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The Eight Dimensions of Wellness





Click/Tap each icon for information about each Dimension of Wellness and related resources

For immediate help, students can call the UNC Counseling and Psychological Services 24/7 helpline at 919-966-3658.

Faculty and staff can call the Employee Assistance helpline at 877-314-5841.

For additional crisis and COVID-19 and Return to Campus Well-being – specific resources, see the links at the bottom of the page.

There are eight major dimensions of life that impact your overall wellness, and it is important to pursue or maintain healthy habits in each of these areas. Each dimension of wellness plays a role in your personal satisfaction and sense of well-being, and these dimensions are interconnected.

The experience of being human is a dynamic process, unique to every individual. It’s a personal journey evolving over a lifetime. Optimum wellness results from the intentional integration of eight fundamental dimensions of wellbeing, all of which require sound personal health choices relative to your own goals and values. By taking a mindful moment daily, weekly, or monthly to consider whether you are taking the necessary actions, and knowing at any point where one may be doing well and where one may need additional attention, we are more likely to find the balance and optimal wellness for which we are striving. Adjustments are often best achieved in small increments, not ‘all or none’ approaches. Making a change one or two steps at a time or making small incremental changes followed by self-evaluation is usually a process that works best for most of us. Try to remember the mantra, “progress, not perfection, is what I am striving for.”


emotional-wellness-iconEmotional wellness is a broad dimension that incorporates self-care, stress management, and self-regulation with one’s emotions.

  • Understanding one’s self and adequately facing the challenges of life.
  • Managing emotional reactions such as anxiety and depression (when they begin to limit one’s ability to function with confidence).
  • Learning to manage emotional reactions to stress is critical in attaining emotional balance and well-being.
  • Identifying an emotional area of concern and employing coping, persistence, and resilience skills when possible is an important factor to achieving wellness.

World Health Organization Mental Well-being Resources

Health and wellness resources provided by WHO.

The following are articles published by the Greater Good Magazine at UC Berkeley:

How Gratitude Can Transform Your Workplace

How Friends Help You Regulate Your Emotions

Why we all need to practice emotional first aid – Ted Talk.  Stop Emotional Bleeding, Protect Your Self-Esteem, and Battle Negative Thinking (stop ruminating).

The Secret to Building Resilience – focus on providing a variety of connections that help us be more resilient “when we encounter major life or professional challenges.”

Resilience is about how you recharge, not how you endure – “The key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again.“

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Social-Wellness-IconSocial wellness relies on developing healthy relationships with your family, friends, and community.

  • Ability to successfully interact with people in our world.
  • Participating in and feeling connected to your community.
  • Enhanced by establishing supportive social networks through meaningful relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Includes making friends and having fun in a safe and healthy way while using social skills (active listening, relating to others, expressing compassion and empathy, community engagement, expressing genuine interactions with others) –to make ourselves feel safe, included and supported.
  • Important to realize we each have different personalities, previous life experiences and different likes/dislikes that may inform how, when, and where we prefer to interact with others.
  • Regardless, it is important to take time to reflect on and understand what your own unique social preferences are and to appreciate and value those.
  • It is helpful and healthy to stretch and challenge ourselves socially –but we all benefit from not trying to be something we simply are not.

Ideas for connecting with others, in person when possible or virtually:

  • Work and study dates
  • Dinners and happy hours
  • Book clubs
  • Hiking outdoors with friends or family


A website where you can find and participate in local in-person events and activities to find friends, share a hobby, or network.


Discover local events in your area.

NIH Social Wellness Toolkit

Learn about 7 strategies for improving your social health including how to make connections, bond with your kids, build healthy relationships, shape your family’s health habits, etc.

Six Techniques to Help you Bridge Differences

In 2020, the Greater Good Science Center partnered with NationSwell and Einhorn Collaborative to produce a series of videos about some of the most exciting, science-based solutions to our social and political divisions. Here are some highlights from that partnership.

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Spiritual-wellness-IconSpiritual wellness is composed of one’s personal beliefs and values – but does not necessarily have to be affiliated with a religion. This dimension of wellness aids us in the search for purpose in our lives.

  • Recognizes our search for purpose in human existence.
  • Involves cultivating meaning in life and finding connections to the world outside yourself.
  • Works to align actions, beliefs, and values to promote wellness.
  • Religion may play a part in spirituality but there are many different ways to explore and express spirituality depending on personal beliefs, cultural contexts, and upbringing.
  • It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others.
  • It is best to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs –this promotes wellness and being true to oneself.

One-Minute Guided Meditation

Audio with instructions to help you meditate. Paid mindfulness sessions also available.


Mindfulness and breathing exercises available online, at a reduced/free cost for students.

Mindfulness via Webex

20-minute mindfulness sessions offered Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays at 12:15 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 am and 4 pm.

