Ideas for Your Well-Being Days
One week away from two well-being days…you’re so close! Well-being days offer the opportunity to focus on your mental health and overall well-being.
We recognize that well-being days might be a source of stress. You may not like that the typical rhythm of your week is disrupted, you may fear that you’re missing out on fun activities, or you might just not know what to do with the extra time. These feelings are completely normal.
Ultimately, you should use the well-being days to best meet your own needs! Here are some ideas:
Take some time to calm your mind, draw inward, and think deeply about your health and well-being. Be honest with yourself – it’s not about how you should feel. Consider what currently is feeding you, creating stress, pushing you past your comfort zone, getting you where you want to go, and connecting you with warm relationships. You could meditate, journal, go for a reflective walk or run – just take time to slow down and focus on your needs.
Do Self Care
- Sleep. Go to sleep a bit earlier and wake up when your body is ready.
- Eat. Use your extra time during the long weekend to focus on eating yummy, nutrient-dense foods. Cook yourself (and your friends?) an amazing meal or gather people you adore at a favorite place to eat.
- Move Your Body. Spend time doing an activity that you like. Choose something that feels just right for today – you don’t have to push yourself hard, but take the time to do something active that you love.
- Relax. Read something for fun. Watch a show you enjoy. Snuggle under a blanket. Do something that lets your body and mind rest and recharge.
Set Up Your Environment for Success
How can you improve the environment of your space to better support your health and well-being for the rest of the semester?
- Bring in more sunlight. Move your workspace as close to the window as possible, strategically place mirrors, pull open curtains during the day.
- Remove clutter. Get rid of what no longer serves you and keep things that bring you joy. Start small – pick one drawer to clean out today.
- Incorporate your senses. Plants, art, photos of people or places you love, good smells, calming sounds – all of these can help you feel grounded, connected, and less stressed.
Help Someone Else
If you have the capacity for it, the well-being days are also a great time to support the people around you and strategize for broader impact.
- Support a friend. Do you know someone who has had a tough time recently? Reach out to them to check in. Invite them to do something you both enjoy.
- Serve others. Choosing to help others also benefits the helper! Volunteering is an act of self-care and offers many benefits for your health including finding a sense of purpose and passion. And of course it also helps an organization or another individual! Seek out service opportunities on a well-being day if you can.
- Consider your communities. Use your influence for good in the spaces where you have some control. Consider how you can adjust to better offer structure, infuse flexibility, create a safe atmosphere, allow time for self-care, and advocate for systemic shifts in well-being on campus and in your groups.
- Learn and advocate. Use some of your long weekend by learning to be a better mental health supporter and advocate. Visit the Heels Care Network and explore to better understand the mental health resources available and how you can help. Consider connecting with an organization or training to be a better advocate.
Explore New Places on Campus
There are lots of fun places on campus that could be a great way to do something different with your well-being days. Check out the options below (be sure to check changes to their hours for the well-being days):
- Campus Recreation. Go rock climbing at the gym, swim laps in the Bowman-Gray Memorial pool, take a fitness class – the possibilities are endless!
- Morehead Planetarium. Morehead offers tons of cool shows in their planetarium. Check out some of their showings about NC constellations or browse their museum.
- Ackland Art Museum. Ackland has a beautiful collection of art that is free for the public. Take some time to explore the museum and their current exhibits.
- Sports. Show support for the Heels and head out to a sports game during these well-being days!
- Music Concerts: Check out the events calendar for the UNC Department of Music – music is a great way to relax while showing support for the amazing talent here at UNC.
The well-being days next week are a time for you to meet your needs, and if you have the capacity – to help address the well-being of all community members. We are in this together here at Carolina. Thank you for being a part of our community of care!