Introduction to health part 3 with SOU Campus Recreation

Introduction to Health Part 3: “Different Lives, Different Bodies, Different Paths”

It’s Alivia here to wrap up our Introduction to Health Series with Part 3! At this point, you have been to the gym and even started some sort of routine. This doesn’t mean that the insecurities have ended or that getting motivated has become easier. That is all perfectly fine and perfectly normal. The mind and the body work as one, so as long as you treat both well, both will eventually improve. Insecurities will come and go, but staying consistent with treating yourself right will hopefully keep them at bay longer. All I want is for you to let yourself be proud. Be proud of yourself for showing up every day, be proud of yourself for all the progress you have already made, and be proud of yourself for finally prioritizing your health.

I know that I have talked a lot about eating right and working out, so I’m sure it is all starting to sound like a fitness influencer-esc. But today, I want to talk about living the life that fits you, your body, and your path. It is hard to scroll through social media every day and see how easy it is for everyone to wake up at 5am to go to the gym and eat super clean all day. I just want to clarify that this is all superficial and is simply not realistic. You only see all the good moments, not the lazy days where balance is created. In order for you to crush a workout or stick to an eating plan, you have to have days where you let your body rest and eat what it wants. Having five days of 60-minute sweaty workouts means you get 1 or 2 days of movie marathons with a side of your favorite comfort food. Days like those make the workouts and clean eating seem much less daunting.

That being said, there are so many other reasons you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to people on social media or people you see every day (in the gym or not). Comparing yourself to others will do nothing but feed into those nagging insecurities when you have already worked so hard to push them down. There are so many factors that go into how people look and live their lives that are entirely out of anyone’s control; there is simply no point in comparison. One single weight can look ten different ways on ten different people. Everyone’s version of health varies immensely, so let me make it less ambiguous: as long as you feel good about yourself, you are putting in the effort to take care of yourself, and you are living your personalized version of a balanced lifestyle, you are indeed the perfect example of health.

Before ending this healthy series, I want to give a big shout-out to Campus Recreation for nurturing me throughout my own fitness journey. The best thing about the Student Recreation Center at SOU is how inclusive, welcoming, and non-judgmental the community is. I am graduating this spring, and I know how much I will miss the positive gym culture and community I’ve surrounded myself with here. I’ve felt so supported by people that I would have never met otherwise, and it feels so good to walk up those stairs to see the same (plus new) faces I see every day. After soccer, I wasn’t really sure how I would make new friends since I never really had to before with sports. However, I can without a doubt say that investing in myself at the SRC gym brought me a great group of people that made me feel safe, supported, and included. I would say that the SRC gym is probably one of the best and most positive gym environments to house your health journey, no matter what it entails.

Throughout this three-part series, we have gone over diet, fitness, and everything in between that it takes to develop those qualities. Once you have gotten into the best routine for you, you come across a natural lifestyle for yourself. Making health and wellness a priority in your life will only be effective if you create the balance that I talked about previously. When exercising a few days a week is no longer a chore but a habit, and when you no longer associate your diet with being limited in any way, then you have created THE lifestyle. This lifestyle will help you shape the happiest version of yourself: someone that will feel good about who they are and what they are doing. Someone that I am already proud of and that you can finally be proud of as well. By waking up for the last few weeks or months and actively choosing yourself and your health, you made it exponentially easier for yourself today and future you to do so. By staying consistent, you have planted the seeds for yourself to thrive going forward. You have done the hardest part at this point, I promise. Of course, there will always be challenges, but at this point, you have gotten over the hump of the beginning stages and have begun the happy path of a well-versed health-journey traveler.

Intro To Health Part 2 SOU Campus Recreation

Introduction to Health Part 2: “What You Want is What You Do”

Content Warning: this article contains mention of diet culture and weight loss.

