Holistic Wellness

Wellness Tree


DuWell believes that an individual's overall wellness is an integration of many aspects of life. Our model of wellness is represented by the image of a tree, which includes the roots of a person, the trunk of self-care, and the branches representing the dimensions of wellness. All parts of the model are interactive and interdependent and are what make you, you. Each dimension of wellness is essential in maintaining harmony and balance in our lives.


What You Can Do

Practice Your Environmental Wellness.

  • Clear out the Clutter
    • Take time each week to get rid of clutter in your residence hall room- especially on the floor so you limit the chance that you will trip or fall.
  • Throw Your Trash Away (or Recycle!)
    • Be courteous to others make sure your trash/recyclables make it to the right receptacle.  Especially at parties~this will help everyone out in lowering costs for the event
  • Walk When You Can
    • Save the ozone AND get some exercise!
  • Be a Good Neighbor
    • Be conscious of excessive noise at outside or inside events and make sure to notify neighbors ahead of time if an event is to occur.  This will lower your risk for potential conflicts to occur.
  • Be an Advocate, Not a Whiner
    • Something about campus or the community bugging you? Don't just complain to your friends, stand up and take action!  Finding a way to get involved and make a difference on campus will not only create positive change for everyone, but allows you to leave a legacy you can be proud of. One option: consider getting involved with It's Your Move.

Practice Your Financial Wellness.

  • Duke has partnered with iGrad to offer an online financial literacy platform created to assist Duke students navigate life events that affect every day financial decisions. Learn how to create a spending plan, select the right bank, understand why your credit score matters, and most importantly, learn how to save for your future. To learn more and set up an account, click here.
  • You Reap What You Sow
    • A little bit of time spent planning and setting up good spending habits will help you build a stable financial future.
  • Be Authentic With Yourself
    • Are you a shopaholic?  Its ok! Just be honest with yourself on what you like to spend on.  Once you do that, budgeting can be a lot easier.
  • All Things in Moderation
    • Sure we may like to go to every new movie that comes out this year, but that can get pretty expensive.  Spend on experiences you enjoy in moderation otherwise, you may spend too much on fun and not enough on what matters.
  • Create A Budget
    • Think about how much you realistically spend each month and hold yourself accountable, this will help you to integrate discipline and balance into your life.
  • Money Is a Tool, Not the Key to Well-Being
    • Money helps us get to where we want to go. It is a transaction. So don’t worship it.
  • For more tips on Financial Wellness, visit Personal Finance at Duke.

Practice Your Intellectual Wellbeing.

  • Explore Yourself
    • Take a class or try out an organization on something that interests you but you’ve never tried before
    •  Build connections with professors from a variety of departments- schedule a meeting to ask them questions about their field, career path, etc,
  • Time Management
    • Remind yourself, "There is always enough time for the important things." If it is important, you should be able to make time to do it.
    • Plan your day each morning or the night before and set priorities for yourself.
  • Take a stand against perfectionism
    • Perfect is in the eye of the beholder, so give yourself a break and set realistic expectations for yourself.  For good tips on combating perfectionism, click here.
  • Organize Your Life
    • Backpack Dump! Clean out your backpack. Dump everything out and go through each item one by one. Separate everything into a keep pile important papers and information you'll need  to use now or to study for future tests - and a dump pile - things you no longer need, like old   homework and last months sports schedules.
    • Hit the delete button. Stay on top of your inbox to reduce e-clutter. Make a hard fast decision about each email before moving on to the next one- either reply, delete, or put it in a  folder.

Practice Your Mind-Body Wellness.

  • Sleep
    • Try and get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night.  Does that seem impossible? Try to fill in nights you can't get the recommended sleep dose by taking naps- pencil them into your schedule to make sure there's time!
  • Nutrition
    • Well timed, well balanced, meals and snacks can keep you alert and energized throughout the day, while also helping to maintain an optimal weight. For more information on these topics and others, click here.
  • Take a Break!
    • Take time to laugh, snooze, take a walk, etc., especially during the times of year you feel like you have the least time to spare- your body and mind will thank you for it!
  • Listen to your body.
    • Love and respect it, and it will be good to you, as well.  Learning to say "no" to the outside world and listen to yourself is often challenging, but can help you balance life's demands.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Disconnect. 
    • Step away form your phone, computer and anything else electronic for 15 minutes each day.  Don't worry- it will all be there when you reconnect.
  • Consume Responsibly.
    • If you choose to drink alcohol, set limits for yourself and stick to them.  For more information on reducing your risk while drinking, click here.

Practice Your Social Wellbeing.

