Wellness: What It Is And How I’m Achieving It.

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What Is Wellness?

I’ve been thinking about wellness a lot of late. Perhaps because I’ve had more hospital appointments this year than throughout my entire life.

But what actually is wellness?

The World Health Organisation describes wellness as being “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Wellness is an active process. It’s about making choices toward a healthy, fulfilling life. It’s dynamic. A process of change and growth. A lot of factors combine to make us feel well, vital and fulfilled. Every action and every emotion affects our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s a continuous circle. Wellness is crucial for a good quality of life.

Dr Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, has broken wellness down into six aspects. He suggests that in order to lead a vital, fulfilling, well-rounded and balanced life, we must meet certain lifestyle dimensions. If one or more of these dimensions is lacking, it causes an imbalance.

what Lizzy Loves wellness

Source: The National Wellness Institute

It’s a broad and fascinating topic and one which will resonate differently with everyone. Therefore, I’ve written what I believe to be the salient points, along with how each aspect affects my own wellness.

Wellness: Physical

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Optimal physical wellness is achieved via good exercise and healthy eating. It’s also about understanding the body and knowing when to seek medical attention.

In my New Year Resolutions post, I mentioned three separate health issues that needed investigating. To briefly recap, I had a skin lesion on my nose and two cysts in my eyelid. Each has since been successfully removed and I need no further intervention. Both procedures were slightly uncomfortable but quick and minor. I’m glad I had them done and I don’t need to give them any more thought. The third is ongoing but the end is in sight. I have heavy bleeding for which I had a hysteroscopy investigation.I’m due remedial treatment soon.

Looking and feeling good increase self-esteem. I love clothes, I strive to look my best and my main blog category is style. However, looking good goes hand in hand with feeling good. If I don’t feel my best, no clothes or makeup in the world can make me look my best. On the other hand, if I feel great on the inside but something doesn’t suit, I won’t feel right on the outside. I can’t have one without the other. This is one such example that shows how different aspects of wellness are inter-related.

Wellness: Emotional

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Emotional wellness is the ability to express and manage feelings. It’s better to be aware of, and accept feelings, than to deny them. It’s also characterised by an optimistic outlook. Optimism runs strong through my family. I see silver linings and I look on the bright side and I’m very grateful for this. I’m the most emotional person I know. Consequently, I love deeply, feel pain intensely and laugh and cry easily. My sensitivity is one of my biggest strengths yet greatest weaknesses. I can sense if someone is upset from one hundred metres, but sometimes I over-react. And I frequently overthink. It’s taken a long time for me to accept that I can’t have one without the other.

Wellness: Occupational

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Occupational wellness is personal satisfaction and enrichment through work. It’s better to choose a career that reflects our personal values, interests and beliefs than to follow a path which is unrewarding. As well as this, it’s useful to develop functional and transferable skills.

I’ve come full circle in my career. I studied Optometry at university and worked in practice for about fifteen years. I took a career break to suit our family circumstances and decided that I didn’t want to return. During that break I started writing this blog. I was subsequently invited to combine my writing with my clinical skills and offered a style-based column for a professional optometry journal, In turn, this role has led to more optometry collaborations and I now have a dedicated optometry blog category. I added the tagline “Life and Style Through The Eyes of An Optometrist” to reflect this.

In my case, the transferable skills in combination with my personal interests have given me what I feel is the perfect career for me.

Wellness: Intellectual

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A person with intellectual wellness undertakes creative and stimulating mental activities. They strive to expand their knowledge or skills, because it’s beneficial to challenge and stretch the mind. It’s useful to identify potential problems and act appropriately, rather than wait for them to happen which might cause worry.

I want to improve my intellectual wellness and said last year ago that I’d begun to learn conversational Spanish. This fell by the wayside, (I was teaching myself using an app), so I must resume this. I have had more success with reading though, something I vowed to do more of. I still don’t read as much as I’d like to, but it’s a positive step forwards.

Wellness: Spiritual

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Spiritual wellness relates to the meaning and purpose of human existence. Spiritual individuals appreciate the natural forces in the universe. They are open-minded and tolerant of other beliefs. They can harmonize their internal feelings with external challenges. Life brings so many different feelings: joy, happiness, discovery, despair, fear, disappointment. All of these are important and help us to place value on our existence; they give us a sense of perspective.

