The Wellness Wheel is a useful self-analysis tool for prioritizing, inspired by the Wheel of Life of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. It seeks to measure well-being in various axes and find a better balance of life for people. It is useful for all people, as they will be able to identify the aspects of their lives that need specific support to function better as professionals.
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Women who participate in the labor market, whether as employees, managers or business owners, often face an overload of domestic and care work. Although there have been changes in recent decades, in Latin America and the Caribbean women dedicate more than twice as many hours to domestic and care work as men: 38 and 16 hours a week, respectively. This limits your opportunities to integrate and stay in a job, access decision-making positions, have time for training, or start and grow your business. Additionally, by having so many hours of additional unpaid work, the spaces to take care of physical and mental health are scarce.
The Wellness Wheel is a self-exploration tool that can help measure decisions and situations that impact overall wellness. Although the axes and the questions that define it may vary depending on who uses it, it is recommended to include gender equality as a transversal axis. Each of the 8 dimensions is interconnected and equally important, how balanced is your wellness wheel?
The wheel of life is a graphic tool from the field of coaching, which allows you to have a greater awareness of the aspects that make it up, what is the degree of perceived satisfaction of each of them and also start the process of self-improvement.
In general, it helps to measure the balance between the different aspects (axes) of life, in this case the focus is on the balance between personal and work. For all people, but particularly for women, it is of great importance to identify and measure the perceived and real balance of their professional and personal lives, due to the overload generated by the sum of paid and unpaid work. A significant factor in achieving the expected balance is having the time and space necessary for self-care, which are often scarce for women, both employees and entrepreneurs.
Steps for implementation
Although the technique itself is easy to develop, a number of steps must be followed to ensure that the self-test is performed in the most satisfactory way.
1. Define and represent the areas of the circle
2. Define the questions for each axis
Here are some sample questions to ask yourself. Each person will determine what is relevant to having well-being in her life and achieving an appropriate balance between the personal and the professional.
In each question, within the wheel, the corresponding response from 0 (low satisfaction) to 10 (high satisfaction) is marked with an X.
Recognize the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition during those times.
- Do you eat healthy and nutritious food? Do you have a daily or weekly plan for your meals?
- Do you have time to exercise regularly and feel fit and strong?
- Tip: sometimes gender stereotypes limit us to carry out certain physical activities, are you a woman and have you always wanted to play soccer or baseball, are you a man and do you like modern dance? Dare to practice them.
- Do you get enough sleep, in your usual routine, to maintain your health?
- On average, do you wake up at the same time every day?
- Do you take a day off when you are not feeling well, or do you go about your daily routine?
Good health by being in pleasant and stimulating environments that in turn support general well-being.
- Do you find time to connect with nature and spend time outdoors?
- Tip: take a short walk or do visual meditation outdoors. If you don’t have access to the outdoors, seeing a photo of yourself in nature can help you connect.
- Do you feel security and comfort in your home or your main living space?
- Is your space tidy? Is there a distinction between your place of work / rest / reading or meditation, no matter how small it is?
- Is your workspace conducive to bringing out your best self? Does it foster a positive relationship for your work, with a comfortable chair, good lighting, and perhaps a connection with nature?
- Do you have a place where you can sit and reflect, or that is conducive to reflection?
Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from work
- Do you experience any kind of gender inequality in your work environment?
- Are you satisfied with the career path you are in now?
- Do you find joy and meaning in your work?
- Are you committed to your current job?
- Are you creating spaces during quarantine to invest in your professional development in your field of work, or to acquire new skills?
- Does your company promote co-responsibility between work and personal life?
- Is the division of housework and care work equal in your family?
Recognize creative abilities and find ways to expand your knowledge and skills.
- Do you take time to develop self-study activities?
- Do you reserve time to learn something unfamiliar, read a new genre, or delve into a topic of interest?
- Are you reading articles or books beyond the news?
- Do you question the information you receive by comparing it with other sources?
- Do you make an effort to broaden your perspective or intellectual range?
Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.
- Do you feel like you have a healthy relationship with money?
- Are you in control of your finances and those of your home?
- How satisfied are you with your current and future financial situation?
- Do you keep a budget or your own way of managing your finances?
- Do you feel prepared or prepared for future expenses, including short-term and long-term emergencies or potential emergencies?
