The Eight Dimensions of Wellness

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness, as defined by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), are categorized by the following: Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Social, Intellectual, Occupational, Environmental, and Financial. Maintaining wellness and balance in each dimension of wellness is a vital component to overall student health. SAMHSA provides a Step-By-Step Guide to Wellness that explores different ways to develop your dimensions of wellness.

RMUoHP provides campus and external resources for each of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. We encourage students to frequently utilize this page as an additional resource to locate wellness related resources, support, tips on how to improve dimensions of wellness, news articles, and contact information.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness involves your ability to cope with life stress, express emotions, and feel positive about your life. It includes being aware and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by managing them in a healthy way. Emotional wellness also includes awareness of your strengths while recognizing individual areas for improvement. Being emotionally well allows you to express your feelings without restraint and increase your capability of forming healthy connections with others.

There are some strategies you can do to increase your emotional wellness:

  •  Stay positive
  •  Practice gratitude and self-compassion
  • Avoid overthinking or ruminating on mistakes or negative thoughts
  • Incorporate self-care into your busy schedule
  • Practice being mindful to increase your awareness and positive affects
  • Reframe and befriend stress
  • Seek or accept support from others around you

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Daylio Journal

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness consists of healthy habits towards nutrition, sleep, exercise, appropriate health care, stress reduction, and overall physical health. Physical wellness also includes developing body awareness and personal stewardship towards attending to your own health. This also includes self-awareness regarding the ability to learn to listen to your body while creating physical activity routines that are balanced with daily needs and responsibilities. Maintaining an optimal level of physical health allows you to nurture the other dimensions of wellness.

Here are some ways for you to practice physical wellness:

  • Engage in physical activity every day for 30 minutes (i.e. walk or ride your bike to class, take the longer route, exercise)
  • Recognize the signs when your body begins feeling ill or tense and take actions to take care of your body
  • Annual physicals with your primary care physician
  • Eat a variety of healthy food
  • Have adequate sleep between 7-9 hours each night
  • Learn and practice safe sex

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Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness consists of personal beliefs and values that provide a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual wellness includes recognizing your needs for discovering meaning and purpose in human existence while also developing an appreciation for life and connection with something larger than yourself in the universe. It is important to know that spiritual wellness does not require you to participate in religious practice, although religion can be one route to increase your spiritual wellness.

Here are some recommendations for you to practice in order to maintain your spiritual wellness:

  • Practice meditation
  • Join a faith-based community
  • Spend time in nature
  • Increase self-reflection and explore your inner self

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Social Wellness

Social wellness consists of having positive, healthy, and meaningful relationships with friends, family, and the community. Social wellness includes using healthy communication skills, respecting yourself and others, and showing interests and genuine concern for those in need. Maintaining social wellness also facilitates establishing a support system and increasing your sense of belonging, self-esteem, and assertive skills.

Here are some suggestions to enhance your social wellness:

  • Join a club or organization
  • Connect with supportive friends and family
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Practice good communication skills and be assertive
  • Treat others with respect
  • Practice self-disclosure and be authentic with others

Campus Resources:

  • RMUoHP Class Leadership
  • Student Diversity Committee

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Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness encourages interacting in creative and stimulating activities to expand your knowledge and skills as well as understanding diverse points of view. Intellectual wellness includes discovering your own potential for sharing your talents and perspective with others and taking differing perspectives into consideration. Maintaining an optimal level of intellectual wellness does not only give you the ability to develop your creativity and growth mindset but also strengthens your concentration, memory, and critical thinking skills.

Here are some suggestions for you to practice in order to increase your intellectual wellness:

  • Be curious and open-minded
  • Listen to and consider the perspectives of others to improve critical thinking skills
  • Participate in activities that cultivate mental growth
  • Attend conferences, talks, and programs that increase your knowledge
  • Try a new hobby or learn a new language or musical instrument
  • Teach or mentor others
  • Travel more to increase your knowledge and appreciation for another culture

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Financial Wellness

Financial wellness consists of finding an equilibrium among the psychological, physical, and spiritual aspects of your relationship with finance. It includes understanding financial processes related to savings, income, and debt while utilizing resources to achieve long-term goals towards future financial objectives. Financial wellness also includes learning to live within your means, making informed financial decisions and investments, and setting short and long-term goals. Learning and developing financially smart habits during graduate school can reduce stress and prepare you to achieve your future goals.

Here are some strategies for you to practice in order to strengthen your financial wellness:

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Environmental Wellness

Environmental wellness promotes physical and emotional safety in all of your surroundings. Environmental wellness includes respect and preservation of nature. This includes the environment in which you live, work, and learn ensuring these areas are pleasant and support your well-being. The dimension of environmental wellness also includes self-awareness towards the impact of personal interactions with the environment and taking action to protect yourself from environmental pollutants while promoting a healthy environment that supports your overall well-being. Environmental wellness does not require your participation in a movement or organization, but it encourages you to adopt practices that promote a safe and healthy environment.

Here are some suggestions to help you become more aware of your environment:

  • Recycle
  • Conserve energy
  • Participate in an environmental organization
  • Carpool or use public transportation
  • Plant a personal or community garden
  • Purchase products with minimal packaging
  • Organize neighborhood watches

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    Occupational Wellness

    Occupational wellness consists of exploring and determining activities that align with your individual purpose and meaning that mirrors personal goals, belief systems, lifestyle, and values. Occupational wellness includes being self-aware of balancing work requirements with personal time, building relationships with colleagues, exploring various career options, and engaging in ongoing training opportunities. Maintaining an optimal level of occupational wellness allows you to develop unique skills and talents that are both personally and professionally rewarding.

    Please see suggestions below for ways to increase your occupational wellness:

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