Individuals often consider wellness as physical health and refer to someone as feeling well or not well. Certainly, maintaining positive physical health contributes to one's level of well-being. However, it is only one component of wellness.
Wellness is a concept that focuses on creating a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. By becoming aware of the factors that influence wellness, you can make positive choices that contribute to your quality of life.
The Wellness Wheel illustrates a wellness model with six dimensions: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, career, and spiritual. All of the six dimensions are interconnected and important to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. As at point in your life, you can measure your progress toward optimal wellness by assessing your level of wellness for each of the dimension.
Clarion University's Office of Health Promotions offers educational programs for classes, student organizations, and other groups to increase students' knowledge about wellness and to provide information about campus resources that can help students make progress toward growth and balance among each of the six wellness components.
The physical dimension refers to physical health. Individuals who achieve physical wellness are able to incorporate knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating habits, exercise and fitness, and personal hygiene into their daily routines.
Activities Contributing to Physical Wellness:
• Exercising regularly and safely
• Obtaining nutritional information
• Maintaining a balanced diet
• Maintaining regular sleeping patterns
• Learning strategies to manage stress
• Practicing healthy hygiene habits
• Scheduling regular visits to the doctor or health center
• Staying aware of personal health and taking care of health issues
• Avoiding the use of tobacco, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption
• Using the Student Recreation Center or participating in recreational activities, such as intramural sports
The intellectual dimension focuses on life-long learning and the ability to open and challenge our minds with new concepts, issues, and experiences. It involves being engaged in creative, stimulating mental activities, expanding our knowledge and skills, and using our talents to help others and solve problems.
Activities Contributing to Intellectual Wellness:
• Attending classes and learning because you want to
• Observing what is around you
• Listening to, communicating with, and learning from others, such as professors and university staff
• Attending presentations, lectures, and programs offered through the university
• Participating in a variety of experiences
Emotional wellness focuses on the ability to understand, share, and manage our feelings. It is also affected by the degree to which we are positive and enthusiastic about life and are able cope with life's challenges.
Activities Contributing to Emotional Wellness:
• Being sensitive to your feelings and the feelings of others
• Identifying ways to cope with stress, such as participating in stress management programs and learning relaxation techniques
• Learning to live and work independently, but seeking help and support from others when needed
• Taking responsibility for your own actions
• Attending programs that teach conflict resolution strategies or how to deal with relationship issues
The social component focuses on our ability to interact and relate to others. It is influenced by the degree to which we can establish and maintain positive relationships and contribute to our campus, community, and environment.
Activities Contributing to Social Wellness:
• Finding opportunities to learn about and interact with people of difference ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles
• Participating in group activities, such as athletic events, team recreational activities, student organizations, and residence life programs
• Volunteering in the community
• Getting to know your roommate and peers in the residence hall
• Participating actively in study groups
• Including some social or fun activities into your week
• Spending time with family and friends
The spiritual dimension recognizes the importance of searching for meaning and purpose in life. It involves gaining a better understanding of your beliefs and values, and behaving in ways that are consistent with them.
Activities Contributing to Spiritual Wellness:
• Being open to different cultures and religions
• Taking time to reflect each day or participate in meditation activities
• Giving your time to help others
• Participating in spiritual activities
The career dimension recognizes the personal satisfaction and enrichment that one can gain through work. It focuses on finding a satisfying and rewarding job or career where you can contribute your knowledge, skills, and experience. It also involves the ability to achieve a balance between our work and personal lives.
Activities Contributing to Career or Occupational Wellness:
• Utilizing campus resources that offer assistance and resources for selecting a major related to your abilities, interests, and values
• Attending leadership programs and participating in experiences, such as internships and summer jobs, that will help you to develop skills required by employers
• Participating in workshops or webinars that will help you to develop job search skills
• Attending Career Services events where you can meet employers and learn about potential employment opportunities