Well-Being & You
Well-being is a journey. Like most journeys, they are not straight forward. They have ups and downs. There are good days and not so good days. The great thing about journeys, though, is that they continue.
Your well-being journey is and will always be unique to you. Maybe your journey is the active body and mind type, with lots of sweating, downdogs and meditation. Or maybe it's introspective and highly focused on your mental health or spiritual pursuits. It could be that you're just trying to develop better time management skills or are looking for healthy ways to handle stress. Or more than likely, your journey will be a combination of all these things, and more, as you move throughout life.
During your time at CMU, we are here to support you and help you discover what well-being means for you. We have a lot of people who care and a lot of resources to help, as you will find. This website is organized with the Tartan spirit of wellness being a collective experience, and we hope you can find yourself in the spaces that resonate most with your unique well-being journey.
Scenarios & Support
All of us, at times, experience moments where we need to seek a particular type of support. Below are a few scenarios that point to specific people and resources that can help in these situations. In addition to the people and resources listed below, there are many more well-being resources to explore.
It feels like my "normal school stress" has been more distressing lately. It can be hard to find my focus at times, and I always feel like I'm falling behind, even when I rarely take breaks.
Cultivating healthy habits, like reaching out for help, and relationships that support you will become the foundation that helps you manage life’s challenges.
- A resource that can help: Student Academic Success Center
- People who can help: Associate Deans, Academic Advisors, Program Coordinators
I am interested in learning more about what the city of Pittsburgh offers and getting involved in the community.
Pittsburgh was recently ranked in the top 30 of cities to live in, according to 2022-2023 US News and World Report.
- Resources that can help: Arts Pass Program, Pittsburgh Outdoor Connections, The Nexus, Local Running Trails to Explore, VisitPittsburgh
- People that can help: Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement, RAs and CAs,
I’m curious about exploring new ways to enhance my personal well-being.
You can practice mindfulness when you are walking to class, driving to work, eating lunch or brushing your teeth—there is opportunity to engage in well-being everywhere.
- Resources that can help: Headspace, TimelyCare health coaching and group sessions, individual therapy, online mindfulness resources, Wellness Initiatives
- People who can help: Council of Religious Students, Council of Religious Advisors, Mindfulness Ambassadors
My current struggles are impacting my day-to-day life; I don’t’ feel able to 'work this through' on my own.
Asking for help is a sign of strength - not weakness. We encourage students to reach out for help at the first sign of distress.
- Resources that can help: Counseling & Psychological Services, TimelyCare, a training or workshop, like CAPS 101 or COPE Workshops, and Health Promotion resources, like free stress or sleep consultations
- People who can help: Housefellows, RAs and CAs, Student Support Resources
Mindfulness & Meditation
- Resources that can help: The Mindfulness Room, Headspace, TimelyCare group sessions, sign up for the Be Well Newsletter to see upcoming mindfulness events and opportunities
- People that can help: Angie Lusk, Wellness Initiatives
My financial situation has recently changed and I don’t know who to talk about it with. I need help.
Asking for help is a sign of strength. CMU can help financially in various ways through loans, support funds, and The Pantry.
- Resources that can help: The CMU Pantry, Emergency Student Loans
- People who can help: Office of the Dean of Students, Hub Liaisons
It's hard to help a friend who is struggling. I'm not sure where to start.
CMU offers many opportunities, events and resources on campus to encourage and inspire mindfulness and wellness. When you see someone in need, help get them connected.
- Resources that can help: Explore these well-being resources with your friends, engage in a training or workshop, like How to Help a Friend, check out some Wellness Initiatives or fill out and submit the CMU Cares Referral Form to share your concerns.
- People who can help: Peer Health Advocates, RAs and CAs, Student Support Resources and Council of Religious Students
I have put my physical health on the back burner because I am so busy with school work. I need to get back to an active lifestyle but I don't know where to start or how to find better balance in my busy days.
Well-being is a daily, iterative process that helps you intentionally create a sustainable, productive and value-driven life, as part of our busy days.
- Resources that can help: Group Exercise, personal training, sports and more, Dining Services, University Health Services, TimelyCare health coaching and group sessions.
- People who can help: Peer Health Advocates or ask a friend to be a work out buddy
Religious & Spiritual Life
In my hometown, everyone believed the same thing that I do. While I'm in college, I want to practice my religion while also learning about people with beliefs different from mine.
