SAMU Wellbeing: What is Wellbeing?

by on Sep 9th, 2020

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.

What is Wellbeing? 

You’ve probably seen the word “wellbeing” used a lot lately, alongside other words like “self-care,” but you might not really understand what it means. “Wellbeing” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.” Basically, having good wellbeing just means you feel generally good and satisfied with life. What this looks like is obviously super subjective, so there are many different philosophical, scientific and spiritual ways to understand wellbeing. The number of different aspects of wellbeing depends on how you approach it, but it typically breaks down into physical, emotional and social wellbeing, which all interact to make up your overall wellbeing.

Why is Wellbeing Important?

Wellbeing has recently become a popular topic because it’s something that effects everybody and everybody can benefit from. Everybody has a state of wellbeing that needs to be taken care of and everyone has needs that need to be met. Our wellbeing is important because it impacts how we think, feel and behave. Wellbeing and our ability to fulfill our needs is integral to living a happy and full life. If you’ve ever believed that your goal in life is to be happy, it’s likely that your goal is to feel satisfied with life and have a high level of wellbeing. Although our circumstances can sometimes be out of our control, there are steps that can still be taken to improve our overall wellbeing.

How does Wellbeing Affect Students?

It’s likely you’ve encountered the student stereotype at some point in your life: someone who is strung out, lives off a diet of instant ramen and coffee, is up all-night doing homework, and trying to catch up on sleep between classes. This probably seems like a pretty all-around bad time, but this is the university experience a lot of students have. University students tend to experience notable high stress levels and anxiety, often stemming from the pressures of balancing their school responsibilities along with other parts of their lives. It’s easy to feel that the more you “care” about doing well (translation: the more stressed you are about doing well) the better you will perform, but it’s actually the opposite. There is a negative correlation between stress and grade performance, meaning the more stressed you feel the more your grades (and other things) will suffer. This stress, although school-related, can impact more than just your academic performance. The stress you feel from school can take away from other aspects of your life and decrease your overall wellbeing.

How do you Improve/Maintain Wellbeing?

Typically, when people think of wellbeing they think of things like skincare, yoga, warm relaxing drinks and other self-care trends, but taking care of your wellbeing encompasses much more than just those things. Since wellbeing is our feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment, your state of wellbeing depends on whether your personal needs are being met. Everybody has different needs, and these needs change with time. It’s important to check in with yourself and determine what those needs are, whether physical, emotional or social, and how they should be fulfilled. What works for some people might not necessarily work for you, and what’s worked for you in the past might not work in the future. Having a high wellbeing means you are taking the care to ensure your needs are met so you can live a full and happy life. To help, we will be offering various initiatives over the Fall and Winter semesters to help you maintain your wellbeing during the school year, so keep an eye out!