Environmental Wellness

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

-The Lorax

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to focus on one of the seven dimensions of wellness – environmental wellness. Environmental wellness incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment. Ultimately, all of our decisions, whether it is the foods we consume or the products we buy, will impact our lovely planet and home.

As much as we should enjoy the beauty mother nature has to offer, we must also take responsibility to protect our planet’s limited natural resources. I believe our decisions should encompass sustainability measures to ensure that we are not creating impossible problems for future generations. At the very least, we should be working towards identifying solutions for the environmental problems we are currently creating. The good news is that there are many organizations who are investing in economic research and working towards solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems. These organizations are led by individuals who exhibit growth mindsets and are future-oriented through their commitment to a better future for all human beings.

Food Choices: Did you know that more than 30% of the available food in the United States is thrown away every year? I won’t even get started on my “American food portions are WAY too large” rant. But honestly – I think we have a lot to learn from some of the healthier nations around the world.

  1. ReFED: a nonprofit organization that utilizes a data–driven approach to address the many inefficiencies in our food system. I started reading their report – A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20% and the first paragraph left me completely blown away…

    “By 2050, it is estimated that the Earth’s population will top 9 billion. This growing population will undeniably stress our food systems, natural resources, and ecosystems. But consider this: Currently, we waste up to 40% of our food globally. In the United States, this equals roughly 400 pounds annually for every American. Meanwhile, one in seven Americans are food insecure.”

    ReFED has developed a roadmap to address food waste because economic analysis has revealed this is a solvable problem. The necessary resources are available, but we need policymakers and consumers to get involved in order to achieve widespread change. A strategy to solve global food waste has been developed. Now it all comes down to the execution of the strategy, as well as global participation.

  2. The Better Buying Lab: this initiative was launched by the World Resources Institute to develop strategies to enable consumers to purchase and consume sustainable foods. Did you know that different proteins can impact the environment in a variety of ways? Meat and dairy production are extremely resource–intensive to produce compared to plant-based foods. Check out the World Resources Institute’s Protein Scorecard to learn more about how your diet impacts agricultural resources.

“The world’s population is expected to grow to nearly 10 billion people by 2050, requiring 70 percent more food than what’s available today. If we’re to meet the demands of the future, we must develop a sustainable way forward for food production and consumption.”

The three core focuses of the Better Buying Lab include transforming how the food industry communicates about plant-based foods, popularizing dishes rich in plants, and identifying the right environmental metrics, methods, and targets.

These organizations are operating at a global level, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved and bring about change as well!

  • Plant your own small garden! Backyard veggies always taste better and this is a great way to increase the plant-based food consumption in your household!
  • Start your own backyard compost bin! This activity will save you money and make the plants in your garden extra happy!
  • Purchase canvas bags and ditch those plastic bags! But really…it’s time.
  • Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle! Once you start identifying simple ways to become more environmentally–friendly, you’ll be amazed how simple switches will transform into larger lifestyle changes!
  • For more simple ideas, check out the United Nations’ “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” and get to work!

Product Choices: Businesses are aware that as the “going green” trend continues into the future, they must engage in sustainable practices to appeal to consumers. As consumers, we must acknowledge that many large corporations are not actually committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations. We call this “greenwashing” and it occurs when a company spends more money on advertising that they are “green” than what they are actually investing to implement green initiatives. How crazy is that?! Fortunately, the Social Age has forced companies to become more transparent and this sneaky strategy will not lead to long–term success. There are methods to identify which companies are actually committed to reducing their environmental impact – you just have to do your research. The companies who truly care about their long–term impact on the environment are the ones I want to do business with.

How do you engage in sustainable practices? What are the methods you utilize to achieve a balance with nature and how does this impact your other dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Turquoise Roots

“Remember your roots, trust your wings.”

I come from a long line of turquoise lovers. My great-grandmother lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and she absolutely adored her turquoise jewelry. Over the past few years, I have also become quite fond of turquoise. There are very few days you will find me without my turquoise rings because going “ringless” makes me feel as if I am missing a part of myself. It is hard to explain, but somehow, my turquoise rings bring me a sense of safety. It was not until a few months ago that I came across some interesting information regarding the history of and meaning behind turquoise.

