How to LiveWellSEU
Wellness is a lifelong pursuit that allows you to thrive in all areas of your life. At St. Edward’s, our LiveWellSEU initiative is our commitment to supporting every Hilltopper’s wellness journey in ways that nurture the mind, body and spirit, and help us live our best life.
What does it mean to LiveWellSEU? It’s about focusing on our holistic wellness by striving to be healthy in the 8 dimensions of wellbeing: intellectual, social, emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, environmental and vocational. These 8 dimensions intersect to create a full picture of wellness. For example, physical wellness habits, such as exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep, affect our performance in every other dimension.
On the hilltop, you have access to resources, services and programs that support all dimensions of your wellbeing. Below, let’s take a look at each dimension and explore how you can learn, grow and live well in every aspect of your life.
Intellectual wellness is the process of engaging with new concepts, ideas, cultures and activities, and valuing creativity, curiosity and lifelong learning.
Ways to live well intellectually: Any activity that sparks your curiosity, fuels your imagination and presents new challenges is ideal for deepening your thinking. For example: learn a foreign language, play a musical instrument, read for fun, play games and puzzles that exercise your brain (like crosswords and sudoku) or develop a new skill.
Things you can do at St. Edward’s to grow intellectually: Go full on with your academic experience! Your professors are here to help you learn new concepts, challenge you and support your academic success. Cultivate a relationship with them. Attend faculty office hours. Engage in classroom discussions and debates. Take on a student-faculty research project. And talk with your professors about internship opportunities, fellowships, career paths and graduate school.
Hilltop resources and support for intellectual wellbeing: The Student Success Center connects you to your personal success coach, faculty advisors and career coach, Academic Support Services (tutoring, Munday Library, Math Lab, Writing Center, etc.), Study Abroad and Student Disability Services. Check out Student Involvement as well.
“Maintaining intellectual, social and emotional balance is most important for me. College is about meeting new people and exploring new things. Getting to know the people around you is good for your emotional and intellectual wellbeing. As a student, I want to learn about the world around me and how I can improve it. Having a strong intellect and healthy social and emotional lifestyle helps me achieve that goal.”-Matthew Gerrets ’24, Criminal Justice major
Social wellness involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around you.
Benefits of social wellness: Having friends and communities who share your values and passions provides a supportive network that will lift you up when you need a boost, challenge you when you need motivation and help create a safety net as you navigate life. Our social connections bring us closer together, provide a sense of security and help build self-confidence.
Things you can do at St. Edward’s to achieve social wellness: Make friends, and be good friend! Get to know the students in your residence hall. Attend the campus Involvement Fair and join clubs and organizations that align with your interests. Follow the university’s event calendar to be aware of campus programs and events that allow you to meet new people and build your hilltop network. And make an effort to keep in touch with your friends and family.
Emotional wellness is about cultivating awareness and acceptance of yourself. Being emotionally healthy improves your confidence and self-esteem. It enhances your relationships and your ability to bounce back from disappointments and stressful situations, and manage your behavior well in the best and toughest of times.
Ways to live well emotionally: Engage in meditation, self-reflection, exercise and a healthy diet. Get proper sleep each night. Spend quality time with friends and family. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Acknowledge and talk about your feelings, and ask for help when you need it. These habits help you maintain a positive outlook on life and your future.
One thing you can do at St. Edward’s to grow emotionally: Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and step out of your comfort zone! We learn best when we try, fail and retry. It allows us to grow and improve.
Physical wellness is the outcome of developing and maintaining a healthy body. Being physically healthy gives us more strength, energy and endurance. It sharpens our mental and emotional wellbeing, and helps our body fight illness and stress.
Things you can do at St. Edward’s to improve you physical health: Take advantage of Recreation and Wellness resources, such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, exercise classes, club sport teams, wellness workshops and sleep aid programs. Visit the Health & Counseling Center for physical health appointments, and meet with their nutrition counselor.
Best advice for staying physically fit: Stay active! Pick an activity or workout you enjoy — one you look forward to — and make it a regular part of your lifestyle. Invite a friend to join your exercise routine. It’s a great way to stay motivated and meet new people.
