What are the 9 Wellness Dimensions?

We believe there are 9 dimensions of wellness that impact human life.

These wellness dimensions are: social, emotional, financial, environmental, creative, physical, intellectual, career and spiritual. We use a wellness wheel model to demonstrate how all of these dimensions play a role in a person’s life. In the center of our wheel is an inner circle, which says, “You,” this represents all the identities that a person brings with them as they navigate life (ex. athlete, female, first-gen college student, oldest sibling, HIV+, etc.). These identities impact how a person experiences and interacts with the wellness dimensions, and likewise, how the wellness dimensions may shape a person’s ability to express themselves through one or more of their identities. 

We’ll discuss more about wellness below, but you may also be interested in jumping directly to our descriptions for each of the 9 wellness dimensions or learning more about the resources available to you for improving your wellness in these areas.

It is normal to not be 100% well in every dimension all the time.

It is possible to be “well” in one dimension but not be “well” in another, but that does not mean a person is “unhealthy,” however being less “well” in one dimension may make it harder to be “well” in another dimension. No dimension is more important than another dimension, and a person’s identities are at the core of who they are. Wellness ebbs and flows throughout a person’s life so it is possible to improve one area of wellness and maintain that new level, but it is also possible that a life event (ex. moving) may impact a dimension of wellness (ex. career wellness). We want to provide students with the education and access to resources so that they have the tools necessary to manage their wellness throughout their lives.

Each wellness dimension is distinct even though all nine work in concert together.

Most things we do in life involve multiple wellness dimensions overlapping. For example, a professional athlete needs to manage physical wellness (to be able to play their sport), emotional wellness (to manage getting over setbacks and losses), social wellness (to cooperate with teammates) and career wellness (when faced with being drafted to a new team). What wellness dimensions do you feel are at the forefront of your college experience? For some students it may be intellectual, career and financial wellness, but for others it may be social, emotional and environmental. Regardless of what dimensions are at the forefront of your college experience, you’ll need to be aware of how your wellness in each dimension impacts you and your time at UD overall.

We’re here to help you on your wellness journey.

Our aim is to assist students in identifying what areas of wellness they would like to improve in, and how to go about improving in those areas, while also recognizing in what areas a student may already have a higher level of wellness, and assisting those students in maintaining these levels and celebrating these strengths.

The 9 Wellness Dimensions

Learn more about the 9 Wellness Dimensions

Click the toggles below to view descriptions for all nine wellness dimensions:

Social Wellness

A socially well person strives to interact and communicate harmoniously with the world around them, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support network. Social Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to connect and contribute to their community, respect oneself and others, and improve their wellbeing through a healthy social network. 

Emotional Wellness

An emotionally well person strives to cultivate awareness, acceptance and management of a full range of thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Emotional Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to engage in self-care, ask for help, grow from experiences, develop autonomy and improve executive functioning.

Financial Wellness

A financially well person strives to live within one’s means and be equipped with the skills necessary to address financial emergencies. Financial Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to achieve realistic goals through an accurate awareness of one’s financial state and the ability to budget.

Environmental Wellness

An environmentally well person strives to practice respect towards one’s surroundings. On a macro scale this represents our planet Earth. It also extends to the space we share with others and the space we occupy ourselves. Environmental Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to be a conscientious steward of available resources and to pursue a harmonious relationship with the natural world. 

Creative Wellness

A creatively well person strives to further their appreciation of the world through innovation and exploration. Creative wellness enables a person to feel empowered to explore the diversity of thought, culture and the arts that represent human experience, and to contribute to this collection by using one’s own unique ideas to create something new. 

Physical Wellness

A physically well person strives to nurture a healthy connection with their body. This connection is maintained and improved through regular exercise, balanced nutrition, good hygiene, recognition of the body’s warning signs, proper illness care, quality sleep and safer sex. Physical wellness enables a person to feel empowered to be responsible for one’s personal health, identify areas for realistic improvement and celebrate areas of success.

Intellectual Wellness

An intellectually well person strives to pursue lifelong learning and to share this knowledge with others. Intellectual Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to enhance critical thinking skills, engage in mentally stimulating activities, expand one’s worldview and communicate ideas, beliefs and values.

