Advising Interactive Worksheet: Wellness, Well-Being, & Academics
Self-care is an important aspect of the undergraduate experience, particularly among those who strive for academic excellence. Academic performance is inextricably inter-related to wellness and personal well-being.
According to the article “High-Achieving Wellbeing: Partnership Opportunities for Students and Advisors” from the publication Academic Advising Today, while there are many positive attributes associated with high achievers, students should be aware that there may also be some negative impact on health and wellness.
For example, some characteristics of perfectionism may contribute negatively to one’s well-being. "Perfectionism is one of the most common self-reported challenges with high achievers,…has been linked with stress…, [and] can also cause [students] to sacrifice mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. In the race to perform, these students run the risk of cutting sleep, exercise, healthy eating, and general relaxation."1
This same article references Stephen Kaplan’s restoration theory, which in part asserts that "in order to feel restored, [you] must be able to escape to an environment that is altogether interesting, nonthreatening, and compatible with [your] needs."2
We encourage you to practice mindfulness in an effort to take care of yourself. Some suggestions are:
- Select and manage a reasonable course load
- Reflect on your activities, both academic and non-academic
- Make choices, and let some things go
- Recognize your responsibility with the decisions you make, and that inaction has consequences
- Meet often with advisors and instructors
- Do not compare your path or progress to that of your friends, roommate, or classmates
- Be forthcoming and honest with advisors/instructors about how you’re doing and feeling
- Take breaks to recover from mental stress and fatigue, and
- Practice regular physical activity
For information more specifically related to positive approaches to address academic difficulty, refer to the worksheet Academic Difficulty & Personal Challenge.
1 Johnson, M.L., Spear, K., & Hoover, B. (2016, September). High-achieving wellbeing: Partnership opportunities for students and advisors. Academic Advising Today, 39(3). Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articl...
2 Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182.
Academic Advising is a planning process that helps students to approach their education in an organized and meaningful way…
—National Academic Advising Association