ISU Extension and Outreach and Student Wellness to host wellbeing workshops

Audrey Nelson

Iowa State’s Extension and Outreach is partnering with Student Wellness to host “What About Me? My Well-being.” The program is designed to help individuals improve their well-being in three areas: social/emotional, financial and physical.

The program is broken into four sessions held once a week on every Tuesday in February from 4-4:45 p.m. The first session is about understanding well-being. The following three sessions will each focus on one of the aspects of well-being.

The sessions will be taught by Jody Gatewood, Anthony Santiago and Joyce Lash, members of the Extension and Outreach program who specialize in each area.

With New Year’s resolutions recently made, Gatewood said students need to broaden their goals. Most people focus on physical activity and weight loss, and end up overlooking their financial and emotional needs. She said well-being in one area will affect the others, so students need to balance all of them.

“Well-being is a journey. There’s steps we can take to continually improve our well-being. It’s not somewhere we get to,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood offered some tips for students in each of the three areas. For physical health, she recommended filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Another resource Gatewood mentioned is Spend Smart, Eat Smart, a website and app from Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Spend Smart, Eat Smart offers recipes, videos and information on how to eat well on a tight budget.

On the emotional and social side, Gatewood suggested finding something you enjoy doing. She said many times when students want to help others, they spread themselves too thin. She also said it is important to take care of oneself in order to have relationships with others.

Financially, she recommended making small changes in daily habits to save even small amounts of money. She mentioned cutting back on coffee as one means of saving for a student. 

The seminars will focus on these subjects and offer students opportunities to brainstorm, discuss and set goals of their own.

“Sometimes we know what to do, but we don’t actually take the time to pause and think about, ‘How am I doing in each of these areas, and what small step could I take to improve it?’” Gatewood said.

As a land-grant university, Iowa State receives federal and state funding to do outreach to the larger community. The extension and outreach program works with individuals wanting to increase their quality of life. Gatewood said the “What About Me? My Well-being” program is one way the program is trying to reach the student population.

“It’s only 45 minutes— 45 minutes [are] worth it. Again, I can’t stress enough about how your health and well-being is worth that 45 minutes for four weeks to learn about some additional resources you can use,” Gatewood said.

To register, call the Student Wellness office at 515-294-1099 or email [email protected]. Registration closes Jan. 30.