Usually when we hear the phrase “20/20,” we assume people are talking about vision, but now that the new year, and a new decade, is almost upon us, it takes on a whole new meaning. It’s time to start envisioning what 2020 will look like for each of us. We on the MAPP Steering Committee, our community’s health coalition, invite you to reflect on this past year and look to the year ahead through the lens of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness. This broad approach to wellness considers your whole being. Cultural, economic, educational, emotional, environmental, physical, spiritual, and social dynamics all impact your overall wellness, and there are many ways to incrementally improve each of those areas to raise your overall level of wellness.
Fish today’s newspaper inserts out of the recycle bin and find the one that has a multicolored pie chart on it, or go to www.mappofskp.net. At the top are the definitions of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness. Be sure to read them because you might be surprised by how they are defined here. You can see that the chart is divided into eight segments matching the 8 Dimensions of Wellness. The center of the chart is 0, and the outside ring of the chart is 10. Take a moment to look at the dimension, read the definition, and reflect on where you fall on a scale of 0-10 for that dimension, where 0 means you feel little or no sense of satisfaction in that dimension of your life and 10 means that you’re absolutely nailing it. Draw a line or shade in the rings to show where you feel you fall in that dimension, then move on to the next one. For each dimension, look at the name, read the definition, reflect on how you feel about that dimension in your life, and rate yourself.
When you’ve finished reflecting on each of the 8 Dimensions, take a look at your circle. Do you have a functioning wheel or a flat tire? Are there peaks and valleys or a smooth, even circumference? Did one or two of the dimensions pique your interest and entice you to learn more? Now turn the sheet over and take a look at examples of ways you can develop each of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness. As you are making your New Year’s resolutions, consider using these 8 Dimensions to guide you.
Perhaps your chart was a little flat for Cultural Wellness. This might be the year that you explore your family tree, indulge in your curiosity about the history of the land on which you live and the peoples who lived there before you, or decide to finally take advantage of some of the wonderful cultural experiences Homer has to offer. Perhaps your 8 Dimensions tire was punctured at Social Wellness, and so you resolve to schedule time with your friends and family the same way you calendar business meetings. Maybe you’d like to explore some of the local clubs and interest groups or take part in community activities to start meeting new people and build a stronger social network.
Maybe the common perennial resolution to “lose 10 pounds” isn’t really about Physical Wellness after all; maybe it’s really about Environmental Wellness, and by resolving to explore local trails and beaches, you will not only increase your Environmental Wellness but your Physical, as well. Regardless of where we currently are in each of our 8 Dimensions of Wellness, we can always seek to improve ourselves. This year, reflect on your 8 Dimensions, and resolve to discover what increasing wellness looks like for you.
You can access resources to support you on your wellness journey at www.skpresourcedirectory.net.
Lisa Talbott is the pastor of Homer United Methodist Church and a member of the MAPP Steering Committee. MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) is a local health improvement coalition with the vision of a proactive, resilient and innovative community.