Seven dimensions of wellness – occupational and intellectual wellness
Occupational wellness means having a balance between work and home life and feeling positive about one’s work. Work can include a job, a role such as caregiver, being a student, or any other role or responsibility. With occupational wellness, the work you do reflects your values and you are able to seek opportunities to grow professionally.
To develop occupational wellness, consider how you feel about your job – do you enjoy going to work most days? Are you able to talk about problems that arise at work? Do you feel you are able to balance your workload and your life at home? Since children’s occupation for many years will be being a student and learning, we can foster occupational wellness in children by fostering a love of learning. Help them to find their interests and support them as they grow as learners. Adults, too, can benefit from reflection on their interests and values, and how their jobs can help support these values.
Intellectual wellness comes from being open to new ideas, engaging in stimulating mental activities, and striving for personal growth. When we are intellectually well we are engaged in intellectual and cultural activities, we are curious, we spend time reading and pursuing personal interests, and we are interested in the world around us.
To foster intellectual wellness in yourself or your child try taking a class or learning a new skill. Encourage your child to ask questions and help him or her find the answers. Look for ways to involve creativity in everyday life and work to actively solve problems as they arise. Just like with occupational wellness, you can help your child build a foundation of intellectual wellness by fostering a love of learning. Encourage your child to try new things and emphasize the process of trying and learning rather than the product or result. Remind your child and yourself that it is okay to make mistakes – this is part of learning and growing.
The last of the seven dimensions is physical wellness and I will talk about that next time.
For more information on these and the other dimensions of wellness, visit http://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html and http://www.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/wellness/Dimensions%20of%20Wellness.pdf.
The National Wellness Institute also has information on their website about their six dimensions of wellness, many of which overlap with the seven dimensions we are discussing. You can find the six dimensions of wellness at: http://www.nationalwellness.org/index.php?id_tier=2&id_c=25.