Sustainable approaches to well being

Dean's Blog | January 24, 2023
Judith Karshmer

Be honest, how are those New Year’s resolutions holding up? If you’re like the vast majority of those who make them, chances are they’ve already fallen by the wayside. I can appreciate the idea behind this tradition, especially when the goals are related to improving your health and well-being. However, I believe there is a better way!

What if instead of resolutions to implement all new health and wellness practices, we focus on recognitions instead? What I mean by that is to take a look at what we’re already doing and fill in any gaps from there. So for example, maybe you always take the stairs instead of using the elevator but you spend hours scrolling TikTok before bed and that’s something you want to change. Give yourself kudos for taking the stairs and perhaps try reading before bed. Simple right?

I can’t take full credit for the “resolutions to recognitions” wordplay. It was mentioned at a meeting I had where we discussed wellness and what it actually means and looks like in the midst of people’s busy lives. The reality is everyone already has something they’re doing that makes up a health-promoting practice; it just may not look like what we’re used to recognizing as such. 

Stock image of a person walking their dog on a paved path.
Something as simple as taking your dog for a walk can make up your wellness practice.

Some of my practices include riding my bike because I love it, spending time with my family and traveling. For you, it might be applying sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, walking your dog, or maybe it’s having one martini instead of three. These little things add up, and believe it or not, are indeed elements of a routine that can lead to better mental and physical health. 

At ASU we’re working toward practicing this at scale. The university already has some incredible health and wellness programs available to students, employees and even the public, but not everyone is aware of them. In my role as ASU Chief Wellness Officer, and through our WellnessWork initiative, we’ll be curating those resources to make them easier to access.

It is the case that through our exploration of the programming on offer, some opportunities for enhancement were identified. Specifically, more support for mental health, developing meaningful ways of connecting with others and continuing to advance overall well-being. That’s where we’ll be directing our efforts this year.

As we find ways to weave wellness deeper into the fabric of the ASU community through both current and improved initiatives we’ll be sure to share those offerings for consideration. If it makes sense to incorporate them into your daily practices, great, if not, that’s okay too. Not everything will be a fit for everyone and that is perfectly fine. The point here is to find what works for you and go from there.