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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

The Dimensions of Wellness

7 dimensions of wellnessWellness encompasses seven interdependent dimensions: physical, mental, social, environmental, vocational, financial and spiritual.

These dimensions work in harmony and contribute to our overall quality of life. Striving for wellness involves taking a proactive and personalized approach to being well within each dimension, and taking action to develop healthy goals, habits and coping strategies. 

Learn about each dimension of wellness including definitions, strategies and a variety of on-campus resources:

Physical

Physical

Physical wellness is the ability to maintain one’s physical health, safety and quality of life through a variety of healthy behaviours including regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and self-care. Physical wellness also involves learning about sexual health and substance use, preventing illness and injury, and seeking medical assistance when necessary.

Strategies to improve your physical wellness:

  • Avoid smoking and vaping and become aware of the smoking and vaping cessation resources available.

  • Break up long periods of sitting as much as possible and take time to stretch.

  • Choose fewer highly processed foods that include excess sodium, sugar and saturated fat. Limit consumption by replacing sugary drinks with water and making homemade versions of your favourite processed foods. Using food labels can also help you make informed choices when buying packaged foods.

  • Educate yourself on the risks of substance use including alcohol and cannabis.

  • Enjoy all foods but balance less nutritious meals or snacks with healthy choices more often.

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule and get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

  • Exercise daily and aim to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity every week. It's also important to participate in muscle strengthening exercises twice a week along with several hours of light physical activity including standing.

  • Follow Canada’s Food Guide for healthy eating recommendations and eat a variety of healthy foods each day. Build a balanced plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein foods. Check out the financial wellness section and food security resources to learn strategies for eating healthy on a budget.

  • Get active by walking or cycling to work or school, hiking, swimming, rollerblading, dancing to your favorite music, and doing housework or yard work such as laundry, or gardening.

  • Maintain good personal hygiene.

  • Practice safe sex and make informed choices about your sexuality and sexual health.

Campus resources to improve your physical wellness:

Social

Social

Social wellness refers to our relationships and how we interact with our community. Social wellness involves developing communication skills, building healthy relationships, and creating a support system of family, friends and peers. Having good social wellness contributes to our resilience, self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

Strategies to improve your social wellness:

  • Cultivate healthy friendships and/or romantic relationships, and center your wellness within your support networks.

  • Get involved by volunteering on campus or in the local community.

  • Keep an open mind to new experiences and meeting new people, in order to enhance your student experience.

  • Maintain a balance between social and personal time.

  • Reflect on your social needs.

  • Surround yourself with people that make you feel accepted, comfortable and confident.

  • Understand and/or communicate your thoughts and feelings and practice active listening.

Campus resources to improve your social wellness:

Mental

Mental

Mental wellness includes all aspects of mental health and emotional wellbeing. It includes how you feel, think and cope with challenges in your daily life. Mental wellness also includes the ability to experience a range of human emotions and to develop positive feelings about yourself. Mental wellness can impact all other dimensions of wellness.

Strategies to improve your mental wellness:

  • Access free online mental health resources from Wellness Together Canada.

  • Eat healthy foods, exercise or move regularly, and get sufficient sleep.

  • Learn about crisis resources for yourself or others.

  • Learn effective communication strategies.

  • Make self-care and relaxation part of your regular routine.

  • Practice self-kindness and self-compassion.

  • Seek support for your emotional well-being from family, friends, peers or a professional as needed.

  • Try mindfulness and/or meditation.

  • Tune in to how you are feeling each day and honour your needs.

Campus resources to improve your mental wellness:

Vocational

Vocational

Vocational wellness involves using your skills, talents and gifts to gain personal satisfaction, happiness, and enrichment from your work in order to live a fulfilling life. Vocational wellness also refers to seeking out endeavors such as volunteerism and interests that are rewarding, provide meaning and enact positive change.

Strategies to improve your vocational wellness:

  • Be aware of your rights in the workplace and review the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

  • Be open to gaining new experiences, learning new skills and expanding your knowledge to achieve your goals.

  • Explore a variety of career options and select a career path that aligns with your interests and skills.

  • Explore the university's experiential learning opportunities, that will give you a chance to apply the skills learned in class to real scenarios.

  • Identify and use study strategies that work best for you.

  • Maintain a good work-life balance by prioritizing your mental health.

  • Network and build relationships with your peers and colleagues.

  • Set long- and short-term career goals to stay motivated.

  • Volunteer in new roles to identify your interests.

