Balance in Life for Holistic Wellness & Development

A few Frameworks for Reference

During one of the ‘parenting lecture’ sessions with my daughter, I was trying to make her appreciate a balance in her daily routine addressing her learning, creativity, health, fitness, social and mental aspects. It was an extempore speech at that time, but I got curious about the idea and did some research that turned out to be a really interesting journey for me. There have been so many closely related fields of study — I have just summarized some of them for you to draw your own inspiration …

The closest framework was the Wellness Wheel

Source: Resident Wellness Program —
  • Physical — health, nutrition, hygiene, exercise, sports
  • Emotional — feelings, anxiety, stress, self esteem
  • Intellectual — creativity, mental, hobbies, expression
  • Social — family, friends, cultural, community
  • Spiritual — motivation, meditation, gratitude, prayers, family rituals
  • Environmental — mindfulness, knowledge, responsibility
  • Occupational — career, education, learning, outcomes
  • Financial — income, expense, time, assets, provident

I have also seen versions with 7 or 6 sections. This is often done by combining the Financial aspect with Occupational. Environmental may also get dropped or get associated with Social.

A popular way to check for balance is to imagine these segments to be the spokes of a wheel. Colour in each segment based on your level of satisfaction out of 10. Now look at the wheel … would it be a smooth ride or a bumpy one? Use this to figure out where to focus your energy on trying to obtain more peace and happiness.

A typical day for most people involves four kinds of activities as depicted here. But the scope for experimentation is perhaps the highest through the use of ‘free time’. One can go beyond relaxation and casual activities to ‘serious leisure’ pursuits including hobbies, side projects, volunteering and amateur work. And many of these will cater to one or more forms of wellness and balance.

Ref: Serious Leisure Perspective

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”, a sense of purpose in our lives. The elements of Ikigai can be mapped to Wellness too.

Valued experiences for Ikigai could come from:
• enjoyment: here and now
• effort: challenges
• stimulation: newness
• comfort: familiarity

We can’t increase our Ikigai by doing the same thing, for example effort, effort, effort…
It has to be balanced, and sometimes disengaged too.

Ref: Finding Ikigai in Leisure

You might be familiar with
Mind Body Spirit
or a similar combination involving Soul. Many of these have religious connotations too. Here’s one that talks about Social as well. It is often said that human beings are social animals — our thoughts and actions depend a lot on the environment.

I thought these were age-old ways of looking at life, but interestingly Wikipedia calls this as New Age.

And as a bonus, here is a very interesting take involving the mind, body, spirit and emotions with the four directions, four elements, four healing activities, that are mapped to flavors of aromatherapy 🙂

For best results, these aspects need to be included in our daily lives. There are also frameworks on the approach to balance and wellness, but maybe that’s for another day. As mentioned earlier, I have only summarized some of them for you to draw your own inspiration …

Bhaskar is a Multi-Hobbyist, Blogger, Tech & Design Enthusiast and Entrepreneur.
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