Being a student at a post-secondary institution is very exciting. You meet so many people, you’re experiencing new things, and (hopefully) learning a lot! However, university can be an overwhelming and stressful time. I hope this past Wellness Week exposed you to some of the countless resources which exist to support you. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take advantage of all of them!

Something which is often overlooked is the various dimensions of wellness. Personally, I have found that having a good balance among the various dimensions is the key to staying well. Here are five dimensions of wellness which you should consider:
Physical wellness:

I’m sure you keep hearing about this, but there’s a good reason for that. This encompasses three main components: developing a fitness routine, embracing healthy eating and developing a solid sleep schedule.

You don’t need to be a gym rat to have a fitness routine. You can simply take advantage of the incredible swimming pool on campus as well as the gym, both are paid for by your student fees. Healthy eating is always an option. If you have a meal plan, opt for the fresh fruit and veggies or high protein options whenever possible. If you live off campus: when going grocery shopping, be sure to shop around the perimeter of the store, and try and limit the junk foods we all love.  A solid sleep schedule is also critical for optimal health. You can prevent fatigue and promote good sleep habits by waking up at the same time every day despite your schedule. Also, we’ve all experienced feeling restless at some point or another. Turn off all electronics and light emitting devices at least an hour before sleeping and have a cool dark room.

Emotional and Psychological:

Emotional and psychological health are very important. Despite the responsibilities and commitments, you need to make sure to schedule in time for things that you enjoy.  As you face obstacles, recognize that the challenges which you face will be necessary for personal growth. However, if it becomes overwhelming, reach out for support.

A great strategy to incorporate into your daily practices is mindfulness! Mindfulness is the practice which allows you to maintain awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and environment. There are countless ways to cultivate mindfulness such as: mindful breathing, awareness, observation or listening. Once you are able embed the one which works for you into your daily practice – you can be present in the moment rather than simply floating through on auto pilot. On campus, we are fortunate to offer a number of services like the Student Justice Centre’s Drop In Centre!

 

Environmental:

Environmental wellness entails recognizing the impact you have on the environment as well as how the environment impacts you. Having that awareness would consist of going green whenever possible, and making an effort to live in an environmentally friendly manner.  As a result, you are allowing the present and future communities to live sustainably.

Some additional strategies would include avoiding excessive waste. This can be as simple as taking advantage of the water refilling stations located throughout the campus rather than using plastic bottles. Additionally, make time for walking and cycling. This allows you to help the environment while getting in some exercise! And most importantly, respect the nature around you. Brock is conveniently located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Social and Cultural:

Social wellness is another important dimension of wellness. It refers to one’s ability to interact with people around them. It can often get lonely when you are at a new school away from your friends and family. You can achieve social wellness by connecting with new peers, and attending campus activities and events. Additionally, you can overcome your homesickness by volunteering with a meaningful cause.

Lucky for you, BUSU has over 90 unique and amazing clubs!

The breakdown is:
– 24 academic clubs
– 16 activism
– 12 arts
-12 cultural
-19 general interest
-6 political
-5 religion
– 15 wellbeing

There is something for absolutely everyone! And if you don’t find something which sparks your interest, you can always start a new club.

Financial:

 

Financial wellness is definitely a critical part of being a student. When you’re buried in student debt, it is important to be aware of your finances and manage them wisely. There are various strategies which can allow you to enhance your financial wellness.

Some quick tips would be to use cash or debit rather than making credit card payments. When making purchases, be sure that you absolutely need it. For those of you on a meal plan, click here here for a great post on how to manage your meal plan. Additionally, if you live in a nearby city like Hamilton you really need to do your research to determine if commuting or living off campus is a better option financially.

Well Badgers, that just about covers everything! I hope this helps you recognize some of the other dimensions of wellness which can impact your wellbeing. Keep in mind that health is a dynamic process, and as you make lifestyle changes, your level of health can also change. Be sure to prioritize your wellness, because it’s a critical component to your success!