VIU Wide Shot Beach Student

Dimensions of Wellness

There are several dimension of wellness that help us to be holistically healthy and Thrive, and these dimensions are all connected. There is no prefect recipe for wellness; balancing the different dimensions of wellness is an ever-changing journey that is unique to every individual. As individuals, we also do not exist in vacuums and our personal wellness impacts, and is impacted by the people, communities, lands, and systems around us. VIU is committed to supporting you in your individual wellness journey, as well as our journey as a connected learning community.

The following seven dimensions of wellness can provide direction on your personal journey to wellness. While there are many uncontrollable factors which impact individual wellness, there are concrete choices and actions you can take within each of these seven dimensions that can help you Thrive.

At VIU, we care about student well-being and we want to help you make wellness a priority in your life! Follow Thrive to stay up-to-date on all the latest wellness events and activities around campus to help you stay well.

VIU Dimensions of Wellness

Check out the sections below for more information on each dimension and some tips and resources for how to practice wellness. The information below is not an exhaustive list of wellness opportunities and it is meant to provide inspiration on your own unique wellness journey! 

Dimensions of Wellness

Emotional Wellness involves self-love and acceptance, optimism, and learning to feel and manage your emotions. It involves taking care of your inner self and learning to function independently and inter-personally. 

Possible ways of engaging in emotional wellness:

  • Practicing self-care
  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Building coping skills
  • Practicing optimism
  • Setting boundaries

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in emotional wellness:

  • Do things that keep your self-esteem high - connect with people who love and support you, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments, and find opportunities to engage in activities where you feel successful  
  • Seek to find balance in your life by making time for wellness activities as well as school and work responsibilities
  • Connect with a VIU Wellness Peer
  • Develop skills to manage stress and worries, and engage in mindfulness practice everyday (Mindshift is a great app)
  • Participate in an Energy Care and Well Being workshop
  • Engage in a VIU hosted creative hobby activity, like a ‘Learn to Paint’ night (often hosted by Thrive or Fun at VIU)
  • Participate in a VIU Counselling Group or Workshop

Financial Wellness involves having awareness of our values towards, and our relationship with, money. Understanding your own unique financial situation, and learning to manage your finances effectively is all part of financial wellness.

Possible ways of engaging in financial wellness:

  • Balancing your budget
  • Spending wisely
  • Effectively managing loans and credit
  • Planning for short-term and long-term financial needs and goals
  • Increasing financial knowledge/understanding to inform investing and management decisions

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in financial wellness:

  • Attend a Financial Aid and Awards workshop or event
  • Check out all the resources available to help you pay for school
  • Create a VIU budget plan (see: sample budget plan)
  • Try to limit unnecessary expenses and debt and live within your means
  • Limit eating out and save money by cooking and preparing your own nutritious food
  • Try to avoid credit card debt, use cash or a debit card to make purchases

Environmental Wellness involves taking action to contribute to a sustainable, safe, inclusive, thriving environment and community. It is the creation of a community that is accepting, responsible and supportive of both our planet and all its living creatures.

Possible ways of engaging in environmental wellness:

  • Acting in environmentally conscious ways
  • Respecting and connecting with nature
  • Being open and inclusive with others
  • Having awareness of your personal impact on others, the environment, your surroundings and your community

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in environmental wellness:

Spiritual Wellness has different meanings for different people, but broadly it involves feeling connected to something larger than yourself. Spiritual wellness involves searching and connecting to a larger sense of meaning in your life, and finding connection between your mind, body and soul. 

Possible ways of engaging in spiritual wellness:

  • Exploring and clarifying your own values
  • Being open minded
  • Respecting others and their unique beliefs
  • Practicing connection with mind, body and soul
  • Connecting with faith, or cultural communities or traditions

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in spiritual wellness:

Academic and Career Wellness involves finding personal meaning and satisfaction through your studies and/or work. It involves being open to learning, challenging your mind, and clarifying your own priorities and values in order to engage in meaningful academic and occupational pursuits.

Possible ways of engaging in academic and career wellness:

  • Developing and working towards academic and career goals
  • Clarifying your values towards school and work and acting in ways that are consistent with these values
  • Having a growth mindset
  • Challenging yourself with new activities/learning
  • Having an open mind
  • Accessing supports to help you achieve your goals and find meaning in your work

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in academic/career wellness:

Social and Cultural Wellness involves having healthy relationships with others and your community. It includes respecting diversity and supporting those around us through increased connection and acceptance.

Possible ways of engaging in social and cultural wellness include:

  • Cultivating meaningful, healthy relationships
  • Contributing to the well-being of your communities
  • Respecting others
  • Increasing your own knowledge and acceptance of those who are different from you

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in social and community wellness:

Caring for your Physical Wellness is about more than being free of sickness or disease. Caring for your physical well-being involves multiple factors that all contribute to a physically healthy, strong, resilient body and person.

Possible ways of engaging in physical wellness include:

  • Engaging in physical activity
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Getting restorative sleep
  • Having regular medical check-ups
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Limiting, and practicing safe substance use

Tips, resources, and opportunities to engage in physical wellness:

© 2014 by Simon Fraser University-Health and Counselling Services. Image and site content adapted with permission of Simon Fraser University-Health and Counselling Services (August 6, 2020). VIU gratefully acknowledges and thanks SFU for their generosity in sharing this content to support our students.