With the New Year in full swing and warmer temperatures becoming more common, people are contemplating change in hopes of doing better than the year before. However, change shouldn’t only be a New Year’s resolution or a spring break body challenge. Change can be throughout the year. I’ve struggled with wanting to start a new workout regimen only at the beginning of the week or when it’s convenient to me. We can make a decision to join a gym or eat healthier any time of the year no matter if it’s on a Monday or a Thursday. However, staying well isn’t deciding to go on a fad diet because you think you’ve put on a couple of pounds over the holidays. It’s not about working out every day or eating fruits and vegetables. It involves all the dimensions of wellness. Yes, working out and eating healthy foods is a good thing, but our physical wellness isn’t the only thing that makes us well. Being happy and feeling peaceful with ourselves have a major impact. Being emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, socially, occupationally, and environmentally well also plays a factor in our health. They all inter correlate with each other. I remember when I had a bad break up with my boyfriend. It completely altered my mood. Even having a terrible argument with my best friend made me upset. How does that affect you? How is your productivity affected? Being well and staying well is about how to balance everything going on day to day in your life.
Managing stress is key to staying well. Studying for classes or completing assignments on time can be stressful along with managing hours between jobs and volunteer work. Every day we should block out time to distress from the crazy world we live in. Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, so find something you enjoy doing and are passionate about. If you’re getting overwhelmed with all the meetings, events, and assignments make a schedule or a to do list to organize the tasks. If you enjoy being physically active you can run at the track outside or inside the RAC. Join group fitness classes where you can interact with others. Humans are social beings, so socializing with others can relieve stress and decrease anxiety. Joining the gym or a club can decrease the sense of being lonely and promote the feeling of enjoyment and belonging. If you are very social and need alone time you can always keep a journal, read or practice meditation. At the Russell Union on every last Wednesday of the month the Wellness Ambassadors host Worry Free Wednesday where you can join them in making stress balls, doodle, play with play doh, color, and meet therapy dogs. The Wellness Ambassadors are also available to meet with anyone to talk about anything. They can suggest helpful tips for dealing with situations or refer you to other helpful resources on campus such as the Counseling Center or Health Services. The counseling center offers free sessions to those who would like to talk to someone about their day to day lives and get what they need off their chest. Health Services provide flu shots and caring practitioners to assist when you’re not feeling well. Finding balance between all dimensions of wellness will help you live a happier life and it will be easier to be well and stay well. Your wellness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. We can always improve one of the dimensions.
This Monday, February 13 the University Wellness Program will be having a kickoff at the Rotunda to begin Wellness Week 2017, so get excited because the week is filled with so many wonderful events! (Plus swag & T-SHIRTS. Who doesn’t like free stuff?) “Don’t Dis My Abilities” speaker will be former Georgia Southern football player Adrian Peterson. There will be events to learn how to cook healthy delicious meals and paint beautiful paintings to distress from everyday life. Stop by the LiveWell Fair and Fresh Check Day to receive prizes and t-shirts! At the end of Fresh Check Day there will be a raffle to win a flat screen TV, so don’t forget to come by and see us!