[Wellness Wednesday] How’s Your Environmental Wellness?

Wellness Wheel from https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness with text overlay: Wellness Wednesday! https://reclaiminghope.blog

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! If you missed the first post in this series, you can find it here. Last week we talked about the Wellness Wheel and how it represents the different dimensions of wellness, and how wellness is so much more than just our physical and mental health.

picture of "environmental" dimension from the SAMHSA.gov Wellness Wheel https://reclaiminghope.blogThis week, I thought I’d start with the environmental dimension, because for me right now, that aspect is…. let’s just say less-than-stellar. I’ll get to that in a little bit, but first, let’s look at what the environmental dimension of our wellness is all about. Basically, environmental wellness takes a kind of three-pronged approach: first, according to UC Davis, “Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings…..Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment.”

Let’s look at this first approach as the “big picture” view. Taking care of our environment helps ensure that the earth is a healthy place for us, our children, and our children’s children. Things that we can do involve the 3 R’s we’re all so familiar with (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), buying products that are made from sustainable resources, reducing toxins in the environment, and working to conserve our natural resources.

The next approach is directly related to the safety of our environment. The National Institutes of Health outlines several aspects of environmental wellness like making our homes healthier, reducing allergies, staying safe during hot weather, guarding against cold weather, air quality, testing our homes for toxic gases, and staying safe in the water. They actually have an Environmental Wellness Checklist that you can download that lists different actions you can take to keep your environment safe for you and your family.

Last but certainly not least, let’s take another look at the definition from the SAMHSA Wellness Wheel: “good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.”

So now it’s confession time….. you know I mentioned that I was doing “less-than-stellar” in this dimension earlier? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

messy desk https://reclaiminghope.blog

Do you see anything pleasant or stimulating in that picture??? I’m ashamed to show you guys that I’m such a slob, but I figure sometimes it’s better to show impact rather than try to describe it… My desk has looked like this for a couple of weeks now, and often I walk into my office thinking I’ll get some things done, take one look at that desk — “nope, not gonna happen today” and I turn around and walk out. Think about this though – at some point, this mess could affect other dimensions of my wellness. What if a bill got buried under all that mess and didn’t get paid…there goes my financial dimension. What if it stresses me out to the point that it impacts my emotional dimension? Obviously, the fix is for me to get this desk cleaned off so I can function optimally in that part of my environment. That’s my number 1 priority this week, so I can remove that “flat spot” from my wellness wheel.

For those of us who live with some sort of chronic illness, because we spend so much of our time at home, making our home pleasant and stimulating (or in our case, perhaps less stimulating for those of us with noise, light, or chemical sensitivities) can have a huge impact on our overall wellness.

So how do we do that? Here are a couple of things that may help:

  • Surround yourself with things you love (and get rid of the things you don’t).
  • Keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Use less-toxic cleaning products and ditch those chemical-laden air fresheners.
  • Strategically place comfort items so that they’re within easy reach when you need them (i.e. a wicker basket near the sofa that holds blankets and your heating pad keeps things neat but makes them easily available).
  • Break cleaning down into individual tasks so that you can just do one or two a day instead of trying to do everything at once.
  • Remember that home is your sanctuary and design your surroundings to make sure it feels like that to you.

What things do you do to support your environmental dimension? Please share!