Turquoise is a purification stone–it dispels negative energy, acts as a mood stabilizer, and instills a sense of inner calm. For thousands of years, this “fallen sky stone” has brought protection, strength, and power to cultures across the globe.  Did you know that King Tut’s burial mask was adorned with turquoise stones? Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but turquoise will always be my soul mate.

The United States is currently the world’s largest producer of turquoise. Nevada, New Mexico, California, and Colorado all have mines in which dissolved copper has combined with aluminum and phosphorus to create beautiful turquoise stones.

Turquoise influences my emotional, spiritual, and environmental dimensions of wellness. If you missed my post on the importance of balancing all seven dimensions of wellness, you can check it out here!

Here’s how these tiny, precious items contribute to my overall balance:

  • Emotional Wellness: Each time I glance at my turquoise rings, I am reminded of my strong roots– the independent women in my family who I am proud to call my role models. These turquoise rings allow me to feel grounded and have become a unique component of who I am as an individual.
  • Spiritual Wellness: I believe you attract the same type of energy that you release into the world. Think about it for a moment…when you have a positive mindset, you tend to focus more on the wonderful things in life and you attract people who possess a similar mindset and vibe. Turquoise instills me with positive energy and I am therefore able to release positive energy back into the world. Simply put, energy is constantly flowing.
  • Environmental Wellness: We all need the occasional reminder that the world does not revolve around ourselves. Rather, we are part of a much larger interconnected web. The turquoise in my rings spent hundreds (if not thousands) of years in the earth. These specific stones were stationary for the majority of their lives, but now that turquoise travels with me around the world. I find that to be a pretty amazing concept,

I do not believe it is materialistic to have tangible items that remind you of who you are. Maybe you have a little momento from an amazing trip or a photo that reminds you of a lost beloved one. Whatever that object is for you, hold onto it. Let it serve as a constant reminder of your core being. Allow it be a window into your heart and soul.

What item serves as a reminder to your roots? What dimensions of wellness do you believe this reminder brings balance to? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

-Thomas Edison

How do you define wellness? Overall wellness is comprised of seven dimensions – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual, and occupational. It is critical that we give equal attention to all dimensions of wellness in order to pursue a state of holistic health.  

Now you might be thinking – how can each of these dimensions of wellness be equal? Have you ever noticed that when you experience the loss of someone who greatly impacted your life, that you begin to struggle in other aspects of life beyond your emotional state? Your mourning period stemmed from the emotional dimension, but it also had varying levels of impact on your physical, social, and spiritual wellness – as well as the remaining dimensions.

The seven dimensions of wellness are completely intertwined. When you begin to focus your energy on enhancing the relationships between these dimensions, you will truly begin to thrive. Let’s take a quick look at each of the dimensions!

Physical Wellness: involves making more informed lifestyle choices. Engaging in physical activity, improving nutritional choices, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep will benefit the physical state of your body.

Emotional Wellness: focuses primarily on improving how you feel about yourself and your life in general. This is the dimension that can often be the most challenging to regulate.

Spiritual Wellness: expands beyond the scope of religion. This dimension emphasizes finding purpose in life, understanding your personal values, and being open to developing connections to things that are much bigger than yourself.

Social Wellness: encompasses all types of relationships – family, friends, and significant others.  This dimension allows us to fulfill some of our deepest needs – to feel connected and supported by other human beings.

Environmental Wellness: incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment.

Intellectual Wellness: includes mental stimulation and pursuing creative outlets to challenge and open our minds to new ideas.

Occupational Wellness: promotes searching for a meaningful career and engaging in professional organizations and hobbies.  It is essential to prioritize the expansion of one’s skills and seek opportunity to help others.

Essentially, holistic health requires you to view your health from the broadest perspective by focusing your energy on prioritizing each and every one of the seven dimensions of wellness.  It is vital you learn to understand your body, as well as the connection your physical being has with your mind, spirit, and the world around you. Trust me – this is quite the challenging feat and I continue to struggle with maintaining balance in my life through all seven dimensions of wellness. What matters most is that you make the decision to continually work to improve yourself.  

I welcome you to join me on this journey and together we will explore how a holistic health approach and essential oils can bring you pure, personal empowerment. How do you balance the seven dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!