As a free program for all Illinois State students, faculty, and staff, the SEVEN program encourages individuals to engage in the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational.

These seven dimensions are key factors to achieving a balanced, healthy and happy life. By recording activities which fall under the seven dimensions, individuals not only continually benefit their personal wellness, but acquire points for the chance to win various prizes as well.

Wellness can be interpreted in a variety of measures, containing a multitude of different ideas, beliefs and activities. It’s common that we overlook the ways in which we can benefit our personal wellness and fall into the habit of prioritizing ourselves last among the accumulation of our daily responsibilities. However, SEVEN participants find that tracking activities in the name of a little friendly competition can go a long away.

Our 2014–2015 SEVEN winners made personal wellness a priority along their quests for health.

Student winner: Laura Sugano

2014-2015 SEVEN Student Winner Laura Sugano

2014–2015 SEVEN student winner Laura Sugano.

Two-year participant and first-time winner of the SEVEN program, Laura Sugano found that wellness became very important to her by helping her realize that taking care of herself is just as important as the other responsibilities on her priority list.

Sugano notes that SEVEN certainly assisted her in gaining a broader sense of wellness. Additionally, she proposed that treating rest just the same as one would treat homework not only helps avoid studying too late into the night, but also helps one get into the mentality of realizing the two are equally important.

How does SEVEN help you on your road to wellness?

It informed me about classes like the Meditation for Positive Living and encouraged me to take care of myself by providing incentives.

What is your favorite thing about SEVEN?

It provides awareness of different types of wellness.

What is your favorite wellness activity, or the one you do most often, and why?

Yoga. It is a type of moving meditation which helps me to reconnect with my mind and body.

What advice can you share with someone to help them on their wellness journey?

First you need to be aware so that you can find out what it is that you need. You can create this sense of awareness by learning about what it is that you struggle with, may that be through a class, reading, meditating, mindfulness practices, or just talking to someone.

Employee winner: Maureen Parker

2014-2015 SEVEN Employee Winner Maureen Parker

2014–2015 SEVEN employee winner Maureen Parker.

Two-time SEVEN winner Maureen Parker is an administrative clerk in the School of Music who has participated in SEVEN for the last four years. As a brain tumor survivor, Parker does not take her health for granted and works hard to make wellness a priority.

This often means getting up and taking 5:15 a.m. classes so that she doesn’t find an excuse to not exercise later in the day. Parker’s favorite wellness activities include spinning and swimming, but she has also recently picked up long distance running to challenge her comfort zones and set herself up for a future triathlon.

Why is wellness important to you?

We are only given one body, one mind, one spirit. We don’t get “redo” options in life and, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, life is what we make of it. The choices we make related to our healthy lifestyles impact our wellness overall.

How does SEVEN help you on your road to wellness?

The tracking of my experiences allows me to see trends in my own life and motivate me to expand my experiences. We have so many options that it is easy to get into a comfortable place where we don’t experiment with new and different opportunities. What we don’t partake in we do miss out on in our versatility.

Has SEVEN helped you gain a more broad sense of wellness?

Yes, it has helped me to see that wellness is not only physical. Wellness has a psychological aspect to it which profoundly affects us.

How do you make time for wellness in your busy life?

For me, it means waking early to exercise before work. It means prioritizing private time to reflect on personal matters. (Privacy wellness is such a luxury at times.) Socializing with friends allows me to bounce my feelings off of them and hear opinions. Actually, isn’t our “life” our “wellness”? We can’t not have time for who we are and what we experience.

As the two-time employee defending champion, is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you to all who created and maintain the wellness program. We have such wonderful opportunities at ISU to explore. Take advantage of those that interest you. Baby steps lead to larger jumps.

Join SEVEN and discover wellness at Illinois State

Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! SEVEN runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Log your wellness activities to earn points toward incentives and monthly prize drawings. Participants also receive SEVEN newsletters and information on campus wellness events.

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