The winter months can be tough. From holiday cheer hangovers to the winter blues, there are many reasons people feel a little down this time of year. Emotions are how you feel at any given time. From happiness to sorrow, for better or worse, we are able to feel a wide variety of emotions—sometimes at the same time. When considering wellness, people tend to think of physical activity or nutrition first. But your emotional well-being is a crucial part of your overall health. Feelings are hard for some people to express and talk about. Being aware of what you are feeling can help you to channel your emotions into productive, positive feelings. Achieving emotional balance lays the foundation for total body well-being. Here are some ways to maintain your emotional dimension of wellness.

Manage stress

Stress can damage both emotional and physical wellness. Find an outlet to manage your stress. For some, a workout helps alleviate daily stress. For others, a hobby helps keep them calm. Health Promotion and Wellness has programs available to help manage stress. Massage dates, guided relaxation, therapy dogs, yoga, and t’ai chi are just some of the resources available from Health Promotion and Wellness for stress management.

Seek balance

We are pulled in a million different directions daily, making balance hard. Be practical about your responsibilities and what you can feasibly accomplish. Being overwhelmed hinders productivity and focus, and can have physical implications as well. Set realistic goals and priorities, and tackle what needs to be done first. Don’t forget to reserve time for your own needs too!

Be positive

It is easy to get caught up in negative thoughts or people. Whenever you feel that happening, immediately redirect and focus on the positive parts of a situation. Write positive affirmations down and repeat to yourself as necessary. As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people. It is OK to limit your association with someone because of their negative outlook. If you must interact with him or her, keep exchanges brief and mentally prepare yourself for possible negativity in the conversation.

Accept mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable. As hard as we may try, no one is perfect. It is important to acknowledge when you have done wrong, accept it, and then move on. The quicker you can address the error, the sooner you are able to move forward. If your mistake involves others, be sure to talk with them as soon as possible. Letting the issue fester can lead to even more stress.

This too shall pass

Whenever you hit a bump the road remember that this too shall pass. The only constant thing in life is change. While some rough patches go on much longer than we’d like, with time things will look up. Try not to dwell on the bad and look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Accept support

Often, getting things off your chest makes you feel better. Talk to someone about how you feel. Whether it is a trusted friend or a trained professional, you do not need to go through tough times alone. Students can get help from the Student Counseling Center by calling (309) 438-3655. Employee help is available through the Employee Assistance Program at (866) 659-3848.


Join Seven
Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority in 2015! Seven is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Participants log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings and compete toward end of the year overall point totals. Participants also receive the Seven e-newsletter and information on campus wellness events. For additional details and to sign up, visit

Additional emotional wellness resources
Guided Relaxation Audio
Information on Seasonal Affective Disorder
Lifestyle Enhancement Program from Health Promotion and Wellness

Meditation for Positive Living class for employees and students
Mindfulness Class for Students
PAWSitively Stress Free
Student Counseling Service’s Self Health & Assessments