Wellbeing is a choice to assume responsibility for the quality of one’s life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. Wellbeing is a process and a way of life; it is about lifestyle changes and the pursuit of health and happiness.
Informed by our tradition and history, wellbeing at Gustavus is based on an understanding that who one is directly impacts how one leads. Accordingly, acts of leadership cannot be separated from the identity and integrity of the person, and a mature understanding of self is vital for enhancing one’s effectiveness within the communities where one lives and works. This vocational approach to wellbeing, leadership and service—actively working towards an understanding of oneself for the purpose of contributing to the common good—is one of Gustavus’s greatest strengths.
Nine Core Dimensions
Emotional Wellbeing involves acknowledging, managing, and expressing one’s feelings. It also involves pursing a clear view of the world as it is, finding one’s place in it and recognizing challenge, risk and conflict as opportunities for emotional growth.
- To acknowledge, manage, and express feelings.
- To understand the importance that balance has for their overall wellbeing.
- To recognize that all experiences provide opportunities for emotional growth.
Physical Wellbeing involves taking care of one’s body and the ability to live a productive life with vigor and ease.
- To incorporate physical activity into one’s daily life.
- To make educated and thoughtful nutritional choices.
- To develop an awareness of the importance of sleep.
Relational Wellbeing reflects one’s ability to engage effectively with the surrounding communities by developing positive relationships, respect for others, multicultural competences and concern for community welfare.
- To engage in practices that increase acceptance and respect for others in one’s community.
- To recognize the basic foundation of healthy relationships.
- To have increased multicultural competence.
Spiritual Wellbeing acknowledges one’s discovery and celebration of the deeper meaning and Divine Reality in life. It involves the exploration of the values, beliefs and practices that provide meaning and direction for one’s life as well as a respect for the spiritual path of others. It involves a sense of wonder, gratitude and connectedness with self, others and creation.
- To have an increased awareness of one’s values, beliefs and convictions and respect for the spiritual practices of others.
- To explore and engage in spiritual practices that involve mind, body and spirit.
- To act in accord with the values, beliefs and convictions that one espouses.
Intellectual wellbeing involves having the tools, awareness, motivation and capability to gain unbiased knowledge of the world. Learning to be curious, skeptical and fair-minded are essential qualities of an individual who has intellectual wellbeing.
- To recognize the integration between one’s academic and community experiences.
- To develop the capacity to have an informed understanding of a wide range of topics and issues.
- To develop critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and communication skills.
Career Wellbeing is having the clarity, confidence, and connections to use one’s strengths to daily engage in meaningful and purposeful work.
- To analyze and articulate one’s interests, skills, values and strengths.
- To develop and implement career plans which consider ethical and global implications.
- To identify, evaluate, and use sources of information relevant to making career decisions.
Financial wellbeing is the ability to make educated decisions in order to be confident and secure with one’s financial situation.
- To be aware of the future impact of one’s current financial choices.
- To understand how personal financial security creates increased opportunities for giving back to organizations that one cares about.
- To utilize financial tools to assess one’s current situation, develop financial goals, and regularly monitor progress toward those goals.
Environmental Wellbeing means living as an integral part of an environment that supports physical, mental, and social wellbeing, while at the same time living consciously in ways that maintain and improve that healthy environment.
- To understand one’s impact on the physical world and minimize one’s own personal footprint.
- To appreciate the importance of sustainability, and show this through one’s lifestyle choices.
- To encourage engagement in meaningful experiences in and with the natural world.
Vocational Wellbeing reflects the intentional, life-giving alignment of who you are, what you do, and what the world needs.
- To utilize one’s gifts and talents in the community and the larger world.
- To consider a purposeful calling in life.
- To develop an ongoing and intentional commitment to a full life of service and leadership.