Dartmouth Guided Audio Recordings

Mindfulness recordings for deep breathing and relaxation, guided imagery and visualization exercises, meditation, and progressive relaxation exercises.

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career-wellness-iconOccupational wellness involves balancing your work, school, and home life, as well as gaining a sense of fulfillment with the work that you do.

  • Personal satisfaction and enrichment through work/occupation.
  • Fulfillment from the chosen career field while maintaining balance in life.
  • The desire to contribute to a career to make a positive impact.
  • Contribute unique gifts/skills/talents to work that is personally meaningful and rewarding

Short Online Work Life Balance Course

Self-paced course to help guide work-life balance.

Student Tutoring

Free tutoring services are available for Pharm.D. students through the Office of Curricular and Student Affairs and the Rho Chi Honor Society. It is highly recommended that students seek help from their course TA and Course Director if they have a grade lower than a B in any class.

Wellness Strategies for Those Experiencing Microaggressions Plus Workplace Stress (recorded webinar)

Note: This is a free on-demand webinar. Registration is required to view the on-demand session.

In this webinar, two librarians and a counselor educator shared strategies for personal responses by individuals, allies and up-standers, and discussed ways to change workplace culture.

CDC NIOSH Total Worker Health Webinar Series

Free webinar series aimed at providing the latest research and case studies for protecting the safety and health of workers everywhere.  Includes a variety of topics like Advancing Working Family Well Being, Sedentary Work, and Workplace Stress. Created by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

5 Ways to Boost your Resilience at Work – exercise mindfulness, compartmentalize your cognitive load, take detachment breaks, develop mental agility, and cultivate compassion.

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Financial-Wellness-IconFinancial wellness involves being aware of your financial situation, including creating a plan for the future and understanding how different aspects of finance work.

  • Acknowledges that everyone’s financial circumstances are different.
  • Involves setting and achieving short and long-term personal financial goals within the context of resources available to us.
  • Regardless of financial situation, we all benefit from thinking critically about what are our actual needs, versus wants, versus extras.
  • Student loans can impact wellness –mounting student debt can be a stressor –so learning more about finances and repayment options is key.
  • Credit cards can be a risk for students and the high interest they charge –students should only charge what is essential.


Free online financial education course.

The White Coat Investor: 

Financial blog catered to medical professionals.


Budget tracking and planner app to help you manage your spending.

Financial and loan management

Video on financial and loan management. Note: ONYEN required to view.

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environment-iconEnvironmental wellness involves understanding how humans impact the environment and making choices that keep our planet healthy. Environmental wellness can be improved in a number of ways, such as by adopting environmentally-friendly or sustainable living practices, or by spending more time in nature.

  • Achieved by gaining an understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment.
  • Environmental circumstances can impact our health and wellness.

Social environment:

  • The arena in which people interact with others through personal interaction or electronically.
  • Example of a negative environment: peer pressure –bullying, character assassination, body shaming, personal attacks can have a negative effect
  • Example of a positive environment –praise, compliments, and empathy can have a positive impact.

Built environment:

  • How we set up the area we live, study, and socialize in.
  • The area that we have the most control. §Our home can be our retreat and respite place and can turn there for relaxation/renewal.
  • Important to make our living environment comfortable.

Natural environment:

  • The ecosystem around us –air, water, earth, plant life, wildlife–impact our health and wellness.
  • Getting outside and experiencing nature in various ways is essential to well-being.
  • Particularly connected to physical and emotional health

NIH Environmental Wellness Toolkit

Learn about 7 strategies for improving your environmental health. More resources are available here too.

Carolina Community Garden

Work alongside other members of the Chapel Hill community to yield fresh sustainable produce.

Edible Campus UNC

Volunteer with other students at UNC to grow food that will be recirculated back into the Carolina Community.

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Physical-wellness-iconPhysical wellness consists of nutrition, exercise, and health care choices. There are a variety of ways to improve one’s physical wellness.

  • Not considered a “one size fits all” when considering physical health, activity levels, and body size.
  • Involves maintaining a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress.
  • Not only the absence of illness but also living a thriving, active life –whatever that means for the individual.
  • Adopting healthy habits (e.g. routine medical exams, immunizations, balanced diet, daily exercise, sufficient rest, managing stress).
  • Avoiding or minimizing higher risk choices and behaviors (e.g. tobacco, drugs, alcohol).

My Fitness Pal

Track calories, exercises, and break down ingredients in foods with this app.

Hiking in North Carolina

Information for popular hiking spots across NC.

Nike Run Club:

Run with friends, and track your progress.

American Heart Association Move More Together At Home Workouts

YouTube playlist featuring guided mindful meditation, yoga, strength and cardio workouts, dance parties and more.

American Heart Association Healthy for GoodTM Movement

Join the movement for free to get easy tips and tools to build healthy habits for life including tasty recipes, shareable tips, videos and hacks.


Free combinations of workouts for quick exercise throughout the day ranging from yoga to arm exercises to leg exercises to self defense and more.

