Welcome to January.  The first month of the new year…and new decade.  If you’re like me, you’ve been inundated with advertisements about ways you can improve in the new year.  From losing a few pounds to getting in better physical shape, much of what our society promotes is individual wellness and physical fitness.  These are indeed important aspects of living a healthy life.  However, wellness, health, and wholeness are more than pounds on a scale or reps at the gym.

Another aspect of wellness is mental health.  This term mental health also generates a lot of conversation these days.  The tone of these conversations often sounds critical or harsh and rarely seems to recognize–we all have mental health.  Mental health is part of being a human—just like physical health.  And just like physical health is on a continuum, so is our mental health. 

So, what is mental health?

Mental health is a state of mental, emotional, and social well-being.  Or as a professor of mine often remarked, “Mental health is good connections in all directions.”  From this perspective, mental health and mental illness are not in an all-or-nothing relationship. Mental health is also not an individual goal that can be checked off of a New Year’s resolution list.  It’s a way of being that necessitates attention, practice, and relationship.  Although different from other goals on a resolution list, the new year is a divine time to re-evaluate and review your mental health.

How are your connections in all directions?

One way to assess these connections is to explore the Wellness Wheel or the Wheel of Life.  The Wellness Wheel is a visual that represents eight core areas of your life.  We all have each dimension, which is interconnected and interdependent with the others.  The Wellness Wheel and a self-assessment tool can be a great way for you to become aware of your connections in all directions. 

If you would like support in engaging the Wellness Wheel or you find that you’d like help in developing one of the dimensions of your life, reach out to me for a free fifteen-minute phone consultation.  Let me help you develop healthy connections in all of your directions.

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