“Wellness is a conscious, deliberate process that requires a person to become aware of and make choices for a more satisfying lifestyle. Wellness is the process of creating and adapting patterns of behavior that lead to improved health in the wellness dimensions and heightened life satisfaction.”
Swarbrick, M. (2006). A wellness approach. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29(4), 311–314.
Awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings and cognitions; coping with and expressing emotions in a healthy and adaptive manner.
Some Ways to Grow in Emotional Wellness
- Develop new strategies for recognizing and managing stress
- Commit to journaling regularly over a period of time
- Think about where you derive your sense of self-worth (e.g., how much of your academic success contributes to your self-worth?)
- Explore your personal relationship with gambling, shopping, alcohol, drugs, sex, Internet use, etc.
- Identify behaviors that you would like to change and talk about them with a mentor, close friend or loved one
- Schedule time for yourself each week and protect that time from other commitments
- Set aside time to reflect on the ups and downs of each day
Engaging in creative, stimulating mental activities (academic and otherwise); striving for personal growth and a willingness to seek out and use new information; making sound decisions and thinking critically; openness to new ideas; motivation to master new skills; a sense of creativity and curiosity.
Some Ways to Grow in Intellectual Wellness
- Take an assessment of your intellectual strengths and weaknesses (e.g., the “Status Rubric”)
- Take a non-required course or workshop
- Learn a new skill or pick up a hobby
- Read for pleasure
- Find a friend and teach each other something that each of you knows well
- Think of an idea for a project and commit time and resources to seeing it through
Learning good communication skills; developing safe intimacy with others; connecting and contributing to one’s community; living up to healthy expectations and demands of our social roles; creating a support network of friends, colleagues and family members; showing respect for others and yourself; building a sense of belonging.
Some Ways to Grow in Social Wellness
- Intentionally form new friendships (e.g., invite someone you want to get to know to an event or to share a meal)
- Take steps to heal a broken relationship with a friend or loved one
- Organize an outing with friends
- Get involved in dorm events, social events, ASHMC club, etc.
- Seek out opportunities for community engagement (e.g., Mudders Making a Difference, Homework Hotline, Science Bus)
- Attend a friend’s event or performance
- Commit to spending time with a friend each week even/especially if you’re not in the same classes
Personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work; seeking opportunities to grow professionally and to be fulfilled in your “job,” whatever it may be; preparing and making use of your gifts, skills and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness and enrichment in your life.
Some Ways to Grow in Occupational Wellness
- Create a vision for your career goals
- Visit the Office of Career Services and find out about their services
- Talk to a professor about career options
- Commit to spending regular time working on your future (e.g., writing an application essay or practicing for a technical interview)
- Think about what is important to you in an internship, job or research experience and take that into consideration when apply for opportunities
- Attend the Career Fair
- See a counselor in the Office of Career Services
Healthy eating; sleeping; physical activity; avoiding or reducing drug and alcohol use; identifying symptoms of disease; getting regular medical checkups; protecting yourself from injuries and harm (e.g., safe sex, wearing helmets).
Some Ways to Grow in Physical Wellness
- Take a health/fitness assessment
- Set fitness goals for yourself and come up with a plan to reach those goals
- Figure out ways to get adequate, regular sleep
- Control your meal portions and daily caloric intake
- Learn a new sport, or participate in an intramural or club sport
- Sign up for a fitness event and use that to motivate your workouts
- Find a friend and commit to a regular fitness schedule with him or her
- Take a hike, ride your bike around campus or talk a long walk
Search for meaning and purpose in human existence; possessing a set of guiding beliefs, principles or values that help give direction to one’s life; willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence, to question everything and to appreciate the things which cannot be readily explained or understood through nature, art, music, religion, meditation or good deeds performed for others.
Some Ways to Grow in Spiritual Wellness
- Learn more about the faith tradition of a friend or loved one
- If you are already affiliated with a faith tradition, seek out a faith community in which you can grow and contribute
- Set aside time to explore and deepen your spiritual practices
- Invite others to participate in a faith-based or spiritual event with you
- Find faith events to attend and participate in
- Visit McAlister Center for Religious Activities
Awareness of your own cultural background and becoming knowledgeable about, respectful of, and sensitive to the cultures of others.
Some Ways to Grow in Multicultural Wellness
- Attend a diversity lecture or event (e.g., participate in an OID event)
- Join and be an active member in a club that promotes multiculturalism
- Take the initiative to learn about the cultures of your peers
- Explore a type of food that you’re unfamiliar with
- Find out how to become an ally for others (e.g., participate in OID’s Building Bridges program)
- Attend the celebration of another culture’s holiday
- Actively check and adjust events to make sure that they are respectful and inclusive of others’ cultures
Enjoying good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well being; trying to live in harmony with nature by understanding the impact of your actions on nature; taking initiative to protect your environment.
Some Ways to Grow in This Area
- Join and be active in a club that promotes environmental awareness and activism
- Calculate and monitor your own energy and carbon footprint
- Take a class in environmental analysis or a related field
- Commit to using reusable mugs and water bottles instead when at Jay’s Place or The Café
- Educate yourself about your own environmental impact and commit to reducing it
- Participate in the dorm water reduction competition