Optimize your Well-Being with Thoughtful Reflection and Inspired Action

Dec 5, 2022

Melissa KovichAs we approach the end of the semester, you might be feeling a bit tired and weary. The end of the semester and end of the year are suddenly upon us, and it’s often a busy time for students, faculty, and staff. The upcoming holiday season also brings additional stress and a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. I enjoy this time of year to reflect on my personal well-being and encourage you to do the same. Assessing your well-being can be useful in promoting health and wellness during this season and starting the new year off on a positive note. 

Tip #1: Pause and Assess: Stop to evaluate your health and well-being 

In order to improve our health and well-being, we first need to assess our current state. Within our modern busy lifestyle, there is pressure to produce and stay active. This can be detrimental to our health and well-being over time. Stopping to assess our health and well-being is valuable and often necessary to make positive lifestyle choices. There are many tools to measure well-being, and most can be done within minutes. A few of my favorites include The Happiness Index, PERMA profiler, Subjective Happiness Scale, and Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. By taking a well-being assessment, you can better understand your current life satisfaction. 

Tip #2: Reflect on your Results: What do they mean to you? 

After completing a well-being assessment, spend some time considering the results. Do they seem accurate? Were you surprised/disappointed/concerned/validated/enlightened? Any of these feelings (and more) are possible and all are valid. Your results may reveal something new or affirm a pattern you were already aware of. Whatever your results, they are useful in some way and provide information about your current state of well-being. If you were honest with yourself in completing the well-being assessment, the results can support you in the upcoming months. It is worthwhile to retake a well-being assessment from time to time, as well-being is transient and can change with time and life circumstances. 

Tip #3: Inspired Action: Use your results to guide next steps 

Since well-being is often described as a multidimensional concept, most assessments are scored in multiple dimensions. In simple terms, this means that multiple factors contribute to our well-being. Many of the mentioned assessments will provide “scores” for each dimension. Looking at these scores can point out things we are doing well, as well as areas for improvement. For example, if you are lacking positive emotions, you might reflect on what activities bring you joy or happiness. After identifying some sources of happiness, try to incorporate them into your life in the upcoming weeks or over the semester break. Finally, make sure to address basic health needs such as adequate sleep, physical activity, healthy diet, and stress reduction as well. These “basics” are often neglected in times of stress and are beneficial for optimal health throughout the year. 
Taking time to assess our well-being, reflect on the results, and make inspired choices can help us to thrive, rather than merely survive! 


Well-being Assesments: 


Melissa Kovich, PhD is a post-doctoral research associate in the John Martinson Honors College at Purdue University. She is also Co-Director of the Happiness and Well-Being Learning Collaborative. Her research interests include well-being of individuals and communities, health promotion and wellness, and motivational interviewing. Dr. Kovich received her B.S. and Ph.D. in nursing from Purdue University. She has worked for many years in clinical practice as a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner prior to obtaining her doctoral degree.


Well-Being Resources:

Office of the Dean of Students, Student Support Services

Counseling and Psychological Services


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