Hi everyone, Alivia here again! It looks like you committed yourself to Part 1 of your journey and have graduated to Part 2. I know you are probably saying to yourself that you haven’t done much yet, but plot twist: you have already made a hundred steps in the right direction. Over 50% of committing to this journey is simply showing up, and well, here you are! Part 1 was a simple layout that went over a few key factors of committing to your health journey. For Part 2, I would like to take some time to go over a few tips and tricks of the fitness world. Starting anything new is the recipe for insecurity, so I will ease you into the next few steps.

Gym Etiquette
Walking into the SRC gym, or any other gym, for the first time in your life or after a long time away can always be intimidating. You may be scared of some machines/exercises, you may feel uncomfortable in your workout clothes, and you may even be overwhelmed with no direction on what to do. The truth is, growth is uncomfortable; however, the good news is that everyone else in that gym is uncomfortable too. I enjoy gym culture because everyone is there to work on themselves, and when you commit to that culture, people will start supporting your growth more and more the longer you stay committed to it. Here are a few do’s and don’ts just to make sure you respect everyone else’s journey there.


  • Clean off the equipment after using it
  • Re-rack any weights after use in their correct place
  • Offer someone a spotter if they look like they might need/want help
  • Cheer others on


  • Stand in front of others in the mirror
  • Crowd others while they’re working out
  • Hog time on a popular machine or piece of equipment (especially during busy hours)
  • Judge others

As long as you keep these few tips in mind, you shouldn’t have any issues with any other gym-goers.


Beginner Workouts
Our generation is blessed with the internet, meaning you could have literally no idea what workouts to do; however, YouTube will always have your back. No matter where you are in your fitness journey or what parts of your body you want to target, there will be workouts you can find. When you are first starting, you will want to choose lighter weights and work on your form/technique. So grab some 10 lb dumbbells and start working on your curls for the girls. Working on the basics first will decrease your chances of injury later on. Most gyms also have people who can help you, but that is only if you want guidance. The majority of the staff at the SRC also has some good knowledge of workout equipment if you ever need any help as well.

Start with your basic exercises until you get a better idea of what you are doing and where you want to go with your growth. Machines like the leg press or the shoulder press will have descriptions on them to help guide you too, which will minimize injury. You could be someone that wants to do a 30-minute HIIT workout, you could be someone that wants to do strict abs and cardio, or you could be someone that goes to the gym every day for 2 hours and has an assigned day for each muscle group. You may even just want to utilize the studio room and do some fun dancing in front of the mirrors. Whatever you want to do, we have the machines, equipment, and support at the SRC to help you do it in hopes that you show up doing it for you and because it is what you want for yourself.


Diet culture is probably one of my least favorite aspects of the fitness industry. There are always 100 different people telling you 100 different ways of eating. They tell you to cut all carbs and sugars out, they tell you to minimize your calories, and they tell you to basically starve yourself if you have any desire to lose a couple of pounds. In reality, none of those concepts can become a lifestyle. Those are not concepts you can work into becoming a simple part of your life. Those concepts are just shortcuts to an unhealthy relationship with food with a side of weight loss. That weight loss will only stay around for a limited amount of time, though, since cutting all those foods out isn’t a way anyone can live happily for a prolonged amount of time.

What has worked the best for me personally (which isn’t always for everyone, so take it with a grain of salt) is simply eating everything in moderation. Depending on your goals, the portions of food you are consuming will vary. This means you don’t cut out any food group altogether. It could just mean decreasing your added sugar intake or trying to eat healthier carbs. Finding the balance of food that works best for you is all about listening to your body and feeding it what it needs. Your diet will directly reflect how you feel both physically and mentally. A diet that fits your lifestyle will make you feel better than you ever have. Diets can also be relative to your goals; if you want to lose weight, you’ll just have to be in a caloric deficit, burning more calories than you are consuming. If you’re trying to gain weight, you will have to maximize your caloric intake. Daily exercise, from walks to weight lifting, to running, will promote good health no matter what foods your diet consists of. The best thing you can do for yourself within your health journey is to find a way of life that makes you feel good about what you are putting in your body as well as what you’re doing with your body on a daily basis.