  • Develop Relationships
    • Take the time to communicate and spend time with those your care about so you can develop relationships of mutual respect and support.
  • Get connected
    • Join one or two clubs or organizations that you are interested in, become involved and get connected to the Duke and Durham community.
  • Give Your Friends Time
    • Manage your personal time as well as commitments to school and work.
  • Respect and Honor Diversity
    • Develop an understanding and appreciation of human differences.
  • Do it Sober
    • Explore all the things there are to do on campus and in Durham with your friends.

Practice Your Spiritual Wellness.

  • Trust Your Intuition
    • Take the time to stop and listen to the voice inside of you- it often will help you find your direction, make choices, or let you know when something isn't right.
  • Explore what spirituality means to you.
    • For some people, spirituality has to do with faith or religion. For others it is more   about finding purpose and meaning in life. Explore what spirituality means to you by   visiting various cultural centers around campus and trying out practices to enhance   your own self awareness, such as meditation.

Oasis East & Oasis West:

These two spaces are a calming and soothing place for students to relax, talk, learn how to manage stress, enjoy the comfy couches, meditate, gaze at the fish tank, and check out all of the different ways to de-stress.


Oasis East 

  • Location: 109 Bell Tower Residence Hall
  • Hours:
    • Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    • Monday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
    • Tuesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    • Wednesday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
    • Thursday: 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    • Friday: Closed
    • Saturday: Closed

Oasis West 

  • Location: Duke Student Wellness Center, First Floor
  • Hours: 
    • Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    • Monday: 8:30am - 10:00pm
    • Tuesday: 8:30am - 6:00pm
    • Wednesday: 8:30am - 10:00pm
    • Thursday: 8:30am - 10:00pm
    • Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
    • Saturday: Closed


Extending along the side of the Student Wellness Center, this meditative garden is a calming spot for visitors to meander through a natural, living space, leaving cares and concerns behind. Relax. Rejuvenate. Repeat.

How We Can Help

Health Coaching is a service offered by DuWell to all Duke Students. The purpose of Health Coaching is to assist students to understand how the different dimensions of wellness relate to one another. If one area of wellness is out of balance it can impact other areas. Health Coaching is a partnership with the student that allows them to identify areas to be brought back into balance and set an action plan to do so.

To make an appointment or learn more about health coaching send us an email.

A koru, the spiral shape of the unfurling fern frond, is the natural representation of the balance between perpetual growth and stability.  This symbol was chosen to represent the Mindfulness Meditation workshops CAPS offered a number years ago, and this has grown to a number of different workshops and retreats that offers skills in Mindfulness and Meditation, which offer the type of growth symbolized by the koru.

As our work in this area grows, with workshops offered by other departments here at Duke University and campuses across the country, Koru will also promote mindsets and life practices consistent with the concepts and skills taught in the various Koru classes.

Click below for the various offerings of Koru classes here at Duke this semester

Koru Basic:  Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Koru 2.0:  Advancing Mindfully

Koru Retreats:  Half Day Mindfulness Experience


Want to learn more about Koru? 
We asked some students who have gone through our Koru classes to talk about their experiences. Check out our videos to get their perspectives as well as learn a few techniques!

Getting Started!  Learning More About Koru Classes
Listen to students perspective on how they decided to check out the Koru classes, including some of the initial hesitations they had

Koru:  Surprises and Skills
Listen to students talk about the workshop, including things they were not expecting.   They also describe the skills they gained and how they have been useful to them.

Koru:  Changes and Lessons Learned
Listen to students discussing their experiences with Koru Mindfulness Meditation classes, including the changes they have noticed in their lives as a result of the workshop.  They also describe the lessons they have learned from their practice.

Koru Possibilities
Listen to students discuss the different possibilities they see for the application of what they learned in the Koru Mindfulness workshops.

Holistic Wellness Workshops

Group Health Coaching brings together multiple students to work together and understand how the six dimensions of wellness relate to one another. During an interactive presentation, students are able to identify and share which dimensions of wellness they feel the strongest in and where they see the opportunity for the most growth. This group environment allows students to hear first-hand from their peers on what worked and what didn't as it pertains to increasing their wellness.

Through this interactive presentation students are able to become mindful of their current sleep practices and are given the opportunity to explore various techniques that can be implemented into their bedtime regimen to improve sleep hygiene.

This workshop allows students to explore the connection between mind and body through Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of natural essential oils and herbal techniques for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own Aromatherapy Room Spray.

Well Played is a series of creative play that supports the six dimensions of wellness through the use of toys and art.  Learn how playing can help decrease stress, engage the senses, and support your leadership skills!  Take a moment, use your imagination, and play with us!