Coping with life effectively and creating satisfying relationships.
- Do you consider yourself optimistic (most of the time)?
- Do you have a strategy for when you get stressed?
- Do you see challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles?
- Do you have strategies or time to express and reflect on your emotional well-being?
- Tip: in society there is a prejudice that men should not express their emotions, but this is harmful for them. The expression of emotions is vital to the well-being of all people.
- Do you take responsibility for your own behavior or do you blame other people?
Develop a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
- Do you like yourself as a person?
- Do you connect well with other people and foster healthy friendships?
- Do you have a strong network of close friends and family?
- Do you find it valuable to create networks with other women to support, strengthen and share experiences?
- Tip: sorority is an alliance that seeks to generate positive relationships between women, mutual support for the empowerment of each one and to work to eliminate discrimination that is commonly experienced and thus achieve a just and equal society.
- Can you communicate your feelings effectively to other people?
- Are you actively expanding your social circles and social interaction with people of different ages, ethnic origins, races, and lifestyles?
- Do you keep in touch with friends and family you trust to see how they are doing and keep the connection alive?
- Do you know what helps you to feel less alone or alone?
- If you have difficult times, have you approached trusted people to share your feelings and ask for social-emotional support?
Expand the sense of purpose and meaning of life.
- Do you have a tradition, practice, or ideas that connect you to a broader and deeper purpose or meaning?
- Do you create space in your life to explore the deeper questions that life offers?
- Do you take the time to experience new things?
- Is there a book, meditation, movement practice you can try to foster your spiritual connection?
- Do you create space during your days to pause, sit and reflect?
3. Score each aspect
Once the number of areas considered fundamental in the life of the person has been selected, they are given a score based on the degree of satisfaction perceived for each one of them.
Typically, the scores range from 1 not at all satisfied to 10 for fully satisfied. The lower the score, the closer to the center of the circle the point will be placed for that particular aspect:
- Scores from 8 to 10 mean that the person is very satisfied in the particular area.
- From 5 to 7 represent that, although it is not very unhappy, an improvement should be initiated.
- Less than 4 indicate that a way to improve them must be urgently sought.
4. Join areas and analyze
Once values have been assigned to each area, they proceed to join them by drawing a line and thus a geometric figure is drawn. When the values for each aspect have been joined, it will be possible to see what the life of the person is like in broad terms, according to the methodology of the wheel of well-being.
If the figure that has been drawn is more or less harmonic, similar to a circle, it means that there is a certain balance. On the other hand, if the figure is irregular, with ups and downs, it indicates that there are areas that are less satisfied than others. It should be noted that the fact that there is a certain harmony does not mean that the person feels completely satisfied. It is possible that all aspects are so low that there is harmony as to how dissatisfied you are in general with his life.
5. Start the change
Once the points where there is less satisfaction have been identified, it is time to make changes. To achieve transformations it is necessary to develop an improvement plan. It is very important to meditate in depth what actions are to be taken in the selected aspect, and possible obstacles that may be encountered along the way should also be taken into account.
Brainstorming ideas can be helpful at this point, as well as asking others what ways they have used to find balance in the short and long term. It is quite productive to select goals to be achieved in the short term, which are realistic, but, at the same time, stimulating, since they will facilitate reaching the final objective and will help to maintain focus and motivation.
In the case of carrying out this activity in a group, it is recommended to share findings and learnings from the exercise, as well as steps to follow to achieve the expected balance.
It is advisable to carry out, after a certain time, a new wheel of life, comparing how it was when starting the process and how it is now.
Wheel Quiz: https://wheelofwellbeing.com/quiz/
Wellness Wheel: http://www.tritechsc.org/wellness/
UMatter is an initiative of Princeton University that seeks to provide the necessary tools to create a safer world and communities that cater to their members. They define wellness as a life-long process that consists of making decisions to live a more balanced and meaningful life; it is not just the presence or absence of disease. The university’s tool consists of doing a self-examination and developing an action plan for the students.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana University launched psychological support programs, believing that it is more important than ever to practice self-care, resilience and maintain connections despite being in lockdown.
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This toolbox is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Contract No. AID OAA-C-17-00090. The contents of this toolkit are the sole responsibility of Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.