Between diet and exercise, there will always be a balance. As long as you have a solid daily routine of your movement and diet, there is always room for days where you do nothing but sit on the couch and binge eat ice cream or popcorn. Eating in moderation means you can have daily treats, and having a workout plan means you have rest and recovery days. That is how you keep yourself physically healthy and mentally healthy as well. You just have to always remember that what you are doing is for you, and it is to make YOU happy. Those who can’t get behind that may just have to take a step to the side so you can keep moving forward towards better things. And what is better than good overall health?

Introduction to Health 1 With SOU Campus Recreation

Introduction to Health Part 1: “Various sizes, Shapes, and Mental States”

Content Warning: this blog contains mention of eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and dieting. 

Hey friends, my name is Alivia and I am a senior this year at SOU. I spent my time here as a member of the Women’s Soccer Team, a Building Lead at the SRC, working toward a Communication degree with a certificate in Marketing along with a minor in Spanish, and stressing about all of your normal college kid things. I’ve been playing soccer since I was nine years old, which means I found myself starting my fitness journey early on in life. Throughout my life so far I’ve been on the very top and very bottom of the fitness pyramid. If you read further on I will begin telling you a little more about my experiences with health and fitness as well as provide a little advice. Just be aware that all of my advice is based on what has worked for me personally and that health comes to people in unique, personalized ways so take what I say with a grain of salt.

If you are reading this now you have fortunately stumbled across your sign to start focusing on yourself a little more. Today is the beginning of you choosing yourself, loving yourself, and bettering yourself each date. It seems that society has driven people to see health as a simple, single-definition term, when in reality it may be one of the most ambiguous terms out there. Coming from someone who has been a few sizes smaller as well as a few sizes bigger, I can tell you health comes in many sizes, shapes, and mental states. No health or fitness journey is an easy, steady incline. This journey is a never-ending series of ups and downs.

Some background knowledge about me? I have been playing soccer since I was nine years old; from recreational, to club, to semi-pro, to collegiate here at SOU. I have been training in weight-lifting since I was a freshman in high school and it is a part of my daily routine to this day. I wake up every morning and drink my green smoothie and take my dog for a walk. Now you may think I sound like the epitome of your classic TikTok health influencer that is in no way relatable. However, there is a twist to my story. I have had three career-ending surgeries, I struggled with an eating disorder, and I will be taking medication for the rest of my life for my body to function properly and stay alive. Although I’ve soaked in many joyous moments I have also sunk into the depths of anxiety and depression. I have hated my body, I have hated my life, and I have hated getting up to be reminded of how much my abilities have changed. So if you want to take it from someone, take it from me, no matter where you are in your fitness and health journey I am here to help.

Health has multiple aspects: body, mind, and soul. Taking time out of your day to focus on each of these will kick you off on your road to success. Notice how I said each day? That is because consistency will be the key to any fitness and health goal you would like to set for yourself. Whether your goals are related to being able to deadlift 250 lbs, running a 5k, looking at yourself in the mirror with a positive attitude each morning, or walking 5,000 steps a day, you must stay consistent. Stay consistent with your diet as well. However, do not confuse a healthy diet with cutting out all carbs and strictly eat carrots and spinach. A healthy diet is a way of eating that makes you feel good both mentally and physically. Food is the fuel your body and mind need to function. Food includes a variety of dimensions and all should be enjoyed in moderation. Remember that no matter what your goals are, they are yours and only yours. If people want to support you embrace it, but if you feel like people are judging you, here are my two cents. Today is about you, this moment is about you, this journey is about you; no one else’s opinions matter, and no one else can decide what you are able to accomplish besides the person looking back at you in the mirror.

This is the first part of a health campaign I am running through Campus Rec, so here is your first set of instructions for starting your journey…

  1. Figure out what your goals are
  2. Write them down
  3. Wake up the following morning and give yourself three positive affirmations
  4. Reread your goals and either create a plan for yourself on how to achieve them or contact me for help on how to do so

Good luck, I am rooting for you!

Move In Essentials At Southern Oregon University

Move-In Essentials

If you are reading this now, you’re probably about to fly the coop and begin your first year at Southern Oregon University. The college experience is full of surprises and unexpected moments, and we’re here to help you control the controllable. You can’t prepare for many college predicaments, but packing all the essentials before Move-In Day can help you feel more comfortable and at home in your new space. Below you will find some dorm room hacks and items to pack to ensure you have the best college hall experience possible.

  1. A Fan – Airflow is crucial in the residence halls. Whether your room is hot, stuffy, or stinky, a fan will always create a more comfortable environment for you to live in.
  2. Extra Storage – Here in Ashland you will experience every season to the fullest. This means you will need clothes for hot weather and extra chilly (and rainy) weather. Extra storage bins and organization helpers for under your bed/in your closet will enable you to keep clothes that aren’t in season close by yet out of the way.
  3. Weighted Blanket – If you tend to be a colder person, this one is for you. The halls don’t always stay the warmest during the cooler months, so a weighted blanket is key for whenever you are relaxing or studying in your room.
  4. Bowl, Cup, Plate, Utensils – When you have leftovers or don’t want to go to the Hawk for food, having some items to eat with and off of in your room is super handy. Each room is equipped with a sustainable microwave and fridge, so some utensils will definitely come in handy.
  5. Electric Kettle – Along with the kitchen utensils, an electric kettle you can plug in to boil water is clutch. Top Ramen is a college staple food, but you can also make tea or other boiled foods/drinks.
  6. Mattress Topper – Beds in the residence halls aren’t always the most comfortable, so a mattress topper can really save the day (and your back). Even thin ones make a big comfort difference.
  7. Bedside/Desk Lamp – While you are coexisting with a roommate, more often than not, one of you will be staying up later than the other. In these cases having a smaller light for late-night studying will help out. The overhead lights don’t have to be on, and you won’t bother your sleepy roomie.
  8. A lanyard – This may sound simple and unnecessary; however, you DO NOT want to lose your room key! Having a key lanyard will help you keep track of your key and always have it in reach. Plus, you can hang your key on the door handle, so you always remember to grab it before you leave your room.

Packing for college may sound pretty stressful or overwhelming, but the best thing you can do is start small and then buy as you go. This will ensure you don’t waste any money buying things you might not need. In addition, starting small will leave you with room to learn what you need as you go…which translates to the college experience as a whole. Plan to grow throughout your entire time in college; that’s the best part!

Learn About Spiritual Wellness with SOU Campus Recreation

Spiritual Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. Our last dimension of focus in this series is spiritual wellness.

What is spiritual wellness?
Spiritual wellness helps you establish meaning and purpose in your life through systems of faith, beliefs, ethics, and principles. This dimension of wellness helps you find meaning in your human existence, appreciate your life experience, and add purpose to your everyday life.

Questions to help you assess your spiritual wellness:

  • Do I meditate or pray?
  • Do I have a strong moral compass?
  • Do my values guide my decisions?
  • Am I accepting of other people’s views?
  • What gives my life purpose and meaning?
  • Do I consider myself religious?

Tips for Spiritual Wellness

Tips for working on your spiritual wellness:

  • Explore your inner self and nail down your beliefs.
  • Spend time in prayer, meditation, and mindfulness.
  • Look for a religion or group that you identify with. This can help you find guidance and community in your everyday life.
  • Try to figure out what gives your life purpose – why you want to wake up every day – and do more of that.

How can SOU help you improve your spiritual wellness?

  • During normal operations, visit The Oasis in the SRC. In this room, you have access to a massage chair, quiet music, and the ability to relax, meditate, or pray.
  • Join a club on campus to help you connect with spiritual wellness, such as religious clubs, meditation clubs, or yoga clubs. You can find a whole list of clubs on SOU Presence.
  • Group counseling through the Student Health and Wellness Center may be able to help you truly express your inner self and be a part of a group that can support you.
Learn About Social Wellness with SOU Campus Recreation

Social Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. Our next dimension of focus is social wellness.

What is social wellness?
Social wellness is all about the relationships that you have and how you interact with others. This dimension entails socializing, understanding the relationships in your life, and balancing your personal and social life.

Questions you can ask yourself to assess your social wellness:
Like all wellness dimensions, social wellness requires you to be mindful. Knowing yourself and how you feel in different types of social situations can help you find that balance between feeling nurtured and full in your relationships and becoming socially burnt out. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help understand your social wellness a little better.

  • Am I spending enough time with family and friends?
  • Am I spending too much time alone? Am I not spending enough time alone?
  • Are the relationships in my life uplifting or do they bring me down?
  • Are my relationships diverse? Do I have friends with different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs?
  • What is my relationship with social media and other online communities?

Tips for Social Wellness


Tips for working on your social wellness:

  • Reach out to people that you have never spoken to or haven’t talked to in a while.
  • Bring your casual acquaintances closer. Maybe you have a coworker you get along well with or a classmate that makes your study group a little more fun. Invite them to an activity outside of work/class and create a friendship.
  • Join a new club, organization, or sports team to be able to socialize more.
  • Work toward healing broken relationships. Healing doesn’t always necessarily mean reconciliation, although that can be the goal for some. It’s more about finding closure, whatever that means for your particular relationship.
  • Attend new events. Try and push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then, and attend a social event you might not normally be drawn to.
  • Visit with family and friends often (safely during COVID, of course).
  • Curate your social media feeds carefully, and make sure to unfollow people or accounts that don’t make you happy.
  • Keep your relationships positive. Venting with your friends can be a great way to help work through emotions. However, no one likes hanging out with someone who only ever brings negative energy. Make sure you’re listening and bringing plenty of positivity to your interactions.

How can SOU help you improve your social wellness?

Learn About Physical Wellness with SOU Campus Recreation

Physical Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. Our focus this week is physical wellness.

What is physical wellness?
Physical wellness means taking proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning. Although fitness is an aspect of physical wellness, it is not all that it entails. Nutrition, sleep, and your mental wellbeing are also significant parts of this aspect of wellness.

People might tend only to consider the physical dimension when thinking about overall wellbeing. However, physical wellness is just as interconnected and affected by the other seven dimensions as any other aspect of wellness. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems can manifest with physical symptoms. It’s essential to look at your wellbeing holistically and learn to be mindful of how each dimension affects you and your body.

Tips for Physical Wellness

Tips for working on your physical wellness:

Try and stay active as much as possible. Some examples are taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going on walks, working out, or participating in a recreational sport. Find a type of activity you enjoy, and it won’t ever feel like a chore.

Eat mindfully. Eating healthy can be challenging, especially if you’re a student strapped for cash (or if you’re staring down the unlimited options at the Hawk). Certain foods aren’t inherently bad – just be mindful of what you eat and try to make sure you’re consuming a good balance of complex carbs, protein, fats, and fruits and veggies. Also, don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Check out the Student’s Guide to Nutrition from Best Colleges if you want some tips for making the most out of your meals at the dining hall.

Get outside. Even spending just a little time outdoors every day can majorly improve your mood and physical wellness. Try switching your indoor cardio workout for an outdoor jog or hike, or take your study session outdoors. Just make sure you wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water if you’re going to be outside for an extended period!

Drink water. Water is essential for almost all the systems in your body to function correctly (sorry, energy drinks, sodas, coffee, and anything else packed with sugar doesn’t count). Being dehydrated can cause you to feel groggy, irritated, and unfocused. The amount of water you need per day will be different for everyone, and factors include sex, weight, activity level, and climate. The common recommendation of eight 8oz glasses a day works as a base, but you’ll likely need more. Check out this article from Healthline for more information on how to estimate your water needs.

Get plenty of sleep. Just like water, the amount of sleep you get can affect all aspects of your wellness. Consistently not getting enough sleep can lead to serious health problems over the long run, including diabetes and heart disease. So start your bedtime routine early, stop scrolling through social media in bed, and make sure you’re getting the right amount of z’s.

Do sweat the small stuff. Ensure you do all the little things you know you need to do to maintain your physical wellbeing. Brush your teeth, take your medication, fix your posture, keep up with your hygiene, and get some sunlight. Creating a routine where you take care of all your basic physical needs creates an excellent foundation for your physical wellness and can help you still feel ok on days where you don’t get enough sleep or activity.

The obvious: stay away from behaviors that could cause you harm. Avoid drugs, binge drinking, unsafe sex, and other risky activities that could cause permanent damage to your physical health.

How can SOU help you improve your physical wellness?


Learn About Intellectual Wellness from SOU Campus Recreation

Intellectual Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. Our next dimension of focus is intellectual wellness.

What is intellectual wellness?
Intellectual wellness is the act of engaging your creative abilities and participating in different mentally-stimulating activities to expand your knowledge and brain function. There are many different ways to increase your intellectual wellness such as learning new things, engaging in your curiosity, using your problem-solving skills, stepping out of your comfort zone, and learning how to respond well to challenges.

You might think that being a college student already counts as working on your intellectual wellness. However, engaging your brain in activities outside of your schoolwork can actually help you destress and refocus. Remember – part of working on your overall wellness is finding balance, being mindful, and taking breaks when you need them.

Tips for Intellectual Wellness

Tips for working on your intellectual wellness:

  • Start a new hobby. This could be anything from cooking, to knitting, to photography.
  • Learn a new language. There are many free apps available (Duolingo is a popular resource).
  • Read a book that aligns with your interests.
  • Watch the news. There are many uplifting news channels out there such as The Goodnews Network and The Optimist Daily.
  • Engage in puzzles or mentally-stimulating games/activities such as card games, Rubik’s cubes, or crosswords.
  • Host a trivia night with your friends.
  • Painting, drawing, and coloring all help boost creativity.
  • Take “mind breaks” to recharge. If you’re feeling mentally exhausted, it might be time to do something mindless like rewatching your favorite TV show.

How can SOU help you improve your intellectual wellness?

  • Head to the SRC and take time off at the Oasis! The Oasis is a relaxation room in the SRC where you can use a massage chair and recharge your mind. Note: the Oasis is currently closed, but will reopen when we can return to normal operations.
  • The Hannon Library can offer research help, tutoring service, and a writing center to help with schoolwork.
  • To find a new job to help you learn new skills, SOU provides job listings on Handshake and through the Office of Career Connections.
  • Join a club on campus. A full list of clubs and organizations is available on SOU Presence.
Campus Rec's Tips for Creating New Year's Resolutions

How to Create (and Stick to) a New Year’s Resolution

It’s the end of December, which means it’s time to start creating some goals for the new year. Whether you write them down and create an action plan or subconsciously think, “I should do (insert resolution here) this year,” chances are you’ve been thinking about some changes for the upcoming year. The one big problem with New Year’s resolutions is that about 80% fall through the cracks throughout the year, sometimes within the first month! Keep reading for some tips on how to create AND keep your resolutions.

How to create a New Year’s Resolution:
Achieving a personal goal is all about knowing yourself – only you will know what your needs are and how to put together a plan you’ll stick with. Remember, everyone’s success will look different. It’s ok to get inspiration from other people, but don’t focus on comparing your progress to others. Here are the steps to building a healthy goal:

  1. Brainstorm: Think about what you wanted to achieve in the past and how you want your new year to look. Some broad areas you can classify your goals into are fitness, mental health, and personal achievement. Or you could focus your resolutions around the eight dimensions of wellness (check out our other blog posts for more information on each dimension).
  2. Condense: Once you have a long list of goals, condense them into 5-8 main goals. Try to stick to the lower side so you can keep your focus on a smaller list.
  3. Make your goals measurable: When you attach a number, amount, and specifics to your resolution, it’s easier to create an action plan. It also helps to put a timeline on your goals, whether it is the entire year or just a month.
  4. Make your goals ambitious, yet realistic: When creating a goal, make sure that it is something that will be challenging to achieve, but not so challenging that you know it’s out of reach or you’ll give up on it.
  5. Action Plan: Write down your goals and create a plan to achieve them, so you will not go into the year blindly. Create specific steps, timelines, and checkpoints that will lead you to achieve your resolutions.

How to start and keep a New Years Resolution

How to keep a New Year’s Resolution:
Coming up with a goal is easy, but sticking to your plan can be challenging. Here are three techniques for following through on your resolutions:

  1. Visibility: Create a way to see your goals frequently. Some options are putting it as a wallpaper on your phone/computer or creating a physical resolution board that you hang up in your room.
  2. Accountability: Find an accountability partner. When you express your resolutions to someone else and ask them to help keep you on track to reach your goals, it can make everything so much easier!
  3. Track your progress: You can use your phone or pen and paper, but track your progress on achieving your goals. An action plan with specific steps is a great way to track your progress – set reminders in your phone or calendar for periodic check-ins.

Our final tip: it’s ok to fail. Not every goal or plan will be airtight. You may find your timelines are too quick, or your goal isn’t actually bringing you happiness. Or you may need to adjust to situations that are out of your control (hello, global pandemic). Failing is just a part of life, and you might find that the failures teach you more about yourself than the successes. Don’t worry if your plans don’t come together this year – resiliency is just as important as achievement.

Welcome to 2021! We hope that you create some ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them this year!

Financial Wellness with SOU Campus Recreation

Financial Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. This week’s dimension is financial wellness.

What is financial wellness?
Financial wellness is the act of effectively managing your economic life while having financial security. You can achieve financial wellbeing through analyzing your spending habits, utilizing a savings account, and creating ambitious yet attainable goals. Money and financial security can be a source of stress for many adults, so learning how to manage it will be one less stressor affecting your overall wellbeing. Financial health can come in handy in so many situations, whether you are saving to buy a house or you want to know how much to spend on holiday gifts.

Managing financial wellness as a student:
Financial wellness isn’t necessarily about how much money you have; it’s about how you spend the money you do have. Most college students don’t have much extra spending money, and the hectic student lifestyle often makes students choose between what’s financially smart and what’s most convenient.

Creating a budget is one of the most critical aspects of financial wellness. Budgeting is knowing how much money you make, how much you spend on essentials like rent and Netflix, and how much you have leftover. Once you analyze your spending, you can start creating limits and setting savings goals to help strengthen your financial health even more. The Balance has a great Budgeting 101 article where they walk you through a step-by-step process for creating a budget and suggest some tools and apps that can help you stay on track.

Remember, you don’t have to never spend money to be financially healthy. Spending a little on a fancy coffee or takeout from your favorite restaurant can be worth it if it boosts your mood. Just make sure you’re mindful of your spending and planning for the future.

Tips for Financial Wellness

More tips for working on your financial wellness:

  • Create a minimum balance for your checking and savings accounts, and set up alerts so you’ll know if you’re getting close to overdrawing your account.
  • If you find you tend to overspend on daily items like food, try creating a cash budget. You’ll be able to physically see how much you’re spending.
  • Check your bank account regularly – check your own transactions, and make sure there is no fraudulent activity.
  • Create an ideal number that you want your savings account to get to, and formulate a savings plan to get there.
  • Try not to borrow money that you wouldn’t be able to pay back in the near future. This goes for credit cards as well – if you know you won’t be able to pay back a purchase by the time your monthly payment is due, you might want to save the money first.
  • Pay back loans and borrowed money as quickly as possible to avoid accumulating interest.

How can SOU help you improve your financial wellness?

  • SAS/TRIO-SSS Services is a student support service that can help with financial aid wellness, financial literacy, planning, and more. Plus, their services are all free to SOU students!