The environmental dimension of wellness has more influence on our personal well-being than many of us might realize. Rarely do we take the time to consider how our personal environments may be affecting our emotional, physical, and mental health. Developing your environmental wellness involves trying to live in harmony through understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action on personal and societal responsibilities.
Take the time to consider how your home, work, and other personal environments either help or hinder you to feel as though you are in a space in which you can thrive. Surrounding yourself with supportive atmospheres will help you feel positive and encourage you in achieving goals. Appreciating nature, spending time outdoors, and taking steps to care for our natural environment are also behaviors that help to build feelings of love and nurturance, and are an integral part of our overall environmental wellness.
Here are some quick tips to guide you towards personal environmental wellness:
- Focus on the good. If you are in a bad mood, divert your attention to the positive things around you. Recognizing the joyous laugh of someone walking by or the beauty of a tree whose leaves are turning deep crimson during autumn may help get you back in a positive frame of mind.
- Cut down the clutter. By setting aside five minutes a day to clean, you can affect a simple yet substantial change in your environment. Additionally, if there are items in your home that you haven’t used, worn or touched in a year, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Fill your home with foliage. Placing a few potted plants throughout your home will remove indoor toxins, creating a sense of freshness. If you don’t think you have a green thumb, there are plenty of plants out there that require very little care.
We also develop environmental wellness through acts of sustainability, such as
- Making your travel environmentally friendly. When possible walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation.
- Cleaning green. Using natural or homemade cleaning products is better for you, your home, pets, and the environment. Most household cleaners have a lot of toxic chemicals in them. Check out our Pinterest board for more green cleaning ideas.
- Recycling. Take advantage of campus and community opportunities to recycle all types of materials. Recycle small electronics, batteries, print cartridges, clothing, and shoes at Healthy You, Healthy Earth on Thursday, November 12.
Healthy You, Healthy Earth: November 12
For more than 10 years Health Promotion and Wellness has partnered with campus and local organizations to hold this event highlighting the importance of sustainability and wellness. Healthy You, Healthy Earth will take place on Thursday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. Attend presentations, visit campus and local wellness organizations, register for prizes, and learn about wellness and sustainability resources. Recycle unwanted small electronics, batteries, ink cartridges, clothes, and shoes.
This event is free and open to faculty, staff, students, and friends of Illinois State University.
Additional environmental wellness resources
Ecology Action Center
Environmental Wellness board on Pinterest
Green cleaning board on Pinterest
Horticulture Center at Illinois State University
Office of Sustainability at Illinois State University
Recycling at Illinois State University
Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! 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, environment, 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 towards 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 Wellness.IllinoisState.edu/Seven.