Religious and Spiritual Life at CMU offers programs and initiatives that cross traditional religious boundaries in order to increase our students' knowledge of and appreciation for the full diversity of the world's religious and spiritual traditions
- Resources that can help: Explore Religious and Spiritual Life resources and programs.
- People who can help: Religious and Spiritual Life team, Council of Religious Students (CoRs) and Council of Religious Advisors (CoRA)
Check out how these Tartans embrace well-being.
Angie Lusk (she/her) is the program director for Student Affairs Wellness Initiatives. She's also a nature lover, gratitude practice-er, native Pittsburgh-er and dedicated mentor.
Sharmita "Porshia" Porshia (she/her) is a graduate student in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Porshia is a language programmer, teaching assistant, explorer of Pittsburgh festivities and taster of international cuisines.
Victor Alfonzo (he/him) is a senior in the School of Computer Science, minoring in photography. When he's not acting as a teacher's assistant in the classroom, Victor teaches a Freestyle Rap StuCo.
Angie's Well-being Story
- Passions: Advising and mentoring students and student organizations and nurturing individual and community health and well-being opportunities.
- Hobbies: Camping, gardening, painting, and DIY projects
- Inspiration: She's most inspired and motivated when she gets to work with students and build their compassion for self and the world around them. She recharges through spending time in nature and practicing gratitude, using this inspiration to create a six-week Connecting to Nature Mindfulness Series, the Mindful Living credited course and the Mindfulness Room.
- Philosophy: "Our well-being is the foundation for everything else we’d like to build and explore in this lifetime. That means our personal and communal well-being requires daily attention and care, particularly in moments that are most chaotic and challenging. There’s always room for growth and we need to stay curious. There’s a need to question and to understand how our individual and communal identities, cultures, and mindsets influence not just our own ability to thrive, but everyone’s ability to access, to engage, and to be nourished by this work."
Porshia's Well-being Story
- Passions: In the classroom, Porshia finds excitement in learning modern data science technologies directly from the professors who are actively contributing to the field. Outside the classroom, she is a member of the Graduate Student Assembly, Heinz Analytics Club and University Student Affairs Council.
- Hobbies: When she isn't tracking data trends, she sings and celebrates musical instruments.
- Inspiration: Porshia utilizes Headspace for her morning meditations, weekly gratitude practices to stay grounded, Group-X classes to stay active, and CAPS services to connect with herself. She wishes more graduate students would take the time to learn about CMU's well-being initiatives and its non-judgemental conversation spaces, surrounding race, politics, immigration, anxiety and mindfulness, like the “politics without panic" and “immigrant connection hour” workshops.
- Philosophy: "My take on wellness is to stay grounded and present in the moment. I love Alan Watts' quote: 'Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.' I've learned how to start thinking what do I truly want to do at this moment? rather than what I should be doing according to some social standards? All of us can benefit from spending a little bit of time everyday to water the plant within ourselves."
Victor's Well-being Story
- Passions: Music plays an important role in Victor's life. When he's not teaching the FreeStyle Rap Stuco, he also spends time on CMU Listens, a student-led initiative focused on promoting active listening across campus.
- Hobbies: Victor loves to cook, play and watch soccer, and go on hikes with friends.
- Inspiration: Browsing a CMU website, Victor saw the Mindfulness Room and instantly knew he wanted to see it in person. Since his freshman year, he tries to visit the Mindfulness Room at least once a day, where he can implement intentional moments of peace into his busy schedule.
- Philosophy: "My main philosophy around wellness is it needs to be an important area of focus in all of our lives. The more balanced a life we live, the healthier we are, and the better we are. Sometimes our work can take precedence, but it’s important that we remember that dedicating time to ourselves will only improve our work and productivity, not hurt it."
Noah's Well-being Story
- Passions: Noah is passionate about getting folks the support and resources they need to move beyond survival and into thriving, understanding that this can be especially difficult for folks with marginalized identities where oppression is at play.
- Hobbies: Noah enjoys home improvement, gardening and all sorts of arts and crafts but is particularly into sewing clothing. Ask him if he made the clothes he is wearing!
- Inspiration: A big fan of the Headspace app, Noah primarily uses it for the different sleep tools, like sleep stories and casts, which have played a big role in helping improve his sleep hygiene. Noah has also attended mindfulness courses through CMU and shares similar resources to staff members via the Staff Council’s Wellness Committee.
- Philosophy: "I take a lot of inspiration from Brene Brown, who reminds me that on any given day, no matter how hard things are, that I am doing the best that I can and to be gentle with myself and others with this in mind."