“For me, physical and social are my two most important dimensions. Our body is our temple. If we have a healthy lifestyle that takes care of our body, we can be more active and accomplish more things. It’s also important to socialize and make connections. I feel rejuvenated when I meet new people, get to know their story and have interesting conversations.”Jazmine Collins ’23, Forensic Science major
Financial wellness is the process of effectively managing your economic life. It’s a constant journey of making decisions and adjustments, and building resilience to maintain financial balance and enjoy a more stable, healthy and successful life.
Ways to achieve financial wellness: Thriving in this dimension requires having a solid grasp of your personal finances. You should know your debt-to-income ratio, and use it to develop a budget and spend wisely. Understand interest rates and how they impact loans and your credit. Make saving a habit — for unexpected expenses and the future. And be proactive in learning about financial matters and getting help from experts in making financial decisions.
Things you can do at St. Edward’s to grow in financial wellness: Take control of your financial decisions! Create a budget, and keep up with your expenses and income. Make sure you understand the requirements of your scholarships, financial aid and student loans. Meet with your Student Financial Services counselor to stay on top of your college finances, and take advantage of their financial education resources. Consider a part-time job, an internship or on-campus employment opportunities to help with expenses.
Spiritual wellness happens when we develop values and beliefs that enhance our purpose in life — and keep those qualities central to our existence.
Ways to live well spiritually: We can grow in our spiritual wellness by exploring different faiths, religions, belief systems and experiences that help ground us to our purpose. Spiritual practices take many forms. For some people, it’s being part of a religious community. For others, it can be about connecting with nature or loved ones, meditating, praying, attending a spiritual retreat or writing in a journal. Determine what brings you fulfillment, joy and inner peace, and make it your practice.
One thing you can do at St. Edward’s to grow spiritually: Serving others is foundational to our Holy Cross mission and an ideal way to affirm our purpose. You can participate in service during the university’s Founders Day, Homecoming and The Big Event service projects; by joining one of Campus Ministry’s Service Break Experiences; or through many volunteer opportunities in Austin.
“I consider myself a very spiritual person as well as a mental health advocate. Focusing on my emotional wellbeing and engaging in my spiritual practices has helped me enormously as I navigate the stress and demands of college life. It’s helping me evolve into the best version of myself."– Sophie Sanati ’21, Psychology major
Environmental wellness is the practice of creating a caring and respectful relationship with the planet, nature and our personal surroundings that promotes wellbeing and honors our interdependence with the natural world.
Ways to accomplish environmental wellness: Appreciate nature by walking, hiking, biking, camping, gardening, observing wildlife or simply watching the sunset. Practice sustainability by recycling and reusing, conserving water and energy, and eating organic and locally produced foods. Learn more about your own carbon footprint. Study climate change and advocate for climate justice.
Things you can do at St. Edward’s to achieve environmental wellness: On the hilltop, you’re part of a community dedicated to sustainability, both in practice and education. Students can major in Environmental Biology and Climate Change, Environmental Chemistry, or Environmental Science and Policy. They can participate in environmental research at our award-winning Wild Basin Creative Research Center. Recreation and Wellness offers hiking and camping trips, and Austin is home to many city and county parks and is the gateway to the Texas Hill Country for students to enjoy nature.
Vocational wellness is the result of aligning your passions, skills, talents and values with your academic pursuits, volunteer activities and future career. It allows you to have purpose and meaning in your work while maintaining balance in your life.
Ways to achieve vocational wellness: Set goals and make a plan. Determine who you want to become, what skills you need to reach your goals, and put your plan into action. Learn about the majors and wide variety of career options available to you, and choose a direction that reflects your values, interests and skills. Participating in internships and job fairs is a great way to network with employers and explore different career fields.
One thing you can do at St. Edward’s to grow vocationally: Partner with your success coach to create a roadmap for your college journey that puts you on a path to your dream career. Your coach will work with you to clarify your strengths and interests, connect you to faculty advisors in your field of study, identify curricular and experiential learning options that match your goals, and help you stay on track to meet them.
“LiveWellSEU has provided me with countless resources to improve my overall health, as well as employment as a staff member. These opportunities have boosted my emotional, financial, vocational and social wellbeing. The LiveWellSEU staff are incredibly caring and beautiful people who have helped me develop as an individual, and I know I am not alone.”– Rory O’Connor Arias ’22, Communication major