101 Wellness Tips
Wellness is the dynamic process of working toward achieving your maximum potential in each dimension of wellness. Dimensions of wellness include social wellness, occupational wellness, spiritual wellness, physical wellness, intellectual wellness, financial wellness, and community and environmental wellness. All aspects of wellness are intertwined.
Small, simple changes to your everyday habits can make a big difference in how you feel, look and function. For example, exercise is not only heart-healthy, it also reduces stress. Although we will never be able to eliminate the stress of life, research shows that it’s how we deal with stress that counts. The goal isn’t perfection: it’s balance.
Try incorporating some of the tips found here and feel the difference! The links below provide suggestions for activities that contribute to wellness, including on and off-campus resources.
- Join a club or sports team just for fun!
- Have lunch with someone new. Don’t be afraid to break your routine!
- Reach out and ask for help – that's what why campus resources are available to students and staff.
- Organize an outing, explore a new place, whatever you do, just switch it up!
- Improve your active listening skills. If you have a friend, colleague, or family member that is going through a difficult time or major life event, let them know you are there to listen and support them. Here are tips how to be a good listener:Listening and support skills
- Socialize off-line as well as online. Face-to-face interaction is just as important as online communication.
- Look for similarities rather than differences in others, this helps make connections. We all have far more similarities than differences. We all basically want the same things and have the same needs.
- Make it a regular thing. Schedule a regular date to do something helps you stay consistently connected. Every Sunday, watch your favorite show with a friend, every Wednesday, go for a run together.
- Embrace diversity and be aware of your biases. If everyone were the same, the world would be a very boring place.
- Engage in healthy romantic relationships. Learn to recognize signs of an unhealthy relationship.
- Learn how to apologize whole-heartedly when you are wrong or hurt someone else, even unintentionally.
- Learn the power of forgiveness. When someone's hurts you it’s hard to forget, but in the end holding on to anger only continues to hurt yourself.
Occupational wellness is receiving personal fulfillment from one’s work by performing with integrity, enthusiasm and fully engaging in your job duties. Work-life balance is key to occupational wellness.
- Attend a networking event or presentation held by your professional organization. These events can spark new ideas and get you out of a job rut.
- Attend a career fair.
- Meet with career services to discuss your career goals.
- Make time for your hobbies. Having interests outside of work and school is important to decompressing.
- Reach out to someone in your field of interest and schedule a time to talk to them about their job. Ask them what they like and dislike, how they obtained their current and previous roles, what their goals are, and general impression of the job market.
- Develop functional, transferrable skills, such as customer service, in your current position.
- Get a part-time job. Even if you are not able to work many hours, you will gain valuable experience and have references that are needed for future employment.
- Take an internship. Internships are valuable learning experiences that can help you discern your career goals.
- Foster friendships with those with the same career interests as you. You never know how you could end up helping each other.
Physical wellness is the ability to engage fully in activities of our daily life without undue physical strain or fatigue. The ability to recognize the relationship between healthful habits and optimal physical health (such as eating a balanced diet, daily exercise, obtaining immunizations, etc.) is essential to physical wellness. Conversely, one should recognize that destructive habits (such as unsafe sex, tobacco use, not wearing a seat belt) can lead to disease, physical harm, and sub-optimal physical health. Physical wellness is combination of muscular and cardiovascular strength, endurance and flexibility.
- Participate in Meatless Monday
- Participate in Lauderdale Health Center’s Wellness Series for Gold
- Commit to a smoking cessation program and a tobacco-free lifestyle
- Get moving! Build more physical activity into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your campus destination, and take active study breaks.
- Meet with the Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator for a wellness consultation. Discuss personal wellness goals, barriers to change and co-develop a personalized wellness plan.
- Work up to walking 10,000 steps a day. Start with walking the amount that you can do comfortably, such as 5,000 steps a day, then increase your steps until you reach 10,000 steps, putting you in the “active” category.
- Attend a fitness class or work out at the Geneseo Workout Center.
- Don’t forget to warm-up and stretch. Warming up and stretching are both important to prevent injury.
- Use the MyPlate guide to plan your meals
- Make it convenient to make healthy choices. Keep pre-portioned healthy snacks in your dorm room or apartment. When it’s easy to eat right, you are more likely to do it.
- Try a healthy recipe or healthy food you have never tried before.
- Add some spices to your meals. Spices such as red pepper cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, while adding flavor without adding any additional calories to a dish.
- Check out these healthy habits on Pinterest
- Make half your plate fruits and veggies.
- While washing your hands, sing “Happy Birthday” twice or count to 20 to prevent illness
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is how viruses and bacteria enter your body and make you sick.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is key to feeling energized. Try adding some fruits, vegetables and herbs to make water more interesting, such as watermelon, cucumber and mint.
- Eat slowly, avoid distraction during meals and listen to your internal signals of hunger and fullness to avoid overeating
- Plan an indulgence. It’s important to treat yourself once in a while to avoid feeling deprived. Think 90-10 philosophy – eat sensibility 90% of the time and indulge 10%.
- Eat breakfast within in an hour of waking up in the morning to keep your metabolism going strong
- Don’t eat straight from the bag. Pre-portioning your meals and snacks helps you visualize your intake and prevents overeating.
- Avoid caffeine after noon. It can interfere with sleep.
- Keep regular bed-times and wake-times. Staying on a sleep schedule can help you sleep better.
- Avoid crash diets. It can be tempting to cut drastically cut down on what you eat to see instant results. Remember that crash-diets, such as juice-fasts/cleansing, slow down your metabolism and can make you gain weight in the long run.
- Do a commercial break work-out. For every commercial break, mix up a combination of planks, squat jumps, tricep dips, push-ups, mountain climbers, hip bridges and crunches.
