Adjusting to class and work schedules, forming new relationships, and getting involved in various organizations around campus all in the first few weeks of school takes a toll on our bodies. Many times, we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and drained during these first few weeks of classes. Even as I write this article, I feel my brain struggling to stay focused. It is a common issue on campuses across the nation. So how do we combat this problem?
There are many aspects to wellness. The key three to focus on for us, though, are the physical, mental and emotional. The importance of each one is no different. In fact, these three parts of our being are directly connected to one another. Because of this, it can be assumed that if we are lacking in one aspect, the rest will surely fall short as well.
To prove this idea, think about the last time you did not get a full night’s sleep (for me, that would be every night this week!) and how you felt the following day. Not only were you physically tired, you also more than likely found difficulty in paying attention and focusing in class and various social settings. When you do not take care of your body and your mind, it can affect your day-to-day life in ways you may not even imagine.
Typically, when we hear the term “wellness” we automatically associate it with body image. If a person appears physically fit, often more times than not, they are assumed to be healthy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A person can put in hours in the gym every day and look the part, but that does not mean they are well. Some may use exercise as an outlet, a way to channel their energy and relieve stress. What remains most important is that they are contributing the same energy into their wellness both physically and mentally.
When can you last remember taking the time to simply breathe and focus your attention inward? Some might consider this as meditation. All too often we become so caught up in our daily routine and jumping to the next thing we need to accomplish today; we do not take the time to acknowledge our own presence. Take the time for yourself, it could even as short as fifteen minutes. Whatever you need to do to focus on your own self and appreciate your life- to take gratitude in your existence. UC Davis describes wellness as, “An active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
If you were to ask my friends whether I am an emotional person, the response would be instantaneous: Yes! Let me set one thing straight regarding emotional health, this does not insinuate you are happy all the time. What is does mean is you are in touch with and aware of your emotions. When we feel emotions of anger, sadness, or frustration, the last thing that should happen is to suppress them. These feelings need to be expressed in the appropriate ways rather than pushing them down and pretending they do not exist. Someone who develops a healthy way of expressing their emotions in a controlled manner are less likely to suffer from stress and anxiety.
By consistently making physical, mental and emotional “check-ups,” you can greatly improve your wellness and visibly see positive changes in your daily life. Remember to stay in tune with your body and mind. No one knows you better than yourself, so take the necessary steps to ensure that you are healthy in mind, body and spirit.