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What is Wellness?
Definition of Wellness
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.
"...a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - The World Health Organization
Dimensions of Wellness


 
What does wellness mean to you? Wellness is more than being free from illness. Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth. There are many interrelated dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, and occupational. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. www.shcs.ucdavis.edu/topics/wellness

 Emotional

Emotional wellness is a dimension that involves being fully in touch with feelings and emotions regarding yourself and others. Developing self-confidence, love, and trust for others are key aspects that help to define emotional wellness. Having and maintaining a strong, healthy emotional aspect of personal wellness can help cope with the emotional challenges in life that often go hand-in-hand with college years.



Intellectual

This aspect of wellness refers to the development of the mind as an instrument for decision making as well as learning and interpreting experiences. It involves critical thinking, curiosity, and creativity. The ability to be open to new experiences and ideas that contribute to growth are characteristics associated with a healthy intellectual dimension.


Social

Social wellness refers to the idea of being able to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. It also involves being able to maneuver through various social situations while appreciating the similarities and differences between people.


Spiritual

Spiritual wellness revolves around the development of your own personal belief system and adherence to that belief system. Seeking purpose and meaning in life, whatever your beliefs, while appreciating the various religious perspectives of other people is a key aspect of spiritual wellness.



Physical                                                                                                                                             

This is perhaps the most well-known category and it includes a personal attention to and maintenance of overall health through nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and positive healthy habits to maintain a healthy quality of life. Physical wellness is the ability to take charge of your health by making conscious decisions to be healthy.



​​​​​Environmental

It is important to lead a lifestyle that is respectful of our environment. This includes respecting nature and those species living in it. Also, respect for others living in our environment is just as necessary as respect for the physical environment itself. While today’s climate is one of increased environmental awareness, the average person may still be unconcerned or simply uninformed about what he or she can do to help the environment. You don’t have to be a member of an organization to help; an individual can help by simply leading an environmentally conscious life

Occupational

Occupational wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time, addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It focuses on our search for a calling and involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit.​



 Nutrition
Eating Wisely
When students enter college, their diets often deteriorate. There are many factors responsible for these changes--stress, sedentary lifestyle, changes in schedule due to study patterns, and changes in eating patterns in general. However, making smart nutritional choices can be very important for optimal well-being and academic performance. There are several actions that can be taken to ensure you are fulfilling all of your nutritional needs. Eating well requires some planning. Here are some basic tips:
  • Eat enough calories for the day. Calories are the amount of energy or fuel you get from each food you eat. There are general guidelines for how many calories you need to eat each day in order to maintain your current weight. Eat more calories than you need and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories than you need and you will lose weight.
  • Eat a variety of types of food. Even the types and colors of different fruits and vegetables will help you maximize your nutrition daily overall.
  • Eat enough of the macronutrients that form the basis of your food. These are usually known as Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. While you can find many opinions about how much of each category you need, the best general guidance is to eat about 15-20% (or more) of your calories from Protein, 15-(no more than) 30% of your calories from Fat, and 55-60% of your calories from Carbohydrates. Less fat is better for your health; some fat is essential for your health. Complex carbohydrates are good for you and should make up the majority of things you eat each day.
  • Simple carbohydrates, like candy, sugar, and corn syrup are non-nutritious. They are considered empty calories or junk food because while they are fuel and have calories, the calories are non-nutritious.
  • If you are eating enough variety of color and type of food and enough calories for your body and enough macronutrients then you will usually get enough micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
  • Food is also categorized by types of things that you eat, for instance meat, dairy, grains, legumes, etc.
Better Eating Tips
  • Choose organic when you can so that you consume fewer chemicals and things used to process and store food that is non-organic.
  • Eat locally and seasonally for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose a lean cut of meat for protein.
  • Use less salt, sugar.
  • Cook or choose grilled or broiled meat or fish.
  • Avoid fried foods or cut down on how often you eat them.
  • Try to choose foods that have fewer ingredients if it comes packaged. For instance, avoid long lists of ingredients that include things like additives, preservatives, coloring, or things you don’t even know about.
  • Eat no less than twice a day. Eating more often is fine.
  • Eat fruit. Fruit is not only a healthy choice, but it makes for a convenient snack. It's always offered in Leo’s and Vital Vittles and requires virtually no prep.
  • Take advantage of dining hall options. Leo’s offers a variety of healthy options, including the salad/wrap bar, stir fry bar, and vegan and vegetarian options. Additionally, they provide calorie counts and other nutritional information to help you make smart choices. Aim for a colorful, balanced plate of nutrient-rich foods.
Hydration and Dehydration
It is generally recommended that you drink at least eight servings (8 ounces each) of water every day. This is in addition to any other beverages, like soda, sugary fruit juices, or coffee that you may drink. In fact, if you regularly consume caffeinated beverages (caffeine is found in regular coffee, many kinds of tea, and several sodas), you should drink more than eight glasses of water a day. This may seem excessive, but remember that your body can begin to suffer from dehydration before you even feel thirsty.
You should also surpass the eight-serving requirement if your body is losing water more rapidly than normal. This can occur when you exercise, perspire in excessive heat, are vomiting, or have diarrhea.
The most common symptoms of dehydration are thirst, fatigue, and an especially dark or bright yellow tinge to urine. Severe dehydration is potentially fatal, as it can lead your body to go into shock and shut down vital organs.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dark urine
  • sudden fatigue
  • dry mouth and throat
Tips to remember when you exercise:
Replace Fluid Before, During, and After Workouts and Competition
  • Dehydration is a common problem resulting when an athlete fails to drink enough fluid to replace sweat lost through exercise.
  • By the time you are thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
  • Adequate fluid intake decreases fatigue and chance of injury.
Pre-hydrate
  • Drink at least 8 oz. of fluid before sleeping in the evening and before exercise.
  • Drink 8 oz. of fluid first thing in the morning.
  • 2 hours before exercise drink at least 16 oz.
  • 1 hour before exercise drink at least 8 oz.
  • During long endurance exercise, e.g. marathon running, drink at least 4 to 8 oz. every 15-20 minutes.
Rehydrate after Exercise
  • After exercise drink at least 16 oz.
  • Optimally, drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink as soon as possible after training or competing.
Note: Practice hydrating during training before trying anything new in competition. If you are unaccustomed to consuming large amounts of fluids during exercise you may experience gastrointestinal distress.

