Be Good To Yourself

I love uplifting music with inspirational messages. Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite musical artists, Ledisi. She has a song called “Be Good To Yourself”, and the following lyrics from that song really resonated with me:

“Oh, when you’re traveling

Through the highs and the lows

Make sure you listen to your spirit

You gotta take care of your soul

Hold on, never give up

You can get through whatever

Always make time

For yourself, whoo”

 These lyrics resonated with me because they reminded me of wellness. wellness

Wellness integrates your mind, body and spirit. The dimensions of wellness is a concept used to express that integration. The model used by UNC Student Wellness integrates the following seven dimensions of wellness:

  1. Physical Wellness which includes the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows you to get through your daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress.
  2. Emotional Wellness which includes the ability to understand yourself and adequately cope with the challenges life brings.
  3. Social Wellness which includes the ability to successfully interact with people in our world, participating in and feeling connected to your community.
  4. Spiritual Wellness which includes your search for meaning and purpose in human existence.
  5. Academic Wellness which includes the ability to open your mind to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment.
  6. Financial Wellness which includes awareness of your current financial state.
  7. Environmental Wellness which includes the ability to recognize (1) your own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds you and (2) that your social, natural, and built environment affect your health.

(To learn more about any of these dimensions please click on the hyperlinks above)

As I reflect on my own journey as a UNC undergraduate and now graduate student, I realize that wellness is often neglected during this time of year. It’s getting close to the end of the semester so there are exams, presentations, and papers galore! Lots of attention is focused on the ‘academic dimension’ of wellness. However, even in the midst of academic craziness, it’s important to, as Ledisi said, “listen to your spirit”, “take care of your soul”, and “make time for yourself”.

In light of the connection between your mind, body and spirit, I encourage you to “Be Good To Yourself” during the end of the semester and think about the other dimensions of your wellness in addition to the ‘academic dimension’. Taking a short break to pay attention to your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, or environmental wellness can help you feel more balanced. At first glance, this list of dimensions may seem overwhelming so here are some simple ideas to get you started.

strechEngage in Activity: Research shows that becoming more active can make you feel better.  Here’s some simple ways you be more active.

  • Take a walk.
  • Take the steps instead of the elevator.
  • Turn on some music and dance around.
  • Take a stretch break.



Connect with Others: Research shows a powerful connection between social connection and well-being. Here’s some simple ways you can build your social relationships.

  • Have lunch with a friend. For a list of on-campus dining options click here
  • Call someone from your hometown.
  • Watch a movie with your roommate. Tip: You can reserve movies for free at the Undergraduate Library- click here to learn more.
  • Need to talk to someone else? Consider talking with a UNC CAPS counselor. They’re open for walk-in first time counseling appointments on Monday – Friday from 9am-12 and 1pm-4. Check the events calendar on the home page for any closures for holidays and

Chill Out: There are many wellness-related benefits of relaxation. Here’s some simple ways you can relax.

Havmusice other simple ideas for how to “Be Good To Yourself”? Share them in the comments section below!


Brock, R. (n.d.). Kids in Action: Stretches and Warm-Ups Clip Art 18 PNGs. Retrieved from

Fox, K. R. (1999). The influence of physical activity on mental well-being. Public health nutrition, 2(3a), 411-418.

Hicks, M. (n.d.). two friends. Retrieved from

Klein, S. (2012, April 16). Stress Awareness Day: 10 Health Benefits Of Relaxation. Retrieved from

Perry, P. (n.d.) Music Clipart Image: Teenager listening to mp3 music player. Retrieved from

Seppala, E (2012, August 26). Connect To Thrive. Retrieved from

Terrigno, N. (n.d.). Friendship Globe Art + Border Graphics fro Multicultural Projects Retrieved from

Originally posted December 2013 by Callie Womble

Callie Womble worked for Student Wellness as an undergraduate and graduate student at UNC. She now is a PhD student at NC State studying Educational Research and Policy Analysis, with a specialization in Higher Education Administration. Her doctoral research agenda focuses on critical race theory; grit and resiliency; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Self-Compassion: Rethinking the Golden Rule


by Kaitlyn Brodar

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We’ve all heard it. For the most part, we’re pretty good at it. Compassion for others comes easily to many of us. But what if we change the words around a bit? “Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.” For many people, this is pretty tough. Many of us have harsh inner critics—you know, that little voice in your head that says you’re a failure, that you’re not good enough, nice enough, attractive enough, smart enough . . . the list goes on. We would never talk to our friends this way! So why do we use such harsh language with ourselves?

compassion3Sometimes we justify our self-criticism, thinking it will motivate us to be better. However, a number of studies actually show the opposite: self-criticism tends to hinder progress toward goals. It’s also associated with several mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety.

Self-compassion, on the other hand, is correlated with markers of positive mental health, happiness, well-being, and adaptive coping strategies. Compassion literally means “to suffer compassion1with.” To be self-compassionate, then, means to suffer with ourselves. Note that this doesn’t mean self-pity—sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves is most certainly not helpful. Instead, it means being patient and kind to ourselves when we are going through hard times or when we fail at something important, just as we would show compassion to a friend who is struggling.

Self-compassion involves three major concepts:

  1. Self-kindness instead of self-criticism. For ways to practice this, check out this Huffington Post article about silencing your inner critic.
  2. A focus on being a member of a common humanity instead of feeling isolated or alone in suffering. We all make mistakes. We all fail. We all go through hard times. It’s what makes us human. You are not alone.
  3. Mindful awareness instead of over-identification with our flaws and failures. It’s good to be aware of the mistakes we’ve made—that’s how we learn and grow. Without this awareness, we would all be narcissists! However, mindful awareness means understanding that failing at something does not make you a failure as a person.

compassion4An excellent way to practice self-compassion is with loving-kindness meditation—check out this website to learn how to practice and to hear what a scientist from UC Berkeley has to say about the practice. This practice can be done anywhere and can be done in 5 minutes or less.

For more information and additional references, click here!