A row of students right as they begin running from a starting line.

About Health Promotion


Holistic Well-Being Model 

Holistic Well-Being 

Holistic well-being is a state of flourishing that allows the whole person and the community the ability to thrive and mindfully balance and grow through all dimensions of well-being. Foundational to holistic well-being is having one’s basic needs and human rights honored and respected. 

Catholic Social Teaching calls us to recognize the inherent value, worth, and dignity of every person regardless of race, nation, sex, origin, sexual orientation, culture, or economic standing. The Center for Well-Being recognizes that systems of oppression including racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, anti-Semitism, and others have a profound impact on the well-being of individuals and communities. 

Holistic well-being is the integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit. Well-Being encompasses 8 mutually interdependent dimensions: physical, academic, mental/emotional, social, spiritual, sexual, cultural, and environmental. 

Dimensions of Well-Being

Social well-being is the practice of building and maintaining healthy connections with others, feeling an overall sense of belonging and being able to manage conflict as it arises. 


  • Do you feel a sense of connection with others?  
  • Are you active within the community?  
  • Are you satisfied with your relationships with family, friends, and peers?  
  • Do you feel known by others? 
  • Do you have 3 people in your life you can turn to when you are experiencing personal problems? (friend, parent, advisor, therapist, professor, partner) 
  • Do you talk with your professor outside of regular class time? 
  • Does your community celebrate and honor your social identities?  
  • Do you feel safe from violence in your community?  

Friends with arms around each other

Mental/emotional well-being is the practice of identifying your own wide range of emotions with the ability to identify and navigate them safely and constructively. It includes the ability to cope with challenges and practice a resilient mindset. 


  • Do you have an awareness of your thoughts and feelings? 
  • Do you have a gratitude practice? 
  • Are you able to cope with stress? And use positive self-talk and use self-soothing? Self-acceptance?  
  • Do you experience a wide range of emotions? 
  • Are you able to adapt and adjust when changes occur? 
  • Are your basic needs met?  


Physical well-being ithe practice of making positive choices surrounding physical activity, nutrition, sexual health, sleep, personal safety, and alcohol and other substances. Positive choices are kind to and respectful of the body, and these choices can support your body’s optimal functioning and disease prevention. 


  • Do you wear your mask when out in public? 
  • Do you practice social distancing? 
  • Do you have enough energy to make it through the day without feeling exhausted? 
  • Are physically active 20 or more minutes per day 
  • Do you schedule regular health exams with your medical provider? 
  • Do you get your annual flu shot?  
  • Do you eat the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day? 
  • If you choose to use alcohol or other substances, do you use protective factors to keep yourself safe and healthy?  
  • If you choose to partake in sexual activity, do you practice informed decision-making, use enthusiastic consent, and it is safe and protected? 

girl with mask

Spiritual well-being is the practice of creating meaning and purpose, developing compassion towards self and others, and fostering a sense of inner peace. Spiritual well-being is often practiced through connections and expressions of life such as art and nature, as well as systems of faith and beliefs. 


  • Do you feel a sense of purpose in your life? 
  • Do you find it possible to make meaning of difficult circumstances? 
  • Do you practice compassion in your relationship with yourself and others? 
  • Do you partake in a practice for fostering inner peace? 
  • Are you part of a community that supports and upholds your morals and values? 
  • Are you intentional in using your personal values to inform your decision making?  

Academic well-being fosters openness to new ideas, critical thinking, engagement in civil discourse, and creativity.  It involves the practice of managing your academic workload, contributing to a supportive learning environment with fellow students, creating connections with faculty and staff, and working towards your vocation. 


  • Are you able to manage your workload and exercise healthy time-management skills?  
  • Are you intentional about creating a learning environment where you and your fellow students have the space to express your views, share your insights, and hold discussions? 
  • Do you attend faculty members’ office hours and interact with staff and their resources? 
  • Do your intellectual studies and creativity foster a more equitable world? 
  • Does your academic workload align with your vocational goals? 

Cultural well-being is achieved through the awareness of both your own culture and social identities, and the diversity and richness present in other cultural backgrounds. Cultural well-being implies awareness, understanding, respect, and positive engagement with all aspects of diversity. Through practicing cultural well-being, a person accepts and values all aspects of diversity, such as class, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender, racial and ethnic backgrounds, age groups, and disabilities.  


  • Do you continue to develop cultural awareness, understanding, and respect in order to positively engage with all aspects of diversity?  
  • Do you have an understanding of your own culture 
  • Does your community affirm and honor your personal and social identities? 
  • Do you have access to participate in activities regardless of your abilities? 
  • In the last month have you engaged with a perspective different than your own? 
  • Can you learn from people that are different than you? 
  • Are you committed to developing your cultural well-being? 

Sexual well-being is achieved through a positive and respectful approach to sexuality, including sexual health and sexual relationships. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human and encompasses sex, reproduction, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, and intimacy throughout your lifetime. Sexual well-being also includes the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences free of coercion, discrimination, and violence. (WHO 2002) 


  • Are you aware of your needs for physical and emotional intimacy? 
  • Do you experience physical and emotional intimacy that is free from coercion, discrimination, and violence? 
  • Does your community affirm and honor your gender identity and sexual orientation?  
  • Do you have access to medically accurateculturally relevant education about sexual health, including anatomy and physiology, care for sexual consequences and benefits of sexual behavior? 
  • If you choose to engage in sexual activity with a partnerdo you have an open dialogue with your partner regarding values, safe practices, and consent? 
  • Do you have at least 3 people you could talk to about your sexual well-being? 

Environmental well-being is achieved through engaging respectfully with the earth and its resources as well as the awareness of one’s personal relationship to the physical and social climate within their home, work, community. 


  • Do I advocate for policies that help make sustainability more accessible?  
  • Are you conscious of conservation practices such as recycling, composting, reducing waste, and conserving energy? 
  • Do you intentionally limit the amount of power and water you use? 
  • Do you recycle or compost whenever possible? 
  • When making purchases, do you choose environmentally-friendly products (avoid plastic; buy local, energy-efficient appliances, etc.)? 
  • Do you take time each week to enjoy outdoor activities and time with nature? 
  • Do your words and behaviors contribute to an inclusive, positive environment for others? 
  • Are you surrounded by safe conditions? 
  • Do you have access to necessary resources?