- Proper form is key to seeing results, not wasting time and avoiding injury. Consider consulting a fitness professional for tips.
- Eat a rainbow of colors. If you’re eating a wide variety of shades, it’s likely you’re on your way to eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
- Know your family medical history and share it with your doctor
- Remember you are the best advocate for your health care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to discuss a second opinion with your doctor, as this is standard practice in medicine.
- Studies show that dental health and chronic illness are closely related. Taking care of your teeth now can prevent hard-to-treat health issues later on.
Spiritual wellness is finding congruence between our values and our actions and developing inner peace. Spiritual wellness involves recognizing our purpose and feeling a sense of meaning and belonging in our lives.
- Actively practice gratitude:
Send three thank-you text messages per month
Write three social media thank-you messages per month
Write a handwritten thank-you note to a coworker or friend once a month
- Recognize someone’s job well done. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and they are likely to pass it on.
- Donate blood if you can
- Unplug. Schedule one hour of device free time every day. Take a walk or go for a bike-ride, sit outside and appreciate nature, people-watch, or take a bath. Have a device-free family dinner, or make a rule at your next dinner with friends that first person who looks at their phone pays or washes the dishes.
- Appreciate the beauty of nature.
- Volunteer. In giving back, you gain more than you give.
- Find your center. Attend a yoga class at the Geneseo Workout Center.
- Make an effort to be mindful, live in the moment, and appreciate life’s simple pleasures. When interacting with others, give your full attention. When you are glancing at your phone or computer, or thinking about your to-do list, those around you pick-up on cues that you are not fully listening. You aren’t accomplishing anything by trying to do two things at once. If you are busy, schedule a time to devote your full attention to the topic of conversation. Studies show we can’t actually multi-task, but we can do several tasks poorly at the same time.
- In a bad mood? Put on some happy tunes, sing and dance.
- Adopt an animal in need or volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Try adding some aromatherapy, such as lavender oil or a eucalyptus scented candles to you relaxation routine.
- Work toward self-acceptance.
- Remember no one has it all figured out. When someone is rude to you, remember that you don’t know their personal struggles. When you think someone has it “all together,” remember that some people may hide their personal problems and feign a smile.
- Focus on breathing
Intellectual wellness is constantly challenging your mind. Learning never ends. Research shows learning a new skill prevents dementia and cognitive decline.
- Challenge yourself by trying something new. What have you always wanted to do that you made an excuse not to try?
- Play brain games, such as crossword puzzles, to strengthen your memory and learning skills.
- Read a book that isn’t required reading.
- Attend an all-college hour speaker.
- Learn time-management skills. Make a schedule you can stick to for classes, studying, work, exercise, running-errands, appointments and all other things you do.
- Prioritize. Work on identifying what is most pressing and important vs. what is less pressing (and important).
- Organization is key. Set reminders on your phone for important meetings and to-do’s. Separate important and documents into folders so you can easily access important projects.
- Consult peer-reviewed, well-renown publications in staying abreast of developments in your line of work or study. Remember learning is a life-long process.
- Challenge yourself to see more than one side of an issue.
- Practice caution when gathering information on topic from the internet, magazines, television, etc.
- Work on your memory. Connecting important information, such as names, to visual cues can help you remember. Remembering someone’s name is a great way to make a lasting first impression. Making a connection with something already familiar to you assists in memory.
- Try breaking habits, like brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand or taking a different route to work. This actively challenges your brain to keep itself on its toes!
Financial wellness is the ability to live within one’s means. Financial wellness encompasses an understanding of one’s personal budget and preparing for future financial emergencies and transitions. Being financially healthy isn’t about being rich; it’s about enjoying life and having the skills to cope with financial pressures.
- Visit Feed The Pig
- Visit other financial tip websites, take financial literacy quizzes and gather budget info:
- Save your receipts in an envelope for two weeks. What can you eliminate from your spending? Use these changes to help you make a budget you can stick to.
- Know your credit score:
- Make an appointment with a financial advisor.
- Automate your savings. Put away at least 10% of your income into a savings account before you have a chance to spend it.
- Pick a “no-spending” day. This will force you to get creative with what is already in cupboard at home and what you can do for fun that is free.
- Remember that less is more. Material things do not bring us happiness, something we all know, but is easy to forget.
- Identify wants versus needs. Don’t forget there is always someone more in need in than you in the world.
- Avoid tempting “impulse” buys. If you know that the candy and magazine isle in the store triggers your impulse purchases, steer clear of that check-out line.
- When you are deciding to splurge on a “want,” take a beat. Give yourself 24 hours before you make the purchase to decide if this splurge item is worth your hard-earned cash, or if this is just another impulse buy.
- Loaning money to a friend is a quick and easy way to ruin your relationship. If you’re going to give someone money, don’t lend, give. Don’t expect to get it back.
- Use powerful passwords online to protect your personal financial information and change them regularly.
Community and environment wellness is the ability to recognize that we all play an integral role in maintaining the quality of the natural world around us. Environmental wellness incorporates environmentally responsible activities and awareness of limited natural resources.
- Volunteer at an organization, such as Habitat for Humanity or a food bank, visit a nursing home or hospital, or contribute to a cause you care about.
- Conserve energy:
- Bike or walk to class.
- Carpool as often as you can.
- Recycle. Take advantage of marked bins for landfill, bottles and can, and paper and paperboard on campus.
- Use a re-useable water bottles, mugs and grocery bags.
- Buy local. As much as possible, patronize local business and focus on products made as locally as possible.
- Go a farmers market. Farmers markets are fantastic sources of local, seasonal and inexpensive produce.
- Organize a fundraiser for a cause in your community that you are passionate about.
- Use water wisely.
- Always use home pesticides and herbicides according to package instructions and dispose of used containers accordingly.