A Holistic Approach to Wellness: Why it Matters

Holistic Approach to Wellness

The theme of wellness dominated many aspects of our lives in 2020 and continues into this year. Yet, many may not fully understand the meaning of the word.  Wellness is multidimensional. The Global Wellness Institute defines it as: “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” When someone asks, “How are you doing?” you may likely respond, “I’m doing well” or “fine.” But under the surface, there may be layers of emotion that need to be stripped away like onion peels to achieve greater balance and peace. You might be a bit emotional, fatigued, anxious, or depressed right now, and these are common feelings. The past year presented us with many intense, unsettling events and the world has yet to stabilize. To sustain ourselves and our commitment and dedication to helping others, it’s important that we focus on taking a holistic approach to wellness.

My Personal Journey Toward Holistic Wellness

While numerous and significant changes were imposed upon us in the last year, the impact of them has not yet fully manifested. When change occurs, we may not realize how it will completely unfold because we go through different stages of the change cycle over a period of time. For instance, when I returned to school to complete my studies in 2009, I did not experience the full impact of this change until 2013. At that time, I started to shift my role and the industry I wanted to work in. I began working remotely, which required new skill sets. I was making change to improve the occupational and vocational aspects of my personal wellbeing.

I allowed my creativity and instincts to guide me in carving out my new vision and mission. I leveraged my career development expertise and personal experience with restructuring to help new graduates and “downsized” mid-level professionals regain a sense of optimism and discover a new career path. In essence, I rechanneled my personal experience with change to begin making a positive impact on others by offering hope and support.

However, the best part of my career transition was when I teamed up with Career Professionals of Canada (CPC). My entrepreneurial journey began with the formation of a clear vision and strategy for my virtual career service and my vision became a reality with CPC’s support. CPC equipped me with the knowledge, tools, expertise, strategies, and networks to make it happen. The benefits of membership and the individuals I was privileged to add to my network strengthened my social wellness by offering unwavering support, encouragement, validation, and a sense of belonging, CPC was my vehicle for change. For that, I will always be grateful.

Ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic also serves as a vehicle for change, forcing us to take a deeper look at self-care and wellness and recognize how both have an impact on our lives. The pandemic is inspiring us to be grateful for the good things we have in our lives – big and small. As the saying goes, “Expect nothing and be grateful for everything.”

This past year has given us time to consider how we can better serve our unique purpose while finding our own inner balance. It is about adopting a new vision for leadership and transformation while taking a holistic approach to practicing wellness.

Nine Aspects of Well-being

For their new Work-Life Coaching program, Career Professionals of Canada developed the Aspects of Well-being Model, which holistically integrates nine aspects of well-being into living, learning, and working. This model is derived from existing literature, including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the Eight Dimensions of Wellness developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), and Five-Star Wellbeing’s Wellbeing Assessment.

We can determine our alignment within each of the nine areas by asking critical questions:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
    • How do you cope with stress, express emotions, and leverage positive events in your life to increase your emotional intelligence?
    • Are you aware and accepting of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours?
    • How effective are you at managing emotions and building positive and healthy connections with others?
  • Spiritual
    • Do you know what your personal core beliefs and values are?
    • Do your beliefs and values provide a sense of meaning and purpose?
    • How do you channel your authentic purpose to foster meaning for yourself and others?
    • Do you take time throughout the day to reflect, breathe, and meditate, or do yoga for greater harmony and balance?
  • Social
  • Intellectual
    • Are you unleashing your creative talents by expanding your knowledge and marketable skills while exploring diverse perspectives?
    • How are you sharing your talents in purposeful ways to better serve clients?
    • In what ways are you strengthening your focus, creativity, and critical thinking?
  • Occupational
    • Are you satisfied that your occupation reflects your personal goals, beliefs, lifestyle, and values?
    • Are you harmoniously integrating your occupation and your personal time?
    • Are you developing your unique skills and talents to their full potential for personal and professional growth?
  • Financial
    • How do you balance the psychological, physical, and spiritual aspects of your relationship with finance?
    • Do you practice positive and strategic financial habits?
    • What is your perspective on savings, income, and debt?
    • How do you maximize your resources to make smart financial decisions and achieve short-term and long-term financial goals?
    • Do you take time out to do a regular audit of your annual financial performance?
  • Environmental
    • How do you promote physical and emotional safety in all your surroundings?
    • Do you respect nature and do your best to preserve and nurture it?
    • Are you adopting best health and safety practices to protect yourself, your environment, and others?
  • Vocational
    • Are you engaged in career activities that you’re passionate about?
    • Does your vocation align with your authentic purpose and meaning?
    • Does your vocation engage your full potential and provide self-actualization?

Aside from social distancing, regular hand-washing, and obeying safety protocols, let’s focus on setting daily goals and taking actions that will drive positive change and improve our situation in the world. Let’s all do our part, for ourselves and our clients! It starts with self-reflection, awareness, and taking the proper steps to ensure that we keep our own wellness and safety a top priority.

Microsoft 365 Templates offer a fun online tool to help you keep track of your wellness-related activities. It’s called The Wellness Wheel. Follow the instructions provided, and and as you complete your wellness actions and update the template, you’ll create a beautiful design.

If you’d like to enhance your skills in areas related to mental health, holistic wellness, foundational life-skills, and career management, enrol in CPC’s Work-Life Coaching program and obtain your CWS designation . It offers the information, tools, and strategies you need to effectively support your clients as they move toward new levels of growth and fulfilment in living, learning, and working..

Lori Jazvac is a passionate, award-winning Master Certified Résumé Strategist and Certified Employment Strategist through Career Professionals of Canada. As a multi-certified Master Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Coach, she specializes in helping clients navigate challenging career transitions. In 2013, an empowering vision inspired Lori to launch Creative Horizons Communications, a holistic career services firm where she virtually supports jobseekers around the globe to embrace their next career milestone. In her spare time, Lori enjoys dance, blogging, watching comedies and reality shows, yoga, and taking long walks in nature.

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

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