101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students
Diet
1.    Learn proper portion size. To avoid eating too much of even the healthiest foods, keep track of how much you're eating. For most people, meat servings should be about the size of a deck of cards and other servings vary by the type of food.
2.    Vary your meals. When the cafeteria has your favorite foods daily it can be easy to return to those old favorites every day. Changing up your diet from day to day is an important part of good nutrition so take advantage of the variety of selections available to you.
3.    Eat breakfast. Start your day off right with a good meal when you get up. Whether you're rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for class, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.
4.    Keep healthy snacks around. It's easy to eat healthy if you keep the Cheetos at bay and stock your dorm room with fruits and other healthy snacks. You'll be more likely to reach for these than junk food if you keep them nearby or in your backpack.
5.    Drink moderately. While college students are known for their partying, you can still have a good time without consuming all the calories that come along with binging on beer, plus you'll avoid the hangovers and other negative effects. Drink in moderation and you can have a good time without hurting your health.
6.    Don't fight stress by eating. It can be tempting to reach for a bag of chips or some cookies when you're stressed out about an impending exam. Eating won't help your stress go away, so avoid filling up on snacks. Try working out or taking a break instead.
7.    Drink water. Drinking enough water can help boost your concentration as well as keep you from overeating. Make sure to keep hydrated as you go through your day by bringing water with you.
8.    Limit sugary and caffeinated beverages. Beverages may not fill you up, but they sure can help fatten you up and have a detrimental effect on your overall health. You don't have to completely give up soda and coffee, but you should scale back in order to keep yourself in tip top shape.
9.    Try to eat fruits and veggies. Even if fruits and vegetables don't comprise some of your favorite foods, try to incorporate at least a few of them into your diet each day.
10. Limit junk food. Junk food is fast and easy and many students end up eating a lot of it while they're on the run to class or to work. While a little fast food now and again won't really hurt you, make sure it doesn't become a habit.
11. Make it convenient to eat right. Don't make it hard for yourself to eat right. Buy healthy foods and stock your fridge and room with them to ensure they're the first things at hand when you get hungry.
12. Don't skip meals. With so much to do, it's easy to forgo eating to run off to class or the library. Don't skip meals. Set up foods you can eat on the run so you'll have the energy to keep going.
13. Indulge every once in awhile. A little treat now and then is a great way to reward yourself for eating a healthy diet. Give yourself a break and indulge in a food you love but can't eat all the time.
14. Take vitamins. If you feel like you aren't getting the nutrition you need from your diet, don't hesitate to supplement it with some multi-vitamins to stay healthy and illness free.
15. Get help for eating disorders. While many groups focus on helping students lose weight, there are those who need help fighting eating disorders as well. If you are worried you have an eating disorder and want help, don't be afraid to reach out to campus resources for help
 
