Faculty Spotlight: What is Wellness?

As faculty and staff you are in a unique position to both promote your own wellness and promote the wellness of students. Promoting your own wellness is important in order to have a high quality of life, reduce the risk of illness, and help you perform your job duties to the best of your ability. Likewise, helping students promote their wellness is important because it will help them engage in the community more, perform to their best academically, and reduce stress.

According to the World Health Organization, wellness is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Simply put, wellness is the state of being in good physical and mental health. Wellness includes many facets:

  • Physical Wellness: maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed or when ill
  • Emotional Wellness: understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress, seeking help for distress or mental illness when needed
  • Spiritual Wellness: developing a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose, including spirituality and religion
  • Social Wellness: developing healthy relationships, performing social roles effectively, building a social support network
  • Intellectual Wellness: engaging with new ideas openly, continuing to expand your knowledge, participating in academic activities
  • Environmental Wellness: respecting the earth and nature, maintaining a lifestyle that minimizes harm to the environment
  • Occupational Wellness: finding a good fit between you and what you are called to do, appreciating your own contributions, and satisfaction with your work

All of these facets together comprise wellness, and striking a balance between them all can be difficult. Many people find that they focus on one or two facets and neglect the rest. For example, faculty and staff may tend to prioritize intellectual or occupational wellness over physical, emotional, or spiritual wellness. More information on the different facets of wellness and how to nurture each can be found here.

 

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