journaling.
  • Take trips to new places when possible.
  • Explore community events.

What is it?
  • Investing in the closest personal relationships in your life.
  • Is your family supportive of you?
  • Are you supportive of your family?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Spend quality time with family members.
  • Invite family members to join you in a hobby or social activity.
  • Have meaningful conversations with family members.
  • Make an effort to help and support a family member in a way they can't support themselves.

What is it?
  • Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.
  • How do you feel mentally and physically?
  • Are there any changes you'd like to make to live a healthier lifestyle?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Start small - every little bit helps!
  • Write down your exercise and/or diet goals - it's easier to follow through with a visual reminder.
  • Find a workout buddy.
  • Visit your doctor regularly.
  • Be responsible with alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances.
  • Get enough sleep.

What is it?
  • Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one's work.
  • Does the career path you're currently on bring you happiness?
  • Can your career path support the lifestyle you desire?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Keep work and home lives separate whenever possible.
  • Communicate!  Ask your supervisor or coworkers for feedback on a regular basis, and don't be afraid to ask for support when needed.
  • Take mental health days - this can boost your productivity and allow you the time and space to focus on your mental health.
  • Explore career or volunteer opportunities that you are passionate about.
  • Set career goals.

What is it?
  • Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
  • Are your friendships having a positive influence on your daily life?
  • Do you support your friends?  Do they support you?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Participate in a club, social group, or volunteer group.
  • Reach out to a friend you haven't talked to in a while.
  • Plan ahead - schedule social activities that you can look forward to.
  • Set boundaries - sometimes we act based on the way we think others will perceive us.  Setting boundaries with your friends creates trust, builds healthy relationships, and improves self-esteem.
  • Work on having good communication skills.
  • Reach out to friends for support and ask for help when you need it.

What is it?
  • Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.
  • Are you spiritually connected to both your inner self and the world around you?
  • Have you specifically dedicated any time recently to exploring your spiritual life?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Make spirituality part of your routine - wake up 5-10 minutes earlier to spend time with a spiritual practice like prayer or meditation.
  • Be part of a community that shares the same spiritual beliefs as you.
  • Make time for activities that enhance your sense of connection to yourself, to nature, and to others.
  • Take time to embrace silence and solitude.
  • Take time to consider and explore your purpose and how that affects the decisions and choices you make.

What is it?
  • Recognizing creative abilities, finding ways to expand knowledge and skills, and coping effectively with emotions and feelings.
  • Are you pursuing opportunities that open you up to new experiences?
  • Are you eager to learn new things?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Speak with a therapist, spiritual advisor, or other emotionally safe support system when you need help processing feelings or emotions.
  • Limit your consumption of news and social media as this can be overwhelming and have a negative impact on stress levels.
  • Plan for ways to use your skills and learn new ones.
  • Take time daily to write down your thoughts and ideas.
  • Practice problem-solving skills with logic puzzles or games.
  • Make time to explore and use your creative abilities.

What is it?
  • Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.
  • Are you earning enough income to satisfy your current needs?
  • Are you spending within your means and saving money when possible?
What can you do to maintain your well-being?
  • Develop a budget to monitor your income and expenses.
  • Explore ways to save money - are there regular expenses you can cut out completely, or are there things you can spend less money on while maintaining the same satisfaction or meeting the same need?
  • Get in the habit of paying your bills on time.
  • Speak to a financial advisor if you need help outside of your comfort level.
  • Consider a job or career change if your income isn't enough to satisfy your current needs.

If you are struggling with a mental health or substance use problem, help is available. To schedule an appointment, call 540-961-8400. For crisis support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 9-8-8.