Parents/Families: Wellness at UNH
How to Talk to Your Student About Wellness
It may not always seem like your student pays attention to what you say or suggest, but research has continually shown that families are the biggest influences on the choices college students make regarding their health and well-being.
Use the summer to educate yourself about wellness and how a wellness mind-set can enhance your student’s academic and personal success at UNH (and beyond). We encourage you to share what you learn with your student. Let us help you get started!
What's a Wellness Mindset?
A WELLNESS MINDSET will help you and your student effectively navigate through the UNH journey. A wellness mindset is based on the belief that taking care of all areas of their wellness will enhance your student’s experience at UNH so that they feel proud of their achievements and can learn from their struggles. Students who hold a wellness mindset are more motivated and confident to face college with SELF-AWARENESS, EFFORT, PERSISTENCE and SELF-CARE.
Quick wellness-mindset talking points to share with your student:
- Becoming aware of who you are is a process that will continue further into adulthood. Start to pay attention to what you value, what your strengths are and where you are challenged. Use this insight to change and grow. You can help by reminding your student that learning in college happens both inside and outside the classroom and personal awareness will help them build confidence and be motivated to do well at UNH and beyond.
- Accomplishments don’t just happen, they take effort. Everything in college takes effort – coping with homesickness, making friends, going to class, coping with stress, getting a good night’s sleep, meeting deadlines. Talk with your student about being an active participant in their college experience. You can help your student by gently reminding them that everything in life requires effort and then knowing when it is best for you to step out of the situation so that they can learn to stand, fall and get back up on their own. We know this is hard, but it is so important to building resilient students.
- College can be difficult and that is when persistence is called into action. Talk with your student about the inevitability of failure and how they can use those moments as stepping stones to learn and get up and try again. Students who have a wellness-mindset know when to keep pushing forward, how to ask for help and when to take a step back to rest and reset. This is all part of persistence. You can help your student by teaching them about the benefits of persistence and then letting them give it a try on their own so they can see what worked and what didn’t work.
- Encourage your student to “major” in self-care. Okay, there isn’t a major in self-care but there should be. Students can have a narrow focus their first year at college (and sometimes all through college). Some students may spend all their time studying with a hyper focus on academic success while others may spend a lot of their time socializing with a hyper focus on social connection. You can help by talking with your student about the importance of balance, taking breaks and checking in with themselves.
Here are some questions you can encourage students to ask themselves:
- How much time have I spent studying? Have I taken study breaks? Am I letting myself rest during the day? Am I nourishing my body with food and refueling with body movement? Do I stop studying early enough so I can get a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours/night)?
- How much time have I spent socializing? Have I made time to study in addition to being social? Have I found time to be alone? Am I surrounding myself with people who help me feel good about myself and make good choices?
The Wellness Wheel: A Tool for Checking In
Finally, use our wellness wheel to educate yourself and your student that taking care of all aspects of their well-being can help them succeed personally and academically. The wellness wheel can be used as a tool to guide you and your student through their journey at UNH.
You can help by checking-in with your student through the summer and into college about how they are doing in each area of their well-being.
Read and share with your student 10 Ways to Start Building Your Wellness Mindset.