April 15, 2019

How can you flourish at UCalgary?

Flourishing isn't just another buzzword.
Rex sitting on a couch, reading a book
Rex relaxing at the Campus Community Hub

Have you heard the term flourishing being used around campus? It’s not just another one of those wellness buzzwords. The flourishing model of mental health is based on the work of Dr. Corey Keyes, whose research shows that the absence of mental illness is not the same as positive mental health. Anybody can have positive mental health, whether they have a mental illness or not. By engaging in five factors, anyone can learn to flourish.

Here’s how to do it:


Take time to play. Schedule yourself some time to enjoy playing sports, games, music – whatever interests you. There’s no wrong way to play. Playing can help you feel less stressed out and more balanced overall.


Make time to talk and catch up with the people who make you happy. Or join a club or volunteer on campus to meet new people who share your interests. Interacting can help you keep a strong support network by tending to important relationships.


Connecting is different from interacting because it focuses on deep, meaningful connections. It doesn’t have to be another person you’re connecting with, it could be your spirituality, or anything else meaningful to you.


Learning is, of course, the main reason you’re here. Hopefully, you get joy out of your coursework, but in case you don’t, set some time aside to learn about something that fascinates you. Learning doesn’t need to be studying, you could seek out a podcast about deep sea exploration or watch documentaries about space.


Helping others is a key factor for positive mental health. There are so many big and small ways to help, donating old clothes to charity or volunteering at a pet shelter are great ways to help.

Looking for ways to flourish on campus? Student Wellness Services' event calendar has you covered.