 
 
Fitness
Staying active on a regular basis can present unique challenges for busy college students. When faced with a hectic schedule, students may overlook or forgo exercise, even though it is a crucial component to optimal wellness. Did you know that attention span and productivity have been shown to improve with just ten minutes of physical activity? Exercise doesn’t have to mean running ten miles on a treadmill; rather, it’s about finding activities you enjoy and making them a regular part of your lifestyle.
Some exercises strengthen your muscles (e.g., weight lifting, horseback riding) while others improve your flexibility (e.g., yoga). "Aerobic" exercise improves your body's endurance by helping your heart, blood vessels and lungs work more effectively. Exercises that are aerobic are those in which your muscles use oxygen to function - these exercises are also the ones that make you breathe faster, sweat, and feel your heart pound. knowing what you want out of exercise may get you motivated to begin. Some benefits of exercising include:

1.    More energy
2.    Improved self-image
3.    Weight control without dieting
4.    Control over appetite
5.    Higher endurance or stamina - not being winded easily
6.    Better conditioned heart and lungs
7.    Less tension
8.    Greater management of stress
9.    Better ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
10. Less chance of injury
11. Toned muscles
12. Healthier cholesterol level
13. Quicker healing
.

 Meditation and Relaxation
 5 Benefits of Meditation for College Students 
 
Many people who go off to college quickly find that they can become overwhelmed by all that they have to do. Attending classes, studying, preparing for exams and that’s not even considering things like work or a social life. It can be difficult to find an effective balance in your life that will allow you to be successful at all you do. More and more students are learning of the many benefits of taking some time for meditation while in college. The following are just a few of the most significant benefits many people enjoy:
·         Improved Concentration – Meditation helps clear your mind of distractions and this can transition into your other daily activities. Spending some time in meditation in the morning can help you stay on task throughout the day. You’ll love being able to focus on the task at hand until it is completed as this will often save you a lot of time and energy compared with unfocused efforts.
·         Better Grades – Many people have found that their grades improve when they begin daily meditation. The overall improvements to one’s life that meditation can bring often translates into better grades.
·         Reduced Stress & Anxiety – One of the most significant benefits of daily meditation is the reduction of stress and anxiety in all areas of life. Practicing meditation can not only help calm you during meditation but also help you learn to deal with difficult situations throughout your day. This is important for all students, especially during those difficult times where you have exams coming up or other major projects coming due.
·         Better Sleep – Whether you’re in college or not, meditation can help you get more relaxing sleep. More fulfilling sleep is essential for success in school so this is a big benefit for many people. Having a more effective sleep cycle will also allow you to have more energy for the hours where you are awake. This can help with those early morning classes or a late night party you want to attend.
·         Sharper Brain – Meditation has been shown to help people have a sharper mind in a wide range of different areas. This means you’ll be able to absorb information more quickly, come up with the answers to questions faster and a number of other benefits as well. It is clear that this is a very important benefit to college students who are constantly loading their brain with new information.
As you can see, there are many significant benefits to meditation for college students. Most students who meditate were hesitant at first because they thought it was just another activity which they had to spend time on, but the fact is it can actually help them spend their time more efficiently. Meditation is not a difficult process and once you learn some of the important tips and tricks you’ll be able to quickly get into a meditative state and realize all the great benefits of this mind exercise.
​Other Links
·         Free Relaxation Exercises
·         Australian National University - Nice Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise
·         Colby College - See relaxation by Patti Newmen (MP3)
·         College at Lake County - Deep muscle relaxation and deep breathing relaxation
·         College at Oneonta - a variety of exercises
·         College of the Holy Cross - breathing exercise and progressive muscle relaxation
·         Hobart and William Smith Colleges - progressive muscle relaxation and combined relax exercise
·         McMaster University - drugs see guided relaxation CD
·         MIT - community wellness downloads - a variety of exercises
·         University of Kansas - Scroll down to MP3's at bottom of page
·         University of Connecticut - on campus resources for stress management - MP3 Downloads
·         University of Limerick - click on relation (Irish accent)
·         University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - click on 4 relaxation audio sessions- (MP3)
·         University of Tasmania - Click on counseling, then audio resources - progressive muscle relaxation
·         University of Victoria - scroll down to practice for 2 exercises
 
 
 
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