URBANA, Ill. – Personal wellness is more than just diet and exercise. Wellness is multi-dimensional, encompassing eight dimensions: physical, financial, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, vocational, and intellectual.

"These eight dimensions work in harmony to help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing." says Jenna Smith, Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator. 

Explore each dimension and develop personal wellness strategies during a free, self-guided University of Illinois Extension interactive program. Dimensions of Wellness begins Feb. 7 and spans eight weeks. Participants will receive information by email each Monday.

 "We are striving for personal harmony that feels authentic to you," Smith says. "Armed with a new awareness of wellness, you will be able to build your own wellness plan so that you can be the best version of you in 2022."

Register before Feb. 6 at go.illinois.edu/8DimensionsofWellness. Participants will receive a self-assessment as part of the program. The assessment will help uncover strengths and opportunities for improvement.

"This self-assessment will guide your activities in the following weeks," says Smith. "By the end of the series, you will have learned about all eight dimensions and hopefully found more balance in your life."

Each Monday through March 28, participants will receive an email with a new dimension of wellness to explore, suggested activities, and a link to report that week's activities. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, contact Kristin Bogdonas, kmbogdo@illinois.edu

Participants who complete the weekly surveys will have an opportunity to win a prize at the end of the series.

The weekly topics include:

Vocational Wellness, also called occupational wellness, explores ways to incorporate and express your values and interests through work, school, and career. This dimension also invites you to look at balancing work and leisure time. 

Intellectual Wellness involves many things that keep our brains active and our intellect expanding. In a broad sense, this dimension can involve looking at different perspectives of an issue and taking them into consideration. 

Social Wellness encourages us to develop a sense of connection and belonging to our community, friends, and family. It helps you perform social roles effectively and comfortably and establish a meaningful support network. 

Emotional Wellness relates to an increased awareness, expression, and acceptance of a wide range of thoughts and feelings in yourself and others. Emotional wellness involves adjusting to emotional challenges, coping with stress, and enjoying life. 

Spiritual Wellness helps us develop meaning and purpose to life. Spirituality can be represented in many ways, with or without organized religion. Becoming spiritually well means participating in activities that are consistent with our values and beliefs. 

Environmental Wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings and preserves the areas where we live, learn, and work. Environmental wellness promotes interaction with both nature and your personal environment. It can include occupying spaces that support our well-being. 

Financial Wellness is about meeting all financial needs and feeling secure in future financial situations. Financial well-being is also a highly personal state and how we feel about this state is emotional and individualized. 

Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. It involves listening to your body and adopting healthy daily habits and behaviors. Physical wellness includes eating a healthy and balanced diet, being physically active, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, getting regular medical check-ups, and abstaining from harmful behaviors. 

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

SOURCE: Jenna Smith, Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator
WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Illinois Extension, Marketing and Communications Manager