I was in an emotionally abusive marriage and went through an horrific divorce four years ago, after I discovered long-term infidelity. There’s no need for more detail here, but consequently it has given my children and me an excellent sense of perspective. We understand that everyone has their own story and are more empathetic. It has made us stronger, more resilient. We know what really matters. And I truly believe that some wonderful forces somewhere in the universe conspired to bring Ian and I together.

Wellness: Social

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Social wellness relates to the interdependence of humans and nature. It’s about living harmony with others and contributing to the common welfare of the community and environment.

This year I made the conscious decision to buy more organic foods and toiletries. I’m very aware of the impact chemical nasties and plastics have upon our planet, the beautiful seas and oceans in particular.

My lovely outfit is a gift from Asquith, an eco brand that sells women’s activewear and ethical yoga clothes. I love the oyster pink of this organic yoga top,which is made from organic cotton. It’s super soft and very easy to wear. The Hero Tie Pants are made from bamboo, a very sustainable material. They’re deliciously drapey and tie at the knee or the ankle to suit.

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I felt so joyous Paddling here, in the North Sea, at Marsden Rock in Northumberland. Nature at her finest. In fact, the whole day filled me with joy. Ian and I had an exhilerating and uplifting walk along the beach, followed by a leisurely lunch.

I felt fulfilled in mind, body spirit and soul. I felt utterly well.

What I'm wearing...

Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Personalised bracelet
Personalised bracelet
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble
Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Personalised bracelet
Personalised bracelet
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble
Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Maybelline Go Colossal, Leather Black
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Clinique, Dubonnet soft shine
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Camden Watch Company, No 27
Personalised bracelet
Personalised bracelet
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith top, Oyster pink
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble
Asquith hero tie pants, pebble

 

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This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Asquith. All opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support my blog.

20 Comments

  1. April 23, 2018 / 11:01 am

    Lizzy, this is the best blog post I have read in a long time as it just speaks to my heart so much. It’s exactly what I’m thinking about, right now in my life so thank you for writing so thoughtfully and eloquently. It has given me a lot to think about.
    Lots of love Susanna x x
    Ps. That outfit is just adorable xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Oh Susanna, thank you so much. That is so lovely of you to say so. Lots of love xxxxx

  2. MichelleTyler
    April 23, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Gosh you’ve given me a lot to think about here Liz. I really need to sort myself out, my stress levels are higher than they’ve been in a very long time & it shows. I have no patience with anything at the moment, I feel my jaw is clenched more often than not & I even had a “period” for the first time in 3 years!
    This post is going in my toolbar to remind me to take better care of myself, thank you xx
    p.s. Love these pants!

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 7:03 pm

      Oh Michelle, it’s hardly surprising you feel stressed given your house move and everything it entails. I know what you mean about clenching your jaw. I find myself doing the same. The thing is, your current situation is only temporary. Things will settle down and you’ll regain your calm and your composure. You must be exhausted and this of course leads to reduced tolerance. Try to be kind to yourself my friend and look after yourself. I must say though, I think you’ve coped amazingly well with your transatlantic transition xxxx

  3. April 23, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    You described it so well, Liz, wellness and wellbeing are so mutifacetted!
    And I really need to stock up my active and lounge wear… you showed I could look better than in my leggings and a t-shirt even when I am at home. I’ll check out the collection!!

    xx Annette

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 7:16 pm

      Thank you Annette, yes, there are so many aspects aren’t there. A lot of it I’m sure we all knew but sometimes having things broken down into categories makes it easier to comprehend and manage. And thank you. Asquith make such beautiful leisurewear. So comfortable and eco fabrics too. I’m sure you look beautiful though in your leggings and t-shirt! Lots of love xxxx

