VCU HR Well-Being blog

Giving VCU employees the wellness resources they need to be healthy both on and off campus

More than ever before, we hear about wellness in the media, in conversations at Starbucks, and even the workplace. When we think of Wellness, we think of well-being, wholeness, and balanced health. We think of a self-awareness that causes us to be at peace with ourselves and the world around us, with a focus on holistic health.

What is Wellness? Wellness is an active process of living a fully engaged life at every level of being. It is becoming aware of, and making healthy choices toward a healthier state of life. How can we pursue wellness? Understanding wellness is easier when we use the concept of 8 Pillars. Life is not one component, but many parts working together. With the 8 Pillars in place, wellness can be ours.

The Eight Pillars of Wellness are important to help us best connect with ourselves. Take some time in the coming weeks to connect to each of the eight pillars for optimal self-care. When we take care of ourselves, we prioritize wellness and peace in our lives.

Physical: Find ways to take care of your body

Yoga, a healthy snack, dancing, hiking, walking, running, swimming, cycling, any exercise, take a bath, massage, facial, manicure or pedicure, drinking a favorite cup of tea, doing a more thorough skincare routine, getting extra sleep.

Mental: Create a space that relaxes your mind

Reading a book, listening to an audiobook, listening to a podcast, watching a documentary, writing or journaling, meditation, a guided visualization, practicing a new language, playing a musical instrument. 

Emotional: Anything that helps you process your emotions.

Journaling, meditation, naming your emotions and noticing where you feel them in your body checking in with your therapist, writing a gratitude list, writing or saying positive affirmations, listening to music that evokes emotion, giving anonymously to a charity you care about. 

Social: Connecting to those around you that make you feel your best

Calling a friend or family member, playing with your pet, going to a place where you can be around others such as a park or coffee shop, having lunch with a friend, creating a care package and sending it to someone you love, ending your retreat day with your significant other. 

Spiritual: Connecting to your deepest self

Reading a spiritual text, prayer, loving kindness meditation, engaging with your faith community, any kind of spiritual ritual, alone time  

Occupational: Connecting to meaningful work in your life (not just your job!)

Examples: Reflecting on your career and where you want it to go, brainstorming ideas for additional income, gardening or growing house plants, building something, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, making any kind of craft, cooking, identifying any areas where you’re feeling burned out. 

Financial: Managing your finances responsibly.

Determining a budget, reviewing the accounts you have including savings, retirement, etc., reviewing your bank statements and cutting out any unnecessary subscriptions, opening a savings account, choosing something special you want to save up for and create a plan for how to do that. 

Environmental: Anything that helps you to live at peace with your environment

Go outside in nature, hike, ride your bike on a trail, go outside barefoot and feel the earth, research ways to be more eco-friendly in your daily life, gardening, declutter a room in your home, clean or organize. 

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