Wellbeing is more than just exercising and eating the right things. Its about being in good physical and mental health. Wellbeing is not the absence of illness or stress, so you can still strive for good wellbeing even when you are experiencing challenges in your life. It is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence.
Your health and wellbeing are multi-dimensional and are made up of many different areas, including:
- Life Skills & Financial Wellbeing
- Physical Wellbeing
- Social Wellbeing
- Intellectual Wellbeing
- Environmental Wellbeing
- Emotional Wellbeing
- Spiritual Wellbeing
- Occupational Wellbeing
Each of the areas of your wellbeing are closely linked and depend on one another, so problems in one area of wellbeing will have an effect on other areas. At the same time, improving one area of your wellbeing can also benefit the others.
Life skills means having the ability to manage day-to-day functional challenges, such as paying the bills, filling in forms, working with others and managing your time effectively.
Financial wellbeing is about being aware of your financial state and managing your finances to meet your basic living needs. This involves budgeting your spending, having a plan and saving for times of uncertainty.
Physical wellbeing is about looking after your body and seeking appropriate help when you are not well.
This involves good nutrition, sleep, physical activity, avoiding harmful substances and pro-actively looking for ways to protect yourself against illness.
Being part of a community by connecting with others, positively contributing, respecting diversity and following the law are all part of social wellness.
The core element of social and cultural wellbeing is maintaining and developing positive support networks of family, friends and colleagues.
Intellectual wellbeing means recognising your abilities and developing ways in which to expand your knowledge. It goes beyond your studies by valuing lifelong learning: pursuing knowledge, explaining your world views and participating in a range of cultural experiences.
It is not necessarily an academic skill, but the pursuit of personal interests through hobbies, interactions with others, keeping up with current affairs and developing an open and enquiring mind.
Environmental wellbeing means looking after both your personal environment (ie: your accommodation) as well as caring for our planet. You should try to recognise and be responsive to your environment and the risks and challenges it poses. This involves looking after your personal safety, living in safe and hygienic surroundings, using natural resources sustainably/responsibly and appreciating your the natural world around you.
Being emotionally well is more than just handling stress. It involves being in tune with your thoughts, feelings and behaviours: whether they are positive or negative. Be aware of and accept your feelings, rather than deny them. Develop an optimistic approach to life and enjoy your life, despite occasional frustrations and disappointments. Emotional wellbeing means being able to take on new challenges, take risks and recognise that conflict is potentially healthy. Forming good relationships with others and communicating your emotions helps. Manage your life in rewarding ways and take responsibility for your actions.
Spiritual wellbeing is about possessing a set of guiding beliefs, principles or values that give purpose and meaning to your life.
Spiritual wellbeing is not necessarily following a religion, but a process of self discovery, learning who you are and who you want to be. It can be about the challenge of reaching beyond your current limits and determining what you are most passionate about in your life.
Occupational wellbeing means being able to derive pleasure from the activities in your studies and career path, along with being able to maintain and develop skills which help you and others. It is important that you aim for a balance between your studies/career activities and leisure time.
Clearly, finding value and meaning in your chosen course and subsequent career is important in achieving good occupational and emotional wellbeing.
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