Career Wellness

An occupationally well person strives to achieve satisfaction, seek enrichment and find meaning through work. Occupational Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to maintain a healthy work-life balance, foster positive workplace relationships and make valuable contributions in one’s chosen career(s).

Spiritual Wellness

A spiritually well person strives to practice mindfulness, acceptance and gratitude. This is achieved through time spent alone for self-reflection, as well as time spent engaging in respectful dialogue with others about values, morals and principles. Spiritual Wellness enables a person to feel empowered to appreciate and value the world around them while finding balance and harmony in that world.

Resources for Improving and Maintaining Your Wellness

Click the toggles below to view resources for all nine wellness dimensions:

Social Wellness

  • Resources to help engage your more social/extroverted side could be…
    • Perkins Live, which hosts late night programming from 8pm-12am in Perkins Student Center located on 325 Academy Street. Finding an RSO on campus that correlates with one of your interests or hobbies on the Student Central webpage! College is a busy time, if you feel that you have a solid group of friends already, try and make a routine of a weekly hangout. For example, every Sunday you get coffee or walk around White Clay!
    • If you live on campus, consider reaching out to your RA about ways you can get more involved with residents on your floor or in your building, as well as with the broader campus
  • If you feel that you have trouble creating boundaries with your social network (friends, family etc.) or that you might have anxiety surrounding social events….
    • The Center for Counseling and Student Development could be a good place to start. The CCSD offers 12 free sessions a year to any full time UD student, or any part time UD student whom has paid the Student Wellbeing fee. Center for Counseling and Student Development. (302) 831-2141. Feel free to schedule an appointment with the receptionist to a time that fits your schedule!
  • Some other helpful tips to engaging in healthy social relationships are…
    • Knowing what you value, so you don’t end up conforming to an environment that encourages you to conform to values other than your own.
    • Reaching out can be the first step to creating a friendship! Many people appreciate it when you are the first person to initiate contact. If you feel you need social connection, don’t wait for it to come to you, seek it out!
    • Learn to communicate effectively. People appreciate direct communication, and it makes your life easier by being transparent with what you can and can’t do in a given week! Practice mindfulness, and evaluate when you need to say no to a birthday party, or when you actually need that study break to go hang out with a friend.

Emotional Wellness

  • Center for Counseling and Student Development: The CCSD offers 12 free sessions a year to any full time UD student, or any part time UD student whom has paid the Student Wellbeing fee. Center for Counseling and Student Development. (302) 831-2141. Feel free to schedule an appointment with the receptionist to a time that fits your schedule!
  • UD Helpline: You can call this number if you’re in need of immediate support The UD Helpline  operates 24/7/365 and you can speak to a counselor anytime, day or night. Phone Number: 302-831-1001.
  • Student Wellness and Health Promotion: We offer advocacy and support sessions for victims of sexual misconduct and counseling sessions for students struggling with substance use issues, including students in recovery or students who have a close family member or friend in recovery.

Financial Wellness

There are many resources on campus that can help you manage your finances, but one of your greatest assets is yourself, and self-advocacy.

  • Communication with caregivers
    • Having a conversation with the individuals in your life who might be supporting you through your transition into college is always a good idea. Do they expect you to cover everyday spending, pay half your rent, solely cover textbooks, etc.? Expenses change in college and will fluctuate each year. A conversation about expectations and starting a line of communication with individuals who are trying to assist you can only help you keep an eye on your budget!
  • Make a list of needs versus wants
    • Are there things that you need to pay versus want in your life? Rent, utilities, groceries, and textbooks might be things considered under your need category. Coffee, dining out, movies, might be things considered under your want category. Again, this is extremely personal and up to the individual to decide what is necessary or not.
  • Loans
    • There are helpful websites that provide financial advisement and can give you a realistic outlook as to how much debt you’ll be in after college, how to manage payments, and offer different payment plans for you to choose from. Loan Counseling
    • If you ever need extra help in understanding these concepts Student Financial Services is a great resource to utilize! Student Financial Services (302) 831-2126
    • Always be on the look-out for additional scholarships as well! Here is one website to view Scholarship opportunities!
  • Apps
    • Mint is one of the best budget apps because it takes the hassle out of making a budget. You connect the Mint app to your bank and the app can use your details to help create a personalized budget. We love this budget app because it can help you quickly identify where you are spending your money, so you can see where to trim your current expenses as you make a budget.
  • Develop a Relationship with your Bank
    • Banks can help you start to look at credit cards and start building credit. There are specific credit cards designed for college students who might not have built up any credit yet.
    • Building credit in college can give you advantages in putting down payments for a car, house, or other big purchases.
    • PNC (located in Trabant University Student Center) has resources specifically for students at UD. You can visit their office or check out their website: UD PNC Student Banking.

