Your Physical Self

Your body is an expression of beauty and complexity. So is your mind. In fact, the two are so closely linked that some researchers argue that the two cannot be separated. They propose that the body is the mind, because our self-awareness (our consciousness) resides in and conveys itself through a physical body.

No matter what you believe, we encourage you to honor both the body and mind at the same time. Pay attention to how you feel emotionally and intellectually when you take care of your body—when you exercise, sleep regularly, breathe deeply and intentionally, and eat and drink nutritious foods. Also, pay attention to how you feel physically when you take care of your mind—when you experience emotions and thoughts of peace, joy, gratitude, flexibility, and unconditional love.

You may be pleasantly surprised how helpful it is to think about physical health, mental health, and wellness as being interconnected and dependent upon one another, like a healthy family or social network of close and supportive friends. Consider your body and physical health as being essential partners in your journey to more peaceful, joyful, and vibrant living. Pay attention to it. Take good care of it. And thrive.

  • For those who need help with basic needs like food, clothing, housing, medicine, and transportation, NC State has several on-campus resources that might help, including the following:

    • Food pantry
    • Childcare services
    • Counseling services
    • Transportation subsidies

    Talk to your Success Coach in the Student Success Center if you think you might need this kind of assistance. We also provide referrals to off-campus community services that can help.

  • There are many good habits, practices, and activities for maintaining wellness and physical health and recovering balance when you feel a little off-your-game or stressed. There’s no way to list them all. But here are a few to consider:

    • Sleep
      • Rest deeply and regularly
      • Go to bed and wake at the same times every day
      • Include quiet and calm activities before sleep
      • Avoid caffeine after 12 pm
    • Nutrition
      • Drink water and other healthy fluids with little to no sugar, caffeine, or alcohol
      • Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables
      • Pack a healthy snack of fruits and vegetables every day
      • Avoid fast-food, food from vending machines, and those with a lot of salt, sugar, saturated fat, partially hydrogenated oil, and wheat-based carbohydrates
    • Exercise
      • Exercise at least 20 minutes per day (e.g., walk, jog, dance, stretch, lift)
      • Take a walk during lunch and other breaks
      • Use stairs instead of elevators when you can
    • Mindfulness
      • Slow down
      • Be curious
      • Breathe deeply and intentionally and settle into a natural, calm state
      • Plant your feet firmly on the floor or ground and notice your connection to the earth and its soothing energy
      • Pay close attention to and enjoy what you are doing in the moment without judgement of self, others, and situations
      • Notice your feelings and thoughts without judgement
      • Accurately name your emotions to own the energy and use it for positive change
      • Honor your feelings of safety and danger and take action to care for yourself and others

  • NC State College has a partnership with Ohio State University (OSU)-Mansfield through the department of Student Life & Engagement to provide students with access to a recreation center, recreational activities, and student groups. Make use of a variety of services, events, and groups that inspire, energize, and promote healthy living. Some examples of wellness activities and services include the following:

    • Intramurals
    • Bike-share program
    • Outdoor recreation
    • Fitness classes like karate, yoga, rock-out workouts, dance-based stretching
    • Mind-body meditation
    • Mindfulness stress reduction
    • Disability services
    • Student groups and organizations

  • Research shows that low-to-moderate levels of stress are an important part of healthy development. However, constant intense stress (toxic stress) weakens the immune system, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, mental health, and physical health. Stress may negatively impact the normal functions of the body that we take for granted every day, such as breathing, heart rate and blood circulation, digestion of food, and the function of nerves and muscles, among others. Stress may also negatively impact chronic health conditions.

    For more information, consult the “Develop & Maintain Good Daily Habits” section above. Also, tips for managing stress can be found throughout this website. Start by looking through the “Relationships” and “Mind” pages.

  • It is important to pay attention to your physical health. One way to do this is to give up smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, exercise more, sleep more, and improve your nutrition (diet). Another way to manage your physical health is to visit a primary care physician or nurse practitioner regularly (at least once a year) for a check-up of vital signs, such as

    • Blood pressure
    • Blood sugar levels
    • Heart rate
    • Cholesterol
    • Oxygen levels (breathing capacity)
    • Weight
    • Vision
    • Nerve reflexes

    Regular visits to a doctor are especially important for managing chronic health condition, such as

    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Hepatitis
    • Weight conditions (e.g., obesity)
    • Among others

    Many Ohio counties and major cities have clinics that provide primary healthcare services whether you have Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, or not. They may even have pharmacy services that provide medications at little or no cost. Residents of Richland County, Ohio can schedule an appointment at the Richland Public Health Clinic, which provides non-emergency public healthcare services for people of all ages. Services are available by appointment. In addition, nurses provide immunizations for children as well as pre-natal, well-child, and school-based services. The Clinic is also staffed by a health educator, social worker, and dietitian.

    For more information about free and income-based health services in Ashland, Crawford, and Richland Counties, see the “Resources” page. Or contact the department of public health in the county where you live.