8 Dimensions of Wellness for Schizophreniaby Eileen Bailey Health Writer
The 8 Dimensions of Wellness are based on the concept that physical, spiritual and emotional health are intertwined. In order for you to achieve a sense of overall well-being, you must pay attention to the many aspects of your health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)has developed the 8 Dimensions of Wellness to help you achieve improved health.
What Does Wellness Mean?
For many people, wellness means the absence of illness, but for those with schizophrenia and other mental health issues, wellness may mean something different. Your idea of wellness may be living well with your condition or finding your life’s purpose and satisfaction. Your idea might mean having meaningful relationships or working at a job that leaves you fulfilled. No matter how you view wellness, incorporating the different dimensions into your daily life may help you get there.
First Dimension — Emotional
The first dimension, emotional, has to do with effectively coping with your life and all the ups and downs it brings. When you have schizophrenia, you might find it difficult to cope with your emotions, especially when they feel as if they are spinning out of control. Finding ways to manage, such as listening to your favorite music, finding a quiet space, or reaching out for help can help quiet your emotions.
SAMHSA defines environmental wellness as “occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.” No matter where you live, try to create an environment that serves as your safe haven. You may want soothing colors on the walls or pleasant-smelling candles. You may want an abundance of plants or comfortable furniture. Use what makes you feel at peace to create your own safe haven.
Being financially well doesn’t mean you have to make a lot of money, have a big house, or drive a new car. Being financially well means you are satisfied and appreciative of what you have. It could mean having the means to pay your bills or creating a financial plan to save for your future. Create a plan or a budget, set goals, commit to saving a little money each month, and look forward to your future. When you do that, you can achieve financial wellness.
Intellectual wellness involves using your skills, creativity, and talents to better yourself and the world around you. Always strive to continue learning and improving your skills. Start by learning something new, starting a new hobby, reading a book, or doing something you have never done before. Nurture your natural curiosity about the world.
Occupational wellness is achieved when you derive satisfaction and enrichment from your work - whether from a job or volunteer opportunities. Think about what tasks you enjoy and which ones you dislike. Search for work or volunteer positions that will give you a chance to contribute in a meaningful way while also improving your own well-being.
When you think of wellness, this is probably what you think of first. Physical wellness involves exercising on a regular basis, eating right, and getting enough sleep. It means getting regular check-ups and caring for your body with good hygiene habits.
As human beings, we crave connection with other people. These connections help us better cope with life, problem solve, and provide satisfaction with life. If you have a hard time socializing, start with small groups, such as support groups or social skills training programs, or look for volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood.
Spiritual wellness means something different for each person. It is what provides you meaning and purpose in life. When you have spiritual wellness, you live each day according to your beliefs, morals, and values.
One Area at a Time
Chances are, you are already developed in some of these areas. Work on the areas you feel are underdeveloped. For example, you may take care of your physical health already but you need to work on social wellness. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, choose one area at a time to start.