  4. April 23, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    These soft colours and fabrics of this outfit suit you and the mood of the post so beautifully. I feel like I’m waIking next to you, having a chat! I love every word you write here; your take on wellness is a very smart one. You are a woman who knows exactly what works for you, which I so admire. Wishing you oceans of wellness xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      Oh Lisa, thank you so much. I know you’re a fan of Asquith clothing too. It’s taken me a while, (and the love of a great man), to accept and understand what works for me and works with my personality, but I think everything is falling into place and that is a very good feeling indeed. Lots of love gorgeous xxx

  5. Jane
    April 23, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    I love this post !! Though provoking and really inspirational. Thank you xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 10:15 am

      Oh that’s so kind of you Jane. Thank you so much xxxx

  6. Rosemary
    April 24, 2018 / 9:06 am

    Beautifully written post Liz, that really resonates with me. Especially the Wellness : Emotional paragraph … we are so alike here, I could have written it word for word about myself. Maybe there’s some connection with the sharing the same birthday!! 😊 it’s so important that all these aspects of our life are in sync … but not an easy thing to achieve at times.
    You look so beautiful in the picture under Wellness: Social … actually, you look gorgeous in all of them but in this one in particular, your face just radiates happiness …
    Take care and have a good week 😘
    Rosemary

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 10:18 am

      Oh Rosemary, thank you so much. Yes, maybe we October girls are all the same!! I really am so very happy and I do think it shows, but it’s like I said, it’s on the inside and it is so clear to see! Have a lovely week too xxxx

  7. Suzy Turner
    April 24, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Lizzy, you’ve certainly given us plenty to think about here. Like you, I tend to be more of a positive person but there are things that let me down – especially at the moment about a week before my period is due. Let’s just say I can be a bi grumpy lol!
    Fabulous post, Lizzy!
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 24, 2018 / 10:20 am

      Thank you Suzy. yes, I can see that you’re a naturally positive person. Hormones have such a lot to answer to don’t they!!!! Have a good week and by the way, I went to my very first yoga class yesterday and loved it!!! xxxxx

  8. April 24, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    Liz what an absolutely wonderful post, so much to comment on!

    First of all, the clothes look super comfy… I love tracky bots and the harem pants style is fab. Love that the clothes are made of organic fabrics.

    You are someone I really admire in terms of everything you’ve been through and how you have handled/are handling it all. It’s so important to put ourselves first now and then in order to be well enough to help others, and I’m so glad you’ve been getting your health problems sorted! Sorting out physical problems does amazing things for your mental health, and you’re living proof of that 🙂

    Catherine x

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 26, 2018 / 11:33 am

      Oh Catherine, thank you so much. Yes, the clothes are so comfy and I feel so good knowing they’re made from eco fabrics. And you’re absolutely right. feeling well physically makes you feel wonderful in every way doesn’t it- mentally and emotionally especially. Lots of love xxxxx

  9. April 28, 2018 / 6:02 am

    I love this article Liz. What I think is interesting with wellness also is sometimes we don’t realise we are neglecting one of the 6 categories above yet there’s something not quite right. Too much work and our physical and social wellbeing can be affected. Spreading ourselves too thin with work and socialising can leave our spiritual needs unmet. I can certainly learn from this. The difference in you from four years ago is a perfect example of this. You are now radiant, confident and importantly content. I’m so glad you are where you are now xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      April 28, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Thank you so much. Yes, it’s easy not to realise that something somewhere isn’t quite right. It’s been a life-changing four years, but I would go through it all again to be here! xxxxxx

  10. May 8, 2018 / 12:56 am

    What an insightful post. I never thought of wellness this way; I’m going to evaluate my life with that perspective after reading this. I’m recovering from a one-sided love atm and hoping that this idea of wellness can help me find my balance again. Thank you for writing this.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 7:29 am

      Oh Helen, I’m sorry to hear that, but I promise, you will find that balance again. I mentioned my own divorce. I found out that my husband of almost 16 years had been having an affair with my friend for five years. It was an awful time as you can imagine. My children were just 13 and 11 and we had to move house etc. Now though, we are incredibly settled in our home. It turns out it was the best move ever. I have the most amazing partner Ian who I met 19 months ago and who is everything I dreamed of all my life! Good luck and be kind to yourself. I’m going to write a little more about every aspect of wellness in due course. Best wishes and lots of love xxx

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