  1. Good post, Terri. Environment is so important. My husband is a clutter bug. He seldom stops to put something away – doesn’t hang up coats, drops clothes on floor, leaves garbage on the counter, etc. I like things tidy, or at the very least, room to work or sit without clutter. I end up clearing up his stuff every day but I do feel like a mother dealing with an adolescent. Enough of my rant. Environment is important.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks V.J.! You wouldn’t know it after seeing my desk, but I can’t stand it when things get cluttered. 😊 If I walk into a place that’s a mess I feel myself immediately tense up. As far as the “rant” you’re among friends here – rant all you want! 😄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha ha. My eyes didn’t go to your desk – they went to the painting on the wall – a nice colour – and the comfort of your chair. It takes energy to deal with a mess for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. this is a wonderful reminder. i am a HUGE believer in less when you are chronically ill. more stuff means more mess to clean. and more stuff also means more dust and dirt in your air! ……….love this series Terri!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much Wendi! I agree with you about less stuff… I love a clean house, but I don’t particularly love cleaning, so the more I can simplify things the better.😊 I’m glad you’re enjoying the series so far. Thanks for joining me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the best things you can do is to incorporate plants. Plants are a natural air purifier and fight Sick Building Syndrome (google it). They also have psychological benefits. They enhance well-being and productivity. (I did a paper on this a few years ago and it was fascinating to research.) Plants also help maintain humidity levels. Some are more challenging than others, but sansevieria (aka-snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue) and pothos/philodendron are awesome. Sansevieria can go a long time without water and needs very little sunlight to thrive. Pothos needs a bit more of both but bounces back if forgotten for a bit. Other wonderful options are orchid or other flowering potted plants. They last a long and are a cost-effective way to have flowers for a while. And orchids will reboom–they just take a while so be patient.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I make my own air fresheners with gelatin and essential oils. I often reuse glass yogurt jars or 4 oz mason jars. I also will leave small bowls filled with vinegar around the house to absorb odors. When I steam mop, I will sprinkle a bit of different essential oils on the floor to give me the “fresh” clean scent, but without chemicals. Baking soda and vinegar are my go-to cleaners (from stove to tub). I add vinegar to the laundry to help with static cling. I also have wool balls in the dryer; so no fabric softener. Those are just a few things that I do…I try to be as chemical free as possible while I kick this disease (and after too)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing some great tips Lynn! I’d be really interested in having your recipe for the air freshener. I diffuse some essential oils, but I have to be extremely careful because I’m so sensitive to smells, even natural ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Clutter makes me tired looking at it and tired trying to declutter it!! During the summer holidays I try to catch up with back-logged clutter. I like knowing where to find things instead of often waisting time and energy searching! Great post Terri and yes there are pleasant and stimulating things in your photo…your chair is so comfy looking and your screensaver is very pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Resa! I’m glad you like the basket idea. I have one beside my sofa that holds a couple of blankets, my heating pad, and my little lap desk I use for my iPad. I love the convenience of having it all right where I need it.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are brave sharing your desk Terri. I guess it has given you a boost to declutter…
    Although I am not a hoarder, I do have problems with environmental toxins, especially molds. Thankfully, this house is warm and dry. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brigid…. I don’t know how things just pile up on there…. Well, I do – I need to file paperwork as soon as I receive it, or am done with it instead of thinking I’ll do it later, because later never comes. :o) I’m glad to hear that you don’t have an issue with molds in the house. My husband is extremely allergic to molds, and that’s something we have to be very careful about also.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am just a day behind in commenting, but better late than never! This was a fabulous post! Clutter causes me stress and then having to clean the house makes me so tired, but I really love a clean and organized house!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Alyssa! Like you, I just love it when the house is clean and organized. I’m pretty good with everything except my office, and as you saw in the picture, I don’t do a good job of filing my paperwork. Then of course I pay the price in the form of stress from having a mess on my desk.😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand completely, but just take things one at a time and you will get it organized! My house is a complete disaster right now because I have been feeling so horrible and still trying to work. House cleaning has taken a I just can’t do it kind of thought!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I was like you about my space. I finally got it together and made a gallery wall above my desk. I absolutely love it! Naturally, my office is in a mess again, but the wall looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great idea. Never heard of the wellness wheel before. I’m very curious about it now. I like the tips at the end – I’ve been thinking about some of these points a lot lately as I will be moving to a new house at the end of the month and am thinking of how to create a bedroom sanctuary in the new place. Thank you for sharing.


    1. Thanks so much Char! I hope you had the chance to check out the full wellness wheel in my first Wellness Wednesday post. It’ll be wonderful to set up your bedroom sanctuary in your new home. Having a beautiful, peaceful place to rest can make all the difference in the world. Best wishes on your move!


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