S.P.I.C.E. up your life with wellness!

Stacy Andes

Amidst the papers, projects, GREs, GMATs, LSATs, graduate school applications, job searches and interviews seniors may also have some pre-New Year’s resolutions. For example, are you thinking you should work out more often, eat a more balanced diet or check out that local museum that you have been meaning to visit for the past four years? Why not try S.P.I.C.E.-ing up your senior year with wellness?

What is wellness? Simply put, it’s a continuous, active, evolving process of becoming more self-aware, responsible and healthy in one’s lifestyle choices. It is impacted by six equally important dimensions: social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional and spiritual. In order to S.P.I.C.E. up your last several months at ’Nova, try the following:

Spice up your Social life: Enjoy the last several months at Villanova. Take advantage of the time you have with friends. Be responsible about alcohol. Look out for your friends when they are drinking. Graduation means that much more when all of your loved ones are there to share it. How does this translate to the real world? Try maintaining a healthy balance between your career and social life. As a new professional, it will be important for you to set your own personal and professional goals. It is easy as the “low man on the totem pole” to become overworked and overstressed. Also, recognize when it is appropriate to have a drink “socially” with colleagues.

Spice up your Physical life: Fit in fitness! Scheduling in just half an hour of exercise a day at least three times a week is enough to feel the benefits of exercise. Quality of sleep improves with increase in exercise. Enjoy the free access to athletic facilities and aerobic classes while you still can. Nothing’s free in the real world. Integrate healthier foods into your diet and cut back on the junk that zaps you of your energy.Once you graduate, shop around for a fitness center that offers what you enjoy for free here, but at a reasonable rate. Prepare meals on the weekend for the week ahead — it saves on time and ensures that you are eating something better than a candy bar on the run!

Spice up your Intellectual life: Use those extra credits next semester to take a class that interests you. Take the time to talk to your professors about their career decisions and what they most enjoy about what they do. After graduation, look for ways to challenge yourself, personally and professionally. Look for unique opportunities in your new job – create that website, write that grant proposal.

Spice up your Cultural life: Have you taken advantage of the opportunities at Villanova and in the Philadelphia area to really expand your cultural horizons? What would you most like to do or see before you leave Villanova? Do it! See it! After May, explore your new neighborhood. Find ways to get involved. Step out of your comfort zone and check out something new. Don’t see something that interests you? Start something!

Spice up your Emotional life: Save the petty arguments and enjoy your friendships now! Realize that the grieving process is appropriate to any loss. Graduation is an exciting but emotional event … talk about how you are feeling with those important to you. Once you leave here, keep in touch with family and friends. Find those activities that allow you to relieve stress.

Spice up your Spiritual life: Appreciate the faith community at ’Nova. Attend a retreat that will allow you to take some time to think about where you are heading and where you want to go. Consider volunteering some time after graduation to an organization that serves others.In the real world, search for ways to get involved in a faith community. Start a retreat or service experience for young people.