Campus resources to improve your vocational wellness:

  • Apply for the University Works on-campus employment program, designed to help full-time undergraduate students gain useful career-related experiences. Check out the Wellness Corner—a space where University Works employees are encouraged to discover the different facets of wellness and learn about how they can be utilized to create a healthy work-life balance.

  • Book an appointment with an Academic Specialist or Peer Tutor.

  • Check out the events and workshops offered by the Career Centre and get one-on-one support from Career Counsellors and Employment Advisors.

  • Consider attending an upcoming job fair and the Reverse Career Fair to learn more about exciting jobs and career opportunities.

  • Consider enrolling in micro-credentials to learn skills in a short amount of time; find learning experiences that align with your professional goals and interests that you can use right away.

  • Engage in co-curricular activities to build your Student Experience Record.

  • Explore the drop-in sessions and workshops offered by the Student Learning Centre, to strengthen your academic skill set and inspire future academic success.

  • Learn about accommodations and events offered by Student Accessibility Services to help create a more accessible university.

  • Read the Ridgeback Student Voices blog on careers.

  • Register for ilaunch—a  series of workshops to help new graduates launch their careers and learn how to job search effectively.

  • Search nool for online academic resources, videos and tip sheets in writing, math, science, and study skills.

  • Volunteer on campus.

 

Environmental

Environmental

Environmental wellness refers to how the environment impacts our wellness and involves learning about—and contributing to—the health of the planet. Environmental wellness promotes connecting with nature, establishing a sustainable lifestyle, protecting natural resources and eliminating waste. It involves maintaining a strong environmental consciousness and having respect for your surroundings. 

As we face the realities of the climate crisis—including increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels, and intense storms and flooding—it's common to experience feelings of anxiety, grief or hopelessness.

Strategies to improve your environmental wellness:

  • Be aware of your impact on the environment and live in harmony with the Earth.

  • Care for the environment by following the four R’s (reduce, re-use, re-think, recycle).

  • Conserve energy by using energy-efficient light bulbs.

  • Eat locally produced food and visit local farmer's markets.

  • Educate yourself on environmental issues.

  • Maintain a clean, comfortable and organized personal environment.

  • Print less by reading and sharing materials online.

  • Spend time outdoors, and connect with nature by going for hikes or walks.

  • Unplug electronics whenever possible.

  • Use a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and lunch container along with reusable bags or paper bags whenever possible.

  • Walk, ride a bike or take public transportation instead of driving a car.

Campus resources to improve your environmental wellness:

  • Attend a Discussion Café to connect with others on topics related to health and sustainability, and to make a recipe with local, plant-based ingredients.

  • Check out the Guide to Going Green.

  • Explore the sustainable transportation options at the university. 

  • Get involved in supporting sustainability and environmental protection on campus by becoming a Sustainability Champion.

  • Learn more about the Pollinator Project including the wildflower gardens, bee hives, tree nursery, community gardens,  greenhouse and vertical farming.

  • Support the Pollinator Project by purchasing the university's local honey.

  • Visit the Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability to learn more about the sustainability initiatives on campus.

Financial

Financial

Financial wellness involves the ability to meet financial obligations, feeling secure about your financial future and making choices that allow you to enjoy life. Financial struggles are a common source of stress and anxiety for students, and can impact all aspects of wellness.

Strategies to improve your financial wellness:

  • Contact the Student Awards and Financial Aid team for assistance.

  • Develop a budget for food, transportation, tuition, entertainment and incidentals, and try not to make impulse purchases. 

  • Engage in low-cost, self-care activities such as hiking, potluck dinners, and movie or game nights at home.

  • Learn more about the student health and dental insurance plans, which provide coverage for prescription drugs, vision, dental, orthotics, travel insurance and more.

  • Make use of awards, bursaries and scholarships. 

  • Save money by cooking meals at home and eating out less. 

  • Set short-term and long-term financial goals. 

  • Take advantage of all student discounts, and use sale flyers or online coupon mobile applications.

Campus resources to improve your financial wellness:

Spiritual

Spiritual

Spiritual wellness involves developing a set of guiding values, morals, principles and beliefs that give direction to one’s life by providing a sense of meaning, and purpose. While spirituality may involve engaging in religious practice, it's not required to achieve spiritual wellness.

Strategies to improve your spiritual wellness:

  • Consider using a daily gratitude journal to increase your awareness.

  • Continue to seek purpose in your life and recognize that this process takes time.

  • Explore and clarify your personal values and be aware of how they change over time.

  • Learn about faith-based and spiritual services in the local community.

  • Make time for reflection or prayer and to connect with nature.

  • Practice compassion and open-mindedness.

  • Spend quality time with loved ones and have open discussions about values.

Campus resources to improve your spiritual wellness: