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Windhover Contemplative Center. Credit: Andrew Brodhead

Making Time for Wellness

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Learning to make time for your own well-being builds a foundation for a lifelong process of making choices that lead to a healthy, compassionate, resilient, fulfilling, and courageous life.

It’s easy for college students to believe they don’t have time to invest in health and wellness--the quarter begins, classes ramp up, assignments start rolling in, and before you know it you are studying for midterms and preparing for finals. Some students balance all of this with a campus job, team athletics, performances, and other academic or artistic projects. 

While you might think you are too busy to focus on your personal wellbeing during the school year, studies show that not taking time for health and wellness actually makes the pace of college life much more challenging and stressful. College students routinely struggle with lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, poor eating habits, disordered eating, and other issues. A short illness during the quarter, an unexpected family challenge back at home, a difficult relationship, a break-up, or turmoil within a friend group can sometimes bring school work to a halt. Finding ways to balance your physical, mental, and spiritual well being while navigating the challenges of college life is therefore paramount. Learning to incorporate wellness into your daily routine will not only make college life less stressful, it will enhance your development as a whole person.

Wellness Resources

Health and Human Performance Courses

The Health and Human Performance Program offers six distinct programs: Outdoor Education; Kinesiology and Physical Education; Leadership Innovations; Wilderness Medicine; Wellness Education; and Lifeworks. More information about Wellness and LifeWorks--two areas specifically aimed at providing tools for student wellness, resilience, and personal growth--are provided below.

LifeWorks Courses

LifeWorks integrates the process of self-inquiry into traditional learning by combining scholarship with creative expression, mindfulness and other embodied practices through 3 unit courses such as Tools for a Meaningful Life, Body Mapping, and Trauma, Healing, and Empowerment.

Wellness Courses

1- and 2-unit Wellness courses create a space where students can Learn, Apply, and Transform.

  • Learn the most effective cognitive, emotional, social, and physical strategies that facilitate flourishing and wellness.
  • Apply these insights and strategies to your life, your social sphere, and the world around you.
  • Transform the way you live and impact the people around you. Live with deeper purpose, enhanced flourishing, greater resilience, and increased lifelong wellness.

Vaden Health Center Wellness Resources

Vaden Health Center offers a range of resources to help students navigate LGBTQ Health, Gender-Affirming Care, Sexual Health, Relationship Health, Body Image and Disordered Eating, Substance Use, and much more.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Vaden is also home to CAPS--Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services. At CAPS, students can make individual appointments with a licensed counselor, or attend group sessions and workshops that focus on a range of issues from anxiety and perfectionism to better sleep health.  CAPS also provides resources to help students find a local therapist in the community.  

Wellness Coaching

Stanford Wellness Coaches are available to partner with you if you are hoping to make shifts in beliefs and behaviors that will improve your overall well-being. Meeting with a wellness coach can help you clarify values, set goals and priorities, talk through challenges, and create your own vision for well-being.

The Bridge

The Bridge is an on-campus student-run peer counseling center that welcomes phone calls 24/7 (650- 723-3392) and takes walk-ins between 9am - midnight.

Office of Accessible Education

The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) provides an array of support services, accommodations, and programs to remove barriers to full participation in the life of the University for students with documented health challenges. For example, sometimes, based on the impact of a physical or mental health challenge, students may request a Reduced Course Load (RCL), an accommodation that allows a student to take as few as 8 units in a given quarter. Here is a list of the various accommodations provided by OAE.


We all have within us a natural capacity to thrive. The iThrive program helps students achieve their goals with greater ease, resilience, and confidence.  iThrive also publishes The Well, an on-line monthly student newsletter that address a range of student health and wellness issues.

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