To Derek Wakefield, wellness is more than eating right and getting up and moving – it’s holistic.

“Wellness is being connected, engaged, mindful and willing to learn and be adaptable to your surroundings,” he said.

Wakefield, a product manager at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) does his best to “balance the eight dimensions of wellness and see where there are inadequacies.”

The eight dimensions of wellness are a widely-used holistic approach to well-being focusing on physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial and environmental wellness, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The approach claims that all eight categories are interdependent, and individuals must focus on all of them to stay truly well.

As BCBSNE transitioned employees to working from home due to the pandemic, Wakefield made sure to keep wellness a priority.

“I made a gym in my basement, participate in BCBSNE wellness challenges, online classes, YouTube fitness challenges, run outside and do yoga,” he said “I also have been meal prepping, budgeting and journaling my thoughts on each of the eight dimensions of wellness and how they impact me a couple times per month.”

When he’s not working out at home, he likes to mix up his activities.

“Recreational sports are my favorite way to stay active and well,” said Wakefield. “I like obstacle course runs, adventure racing, sand volleyball, going for jogs around my neighborhood, yoga and kayaking. Just keeping things adventurous and fun.”

Outside of getting his heart rate up, Wakefield tries to keep himself and his team positive and striving for wellness.

“When we moved to working from home as a company, I started sending out motivational emails every morning to my team,” he said “I really started doing them for myself and sent them out to the product development team because I wanted them to have something to look forward to every day, make them laugh or feel connected.”

At the office, he also keeps himself and his team motivated by participating in community active events through BCBSNE.

“My favorite has been either when we sponsored the Cornhusker State Games Adventure Race or the Market to Market Relay,’’ said Wakefield. “I also have been the captain for the Boys Town Memorial Day Run for the past few years, which is a great event.”

For him, wellness is a personalized journey, and he encourages others to look at it that way, too.

“Do what works for you,” said Wakefield. “Modify workouts or recipes to fit your needs and capabilities. You can start slow, but find things that motivate you, that you enjoy, are fun and find an accountability buddy who can keep you focused.”

For more articles like this, visit Health and Wellness.

*Wise & Well is a monthly wellness series highlighting BCBSNE employees and their dedication to health and wellness.