Environmental Wellness

Tips for Environmental Wellness for the Planet:

  • Try to grocery shop at a local farmers market!
    • If you have a car, carpool with some friends and visit the local Newark Farmers Market on Kirkwood highway! Local markets usually have more nutrient-dense foods and are generally cheaper. Don’t have a car? No worries! Use your feet or bike to get to Perkins during the summer every Wednesday between the times of 11:00 am – 2:00 pm to get some local produce as well! There’s also Newark Natural Foods, a store located on Main St. in Newark near the movie theater.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of a running faucet. Defrost food in the fridge instead of using water. When boiling food, use just enough water to cover food. *Tip: Using less water when boiling vegetables will also preserve flavor and nutrients.
  • Save water while brushing your teeth! Why not maintain a beautiful, healthy smile and conserve water at the same time? While you brush your teeth, turn off that tap to save up to 200 gallons of water per month.

Tips for Environmental Wellness for Shared Spaces:

  •  Make sure you establish clear rules and expectations with anyone you might be living with or living around. Whether you live in a residence hall or apartment complex or house, you are sharing spaces with either roommates, housemates and/or neighbors.
  • If you live in an apartment complex or house are you aware how loud your music/talking can be? If you live in an apartment, be mindful what wall you’re talking near, it might be right next to another neighbor! If you live in a house, talking on the porch or in your backyard is a great way to hang out with your housemates, but neighbors close by might be able to hear you as well. Residence halls have very clear guidelines as to when quiet hours begin, make sure to talk to your Resident Assistant if you need a refresher as to when these hours are!
  • Make sure to establish a chore routine that works with all those you’re living with, discuss guest policies, and sharing resources (food, shampoo, clothing). These all might seem like simple and mundane things to talk about, but is a good idea to discuss to avoid small miscommunications and arguments in the future!

Creative Wellness

  •  Use Student Central to find events and organizations that promote creativity including: paint nights in Perkins, acapella groups and concerts, knitting clubs, cooking demos, creative writing groups, theater productions (including musicals), and improv groups and performances.
  • Remember creative wellness can include many things such as: writing (poetry, novels, plays, etc.), music (writing, recording, mixing, singing or performing), drawing, illustrating, painting, building (ex. Legos, 3D printing, models, etc.), animation (including with clay, stop-motion techniques, digital design, etc.), film-making, podcasting (hosting, writing scripts, etc.), collage, cooking and baking, knitting and sewing, making board games or puzzles, developing websites, graphic design work, designing video or computer games, or even constructing systems or processes within an organization – anything that provides you with an opportunity to create something.

Physical Wellness

  • Carpenter Sports Building
    • Hours vary but generally during the normal semester they are: Monday – Thursday 5:00 am – 11:00 pm, Friday: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
    • The Fitness Class Schedule and class descriptions can be found on the CSB website. Classes are $3 dollars each or you can buy a semester pass for $50.
  • Nutritionists and Nutrition information at Laurel Hall through Student Health Services can help you plan your diet, whether you’re in the dining hall or cooking meals for the first time on your own. 
  • If you’re struggling with getting enough sleep, the Counseling Center for Student Development (located on the second floor of Perkins Student Center) is the place to go. Counselors there can help you develop healthy sleep habits.
  • Remember, physical wellness doesn’t have to always incorporate physical movement or eating habits. It also involves practicing your breathing, paying attention to your posture, looking after your hygiene and overall health (which might include taking your medications regularly or going to annual medical exams), taking care of your eyes by resting them from too much screen time, wearing sunscreen or clothing for sun protection, and drinking enough water. 

