May: Summer Activities to Encourage Wellbeing

Thrive_Horz_BlackCongratulations on making it through the academic year! Did you know that the summer months are just as important as the school year? After your student catches up on some much needed rest and relaxation, encourage him/her to keep wellbeing at the forefront. Because our “wellbeing wheel” looks at eight dimensions, we are going to give you some suggestions to help your studentThrive over the summer in a variety of ways. Helping your student focus on wellbeing this summer will prove to not only be enjoyable, but also might improve your wellbeing along the way!

Encourage your student to give these suggestions a try and let us know what you think.

Emotional Wellbeing: Connect with your inner child and re-learn how to play! Play is an important and easy way to de-stress and get in some sunshine and physical activity. Whether that’s getting a group of friends together to play a good old-fashioned game of tag or buying a coloring book for adults, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously.

Environmental Wellbeing: Plant a garden. The weather is getting warmer and the plants are in full bloom! A recent study shows that soil is actually a natural antidepressant. There are a variety of ways to get your hands dirty: you can start your own garden or you can get involved in the community by volunteering at the local garden! WFU actually has our own Campus Gardens where your students can continue their new love of gardening and community service.

Financial Wellbeing: Put their summer money into a savings account. The Daily Finance has some great fiscal advice for college students. When you do the math, it’s pretty staggering: “If you save $3,000 a year when you’re between 20 and 30 years old, put the money into an IRA with a 7% average annualized rate of return and never save again, you’ll have $442,000 by the time you’re 65, calculates Nicole Rutledge, a certified financial planner with Resource Consulting Group.” Students can always check with their bank to find out about more ways to save!

Intellectual Wellbeing: Practice gratitude! There are scientific findings about how expressing gratitude affects almost every aspect of your wellbeing. It improves relationships, physical health, and mental health! Forbes lists seven great reasons to practice gratitude year-round and why not start by reflecting on who made this last academic year so special. Did a professor encourage your to pursue his/her passion? Did a particular staff member provide a pick-me-up when your student (or you!) needed it most? Let them know!

Occupational Wellbeing: Do a job shadow or find an internship. Either of these experiences is a great way to better understand the profession your student is thinking of going into. Monsterprovides some great tips on how your student can make the most of his/her job shadowing experience. Internships are a chance to get an insider look into a particular field or company. Huffington Post gives some great advice on how your student can make the best of his/her internship.

Physical Wellbeing: Make sure to stay hydrated in the heat! It’s easy to lose track of your daily water intake, but you should be drinking enough water for your lifestyle. Keep your student healthy by keeping your fridge stocked with healthy natural foods. Health.com provides a great resource on the best and worst summer foods. See how your fridge stacks up!

Social Wellbeing: Get involved in your community. HelpGuide provides a great resource on the effects of volunteering in the community. It’s an easy and fun way to get involved! There are national resources like VolunteerMatch where you can find local companies and places to volunteer with over the summer. You could also practice your construction skills and volunteer with your local Habitat for Humanity.

Spiritual Wellbeing: Carve out some time for daily meditation! There are numerous benefits of daily meditation, including reducing stress and improving sleep. Art of Living outlines how daily meditation positively affects wellbeing. If you’ve never meditated before, give it a try! Gaiam Life gives easy to follow step-by-step guidelines on how to meditate.

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