UNC Campus Intramural Sports

Intramural Sports offer the opportunity for participants to compete against their peers in a friendly and structured environment through a variety of team sports and individual/dual activities that fit their needs.

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Itellectual-Wellness-IconIntellectual wellness is fostered by keeping your brain active and by continually learning.

  • Involves opening our minds to new ideas and experiences (“growth mindset”) that can be applied to personal decisions, group interactions, and community betterment.
  • Includes learning in and out of the classroom and using knowledge to inform future decision-making.
  • Acknowledges that you are here to grow and develop your mind for both a solid experience and for your future career.

Online Psychological First Aid App

Become trained for psychological first aid.

The Science of Well-being

A free online course by Yale Professor Laurie Santos that will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.

EdX online course platform

Access online courses with subjects ranging from computer science, language, humanities, business and finances, etc. Most classes can be audited for free, or you can pay to receive CE credits or a certificate.

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Additional Resources

Always Remember:

If you realize that you have too much on your plate and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to say you’re not okay and reach out for help. 

Campus Health

Campus Health appointments are being made by phone 919-966-2281 or you may request an appointment on the Healthy Heels Portal and a scheduling staff will call you back.

Eshelman Care Line

Call to speak to an OCSA representative:


CAPS (24/7 Phone Line)

Counseling and Psychological Services


Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor

Suicide Hotline


Suicide Prevention

These resources are designed to be used as an initial “bridge” of support until you can establish yourself at a long-term care provider.

Office of Curricular and Student Affairs

The Office of Curricular and Student Affairs has student support (OCSA Student Support) and a virtual space for Pharm.D., Ph.D. and MS students, which can be accessed for immediate service. If you would like to speak to a member of OCSA, you may do so by clicking this link: OCSA Virtual Office between the hours of 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

CAPS Regular Hours 

Counseling and psychological services, addressing the mental health needs of students. Please only visit Campus Health after calling first (919-966-2281) and scheduling an appointment.

Employee Assistance Program 

EAP is a program is for UNC employees that provides confidential counseling by phone (877-314-5841) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You or family members may call or visit at any time to receive counseling.

  • First time users can create a free account using Web ID: TARHEELS
  • On the go? Download the “GuidanceResources Now” app with web ID: TARHEELS

UNC Peer2Peer Group

Peer2Peer is a student-led group that advocates for the mental well-being of the members within our community through peer support. We offer free one-to-one sessions to talk with a peer responder with the option of remaining anonymous. Open to any graduate and undergraduate students at UNC.

Community-based Wellness Coaching for Carolina Students

At Student Wellness, our focus is helping students excel academically and socially as they face many opportunities and challenges.

Session Characteristics:

  • Meet 1 on 1 with a professional coach as often as you request (usually weekly or bi-weekly)
  • Sessions last 45-60 minutes and are private and virtual
  • Coaching partnerships are long-term and can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months (or beyond)
  • Areas of focus can include, but aren’t limited to: stress management, self-care practices, sleep hygiene or refining your life vision and values.

COVID-Specific Resources


The JED Team Coronavirus Resource Guide

Provides resources and tips for protecting mental health and supporting each other during the COVID-19 pandemic

CDC COVID Resources for Mental Health

The following are articles published by the Greater Good Magazine at UC Berkeley:

Six Ways to Manage Coronavirus Depression




The following podcasts have been released by the Greater Good Foundation from UC Berkeley:



Conquering Zoom Fatigue

Article providing tips to overcome fatigue from daily Zoom classes and meetings

Your Home Office and Your Health

Article providing tips on how to properly set up your home office

How to Find Your Focus While Working from Home

Provides helpful tips to staying focused during the quarantine.

How to Work at Home with Resilience and Less Stress

A video from UNC regarding working from home.

Faculty Mentoring and Support Resources During the Pandemic


UNC Campus Recreation Free On-Demand Fitness Classes

At-home exercise and meal prepping videos.






Virtual Museum Tours

Visit popular museums from across the world virtually.

Virtual Concerts

Watch concerts online live.

Google Arts and Culture

Explore famous sites and watch live performances.

Tips for returning to work

Article on emotions with  returning to work and ways to deal with anxiety or safety concerns

Self Care Amid COVID-19

Information with ways to ease the transition process into the office and self-care guidance

Managing return-to-work anxiety

Short video on how to handle the workplace and deal with colleagues

Podcast: Return to work anxiety

Experts Tracy Nathanson, Dr. Ernesto Lira de la Rosa and Dr. Michael J. Provitera talk of the workplace post-covid and discusses popular questions concerning it

Tips for returning to college

Information geared for college students looking for ways to cope with returning to college and ways to handle feelings of nervousness and anxiety. NOTE: While originally written in Fall 2020, specifically sections “Are You Anxious About Returning to Campus,” and “How to Reduce Your Anxiety Next Semester.”