Intellectual Wellness

  • Academic Enrichment Center
    • Location: 148-150 S. College Ave. (corner of S. College & Amstel)
      Hours:  Monday through Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm; lobby open through 8:00pm Monday through Thursday.
    • Office of Academic Enrichment
      • Offers drop in tutoring, free group tutoring on a select number of courses, and study skill workshops to help improve your time management and study habits
  • Old College Gallery
    • Old College Gallery can be found in the heart of Old College Hall, a building with the distinction of being on the National Historic Register.  Old College Hall, dating to 1834, is located on the north campus and is among the oldest buildings at University of Delaware. The Gallery encompasses both a large and gracious main gallery and a smaller, more intimate “west” gallery. Old College Gallery typically offers between two and four different exhibitions per year. Many of the exhibitions spotlight the collections of Special Collections and Museums at University of Delaware.
  • Mechanical Hall
    • Mechanical Hall is just steps away from Old College Hall on the north campus of University of Delaware. Built in 1898, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Through the twentieth century Mechanical Hall served as an engineering building, an athletic training center, a residence for GI’s returning after World War II, and the campus center for ROTC. Following an award-winning renovation, Mechanical Hall reopened in 2004 as the home of the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art. Mechanical Hall houses a study room for use upon-request for unique teaching and viewing opportunities for faculty, students, and visiting scholars.
  • Mineralogical Museum
    • Opened in 1971 and renovated in 2009, the Mineralogical Museum in Penny Hall displays approximately 350 specimens from UD’s renowned collection of minerals.  The founding gift for this collection given in 1964 by Irénée du Pont, whose own collection dated largely to the 1920s. Today, the collection contains approximately 3000 specimens of minerals, meteorites, gems and carvings. Exhibitions highlight fine crystallized minerals; classics from worldwide and American locations, specimens from significant recent discoveries, and themes such as crystallography and crystal growth.

Career Wellness

Opportunities for You

On campus, you can visit the UD Career Center where you can receive help with searching for jobs and internships, make a Career Appointment to meet in person or online, and sign up for “Career Communities”. The Career Center is so helpful in all things job-related and can help you get a thorough experience for the future. Visit the Career Center website to see more. Additionally, the Career Center is connected to Handshake, which is an online “one-stop-shop for all jobs and other career resources”. All students can log in to Handshake to have their own account easily.

If you create an account on LinkedIn you will be able to broadcast yourself in the workforce to other professionals. It is a great social network to connect with employees and companies, and potentially even find a job. It takes less than ten minutes to set up your account.

For other work experience opportunities, you can view various Micro-Internships through Parker Dewey at: http://info.parkerdewey.com/udel. Typically, you’ll work on a short project (about 15 hours in length total), and make $20/hour. These projects are from companies all over the country, giving you a great experience and extra money. It looks great on your resume for future job inquiries! They are available all year – you aren’t limited to doing these over just breaks.

Before you begin any of these job-seeking actions, be sure to check out Vmock, which is a resume review tool, FREE to UD students. You can upload your resume and then Vmock will review it line-by-line with suggestions related to verb use, formatting, grammar, and more. It gives students a score and then by revising their resume, students can increase their overall score. A better score equates to a better chance at a prospective employer viewing your resume and selecting you for an interview.

If you’re not sure what career path is right for you, then be sure to explore the Career Center’s PathwayU tool, which allows students to take quick self-assessments to explore the careers that are most likely to be of interest to them and match the skills and knowledge areas they are naturally inclined to be attracted to.

Spiritual Wellness

  • Meditation Apps
    • Headspace is a great free app for people just starting out, with 10 newbie-focused 10-minute meditation exercises, known as Take 10. It’s designed to help you quickly understand what the practice is all about. There’s also a personalized progress page, a reward system for continued practice, and even a buddy system for you and your friends to help each other stay on track.
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