Permanent link for What is wellness? on September 26, 2019

Being a student can be challenging to navigate and a little confusing. Life can get busy, and it might feel like you have no time to focus on yourself. That’s understandable, and you’re not alone. Knowing that and caring about your individual well-being and your experience as a student, it’s important to take time to prioritize yourself and your well-being.

What exactly is wellness?
Wellness is a life-long journey; "a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential" (National Wellness Institute). According to the World Health Organization, wellness is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or illness.” This doesn’t mean just going to the doctor when you’re feeling sick, it’s about evaluating all aspects of how you feel. As a college student, it is especially important to take care of yourself. Many of the habits you form in college may stick with you, so it’s important to build healthy habits now. Understanding the 8 dimensions of wellness can help guide your personal well-being during your college experience.

Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness involves enjoying your life and adjusting to changes adequately. It is important to evaluate your emotional wellness to ensure you are aware of your feelings and are delegating them as needed. This includes: expressing your feelings to others, seeking support in times of need and consciously evaluating yourself to improve. A good way to assess your emotional wellness is by evaluating how you treat others, feeling as if your life has meaning, and just simply liking who you are. For more tips for improving your emotional wellness, visit the University Counseling Center.

Social Wellness
Social wellness is important in creating a sense of belonging and upholding a strong support system. Coming into college can sometimes feel lonely, and it’s important to get involved and work to develop that sense of belonging. Relationships with your family, friends, and peers is important when assessing your support system. Are you balancing your social and personal time? Is your social circle a positive influence to you? These are examples of good questions to ask yourself when evaluating your social wellness. Find more ways to get involved and expand your social group by visiting Recreation & Wellness or the Office of Student Life.

Occupational Wellness

College itself is a tool toward your journey to occupational wellness. Although, it’s important to stay in touch with yourself to explore different opportunities for careers that are right for you. Are you pursuing a career that supports the life you are trying to create? Are you excited about learning in the classroom? Don’t be afraid to look into things you’re passionate about, and don’t be afraid to ask for support. Visit the Career Center or Academic Advising Center for career advice and academic support.

Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual wellness involves your formal education in the classroom but also includes all learning outside including your hobbies and other interests. Are you challenging your brain on a regular basis? Make an effort to pursue new things and keep yourself on your toes. Examples of ways to maintain your intellectual wellness journey include: reading, student organizations, attending new events, and many more.

Financial Wellness
Financial wellness is important to students being that they understand their financial situation and resources. Topics in this dimension include: income, savings, budgeting, etc. Do you feel like you have a good understanding on how to budget and handle your finances? Learn more about money management and even your journey from college to a career, visit MoneySmart Lakers.

Environmental Wellness
Environmental wellness encompasses both feeling safe in your environment and also spending time at places that support your well-being. Be conscious of the experiences that you enjoy and surround yourself with those who make you happy. If you are concerned about your safety, visit the Department of Public Safety or learn more about how you can impact the environment through the Office of Sustainability Practices.

Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness involves the time spent focusing on your sense of meaning in life. It is important to feel purpose in life and to uphold a strong connection to yourself. Do you feel like you’re living on autopilot? Focus on the values and beliefs that are important to you and surround yourself with a community that shares those same principles. It is important to feel as if your life has meaning. Get connected through Campus Interfaith Resources.

Physical Wellness
Physical wellness focuses on having a healthy body by practicing good habits. It’s important that we take care of our bodies and make sure we’re hydrated, eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Also, make sure you’re getting regular check-ups with your physician. If you are concerned with your physical health, the Campus Health Center provides care for GVSU students, and Recreation & Wellness offers something for everyone and a multitude of ways to get involved, be active, and live healthy!

Recreation & Wellness has recently changed its name from Campus Recreation, and is dedicated to supporting student well-being and toward connecting students with the resources they need. Visit the Student Wellness website or contact for more information.

By: Alexis Smith

Created by Recreation & Wellness

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Page last modified September 26, 2019