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Your Wellness Wheel

Cheryl has decades of life experiences that she brings to help others in life coaching.

SAMHSA Wellness Wheel


As the Wheel Turns

What are your thoughts about last year? Was it filled with grief? Did the year include transitions such as where you live, children added to the family, or children are grown? Could you describe last year as a year of new beginnings?

For many of us, last year represents a time of oscillations between the highest of highs to the lowest of lows .. a rollercoaster ride that could take a toll on the well-being of anyone. Recently while getting ready for a family wedding, a loved one collapsed. Her face and fingers were blue. She struggled to maintain consciousness. Yes, it was a scary moment. At the hospital, it was determined that she was suffering from stress and dehydration.

She was given a lecture on self-care and a flyer with a wellness model. We were all told to examine our lifestyles. The speech included the comment that the idea of self-care tends to elude most of us.

Side question, do Doctors take a class on giving scoldings while in medical school? Anyway, it hit home. The wellness model, created by SAMHSA, is an excellent starting point for all of us. The model includes eight facets that contribute to our overall health. The eight segments of the wheel are emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.


Emotional - Developing skills and ways to cope with stress.

Everyone faces painful experiences in life and, at times, needs help.

Who do you call upon for guidance and support? What are your strategies to handle life’s challenges?


Environmental – Creating pleasant, stimulating surroundings.

To be healthy, we need to have a nourishing personal space.

How often have you been affected by the noise or other aspects of your surroundings? Would you define your settings as a peaceful haven or chaos and disorganization?


Social - Developing a sense of connection with a support system.

Social Connections are not defined as your Facebook friends, but as the group of family and/or friends that give us a sense of belonging and support. You can build this support from your community, and finding the right church for you is a great place to start.

How would you grade your social wellness?


Financial - Satisfaction with financial situations.

This does NOT mean you have all the money you would ever want. What this means is that you have a plan and a budget that allows you to understand your financial situation.

Do you know your financial situation? Are you living within your means?


Intellectual - Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

The latest research on Alzheimer's stresses the need to keep our brain “exercised.” The goal is to work our brain muscle through reading, playing games, or learning new things.

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What are the ways you stimulate your mind?


Occupational - Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work.

Even if you are “retired,” you work. Your work can be a prayer ministry or other volunteer work. Your satisfaction can come from meeting goals. For example, setting a goal to make one person smile during your workday. Also, this aspect of wellness includes a balance of work, personal, and family life.

Are you satisfied with your work-life balance? Have you identified one way you get enjoyment from your work?


Physical - Recognizing the need for activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.

Ok, I learned the hard way that our bodies need all these things. You may not have a Peloton, but you can exercise.

How are you active? Are you getting enough water?


Spiritual - Search for meaning.

Yes, even the federal government accepts we have a spiritual need.

When is the last time you went to church? How much time, every day, do you spend in prayer?


It is a new year. A time to assess the past, future dreams, and a time to let go of old hurts, hang-ups, and harmful habits. Take a minute to review your wellness wheel and take the first steps to a healthier year!

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl Gowin


Cheryl Gowin (author) from Virginia on January 22, 2020:

Thanks, stay healthy this flu season

Cheryl Gowin on January 22, 2020:


Mary Libby on January 22, 2020:

Yes, Doctors must pass a "How to give stern lectures" class.

Great article and something we should all remember.

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