Be Well at Swarthmore recognizes wellness as a lifelong and multi-dimensional process that is personal and cultural — there is no “one size fits all” approach to being well. Through programming that supports the development of eight interrelated domains of well-being, outlined below, Be Well offers a positive and affirming perspective on wellness that recognizes our strengths and encourages us to invest in our collective resources.
Emotional well-being involves recognizing, navigating, and constructively expressing your full range of emotions. This includes learning to build resilience, cope with stress, cultivate self-esteem, and be flexible when things don’t go as planned. Emotional well-being promotes maintaining good mental health and seeking support from others when you need it.
You can contribute to your emotional well-being by: practicing mindfulness through noticing your inner experiences, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and bodily sensations, without judgment; expressing your emotions in healthy ways, like journaling, artwork, therapy, talking with friends, activism, and getting active; developing grit through an internal dialogue that includes praise, affirmations, respect, and showing grace to yourself; identifying what helps you bounce back when things don’t go as planned; practicing yoga, deep breathing, or meditation to remain calm and centered; allowing yourself to cry when you feel it coming; seeking out things that bring you joy and make you laugh, smile, and feel good.
Physical well-being involves actively supporting your health through recognizing your body’s physical needs and abilities, and embracing positive, respectful, and sustainable choices to meet those needs. Physical well-being centers bodily connection and autonomy, and promotes health literacy and equitable access to healthcare.
You can contribute to your physical well-being by: moving your body through exercise or in other ways that feel good; eating in a manner that is mindful, nourishing, and balanced, and staying hydrated; getting adequate rest and sleep on a regular basis; visiting your primary care clinician for preventative medical and dental care; understanding the risks and potential consequences of alcohol and other drugs before making decisions about personal use; practicing safer sex if sexually active by using barrier methods, getting screened for STIs and tending to your reproductive health; learning to recognize early signs of illness or injury, seeking care from a medical provider and taking time off to recover; making informed choices about your body.
Some resources at Swarthmore that support your physical well-being include Student Health and Wellness, Swarthmore College Athletics, Student Disability Services, Swarthmore Dining, and Public Safety.
Social well-being involves understanding yourself and others with empathy, and cultivating strong, positive relationships built on trust, respect, and interdependence. Social well-being encourages you to balance your social life and commitment to others with your personal boundaries and responsibilities, and to nurture healthy connections with family, friends, intimate partners, coworkers, and community.
You can contribute to your social well-being by: joining clubs or organizations that interest you and attending campus events; meeting new people with similar interests and from different backgrounds; staying connected with friends and with family and setting aside intentional quality time to strengthen those relationships; building a support network of safe relationships where you can share thoughts and feelings, and give and receive care; practicing and learning skills related to healthy communication, intimacy, active listening, boundary setting, and conflict; spending alone time every day to tend to yourself and your needs; appreciating others by offering compliments and expressing gratitude.
Cultural well-being involves developing an awareness of your own cultural background and identities alongside an appreciation and respect for other cultures. A strong community calls us to honor all voices and experiences, investigate and challenge personal biases, sensitively communicate across differences, and consider issues from multiple perspectives. Cultural well-being recognizes the impacts of marginalization on our wellness, and actively encourages the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice for all people.
You can contribute to your cultural well-being by: exploring your own identities, intersections, and cultural heritages, and seeking community around those experiences; taking part in class discussions, intellectual conversations, and other ways of understanding new ideas and perspectives; attending programs, events, and celebrations that center on cultures, identities, and experiences unfamiliar to you; appreciating diverse cultural expressions through museum exhibits, and theater performances; traveling to new places and experiencing other cultures, countries, and languages; practicing advocacy and allyship to advance the equity of all individuals and groups.
Some resources at Swarthmore that support your cultural well-being include the Black Cultural Center, the Center for Global Engagement, the Intercultural Center, the Interfaith Center, the International Student Center, the Kitao and List galleries, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and the Women’s Resource Center.
Spiritual well-being involves reflecting on life's meaning and purpose; it encourages us to feel at home in the universe, with gratitude for what is good and the resilience to face and change what is not. Spiritual well-being involves the adoption or development of a personal understanding of the wonders of life, which may be enhanced by religion or entirely independent from religion.
You can contribute to your spiritual well-being by: taking time to determine the values, principles, and beliefs that are important to you; engaging in practices like meditation, mindfulness, rituals, yoga, prayer, singing, affirmations, and heartfelt conversations; creating time for personal reflection and experiences of awe and inspiration; seeking out a community to deepen your spiritual practice and connection; developing gratitude in your life; practicing acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, and altruism.
Some resources at Swarthmore that support your spiritual well-being include Interfaith Center spiritual advisors, weekly guided meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices, religious/spiritual communities on campus or off, Swarthmore Friends Meeting, and yoga classes.
Financial well-being involves developing the skills and knowledge necessary for sound financial planning. It involves keeping track of your expenses, making and sticking to a budget, and improving your financial literacy to set yourself up securely in the present, and the future.
You can contribute to your financial well-being by: developing and sticking to a weekly or monthly budget; planning ahead and saving for big purchases or long-term goals; starting an emergency fund to prepare for financial issues before they happen; taking advantage of free events on campus and student discounts off campus; meeting with financial aid to better understand term bills, processes, and scholarships; valuing and understanding the various types of insurance; learning how to navigate debt and credit, including how they affect your credit score.
Some resources at Swarthmore to support your financial well-being include the Office of Financial Aid, the Swarthmore Funded Summer Opportunities, the Student Emergency Fund, and the Center for Innovation & Leadership.
Environmental well-being involves developing a positive relationship with your natural and built environments, from your local community to the planet as a whole. Environmental well-being encourages you to incorporate principles of environmental justice and shared responsibility for community health and safety in your sphere of living, and to be a steward for the environment through the sustainable use of resources.
You can contribute to your environmental well-being by: spending time outdoors walking in the Crum Woods, laying on Parrish Beach, enjoying the green space on campus, or having a picnic in the gardens; taking care of outdoor spaces while recognizing one’s relationship to the land and Lenape indigenous knowledge; limiting and diverting waste by reusing items whenever possible, and recycling and composting items appropriately; conserving natural resources like energy and water and making other environmentally-minded decisions; spending time in spaces that are safe and comfortable and that contribute to your growth, and treating yourself and fellow residents on campus with respect and compassion; unplugging from technology, reducing screen time, and regulating your intake of social media.
Some resources at Swarthmore to support your environmental well-being include: the Office of Sustainability, the Scott Arboretum, the Worthmore Free Store, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee.
Occupational well-being involves pursuing a fulfilling professional calling where you can use your unique skills to positively impact while maintaining a work-life balance. Occupational well-being encourages continuous growth and enrichment at every life stage, and recognizes the importance of thoughtfully managing work stressors.
You can contribute to your occupational well-being by: exploring your interests, values and skills through extracurricular activities, research, community engagement, work, and internships; choosing a major and career path that reflects your values, interests, and skills; reflecting on how your experiences bring new perspectives to your professional aspirations; keeping an up-to-date resume and polishing your interview skills; honing job-related and transferable skills like networking, giving and receiving feedback, time management, work/life boundaries, taking initiative, teamwork, and conflict management; engaging in experiential learning and professional development opportunities; establishing and maintaining a strong professional identity; developing a growth mindset and learning from each experience, successful or not.
Some resources at Swarthmore to support your occupational well-being include Career Services, Fellowships and Prizes, Center for Innovation & Leadership, and the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.