The Wesleyan Argus | WesWell Hosts Wellness Wednesdays to Promote Student Health

c/o Alex Turtil, assistant photo editor

The Office of Health Education (WesWell) is hosting Wellbeing Wednesdays, a series of one-hour sessions combining various activities to promote student wellbeing, from Wednesday, April 6 through Wednesday, May 4. The lineup was announced in an all-campus email on Monday, April 4.

Most sessions will take place virtually and involve a variety of elements, including presentations, lectures, videos, TedTalks, craft activities and trivia. All events are open to students, staff and faculty. WesWell director Patrick Gordon explained that each session is formatted differently as it is the pilot program for the Wellness Wednesdays series.

“This is a brand new series, and we’re gathering feedback to see if students, staff, or faculty would like it to be offered in future semesters,” Gordon wrote in an email to TheArgus. “Since this is the first time we’ve done this, we’d like to try different types of activities and topics, and see which are the most accessible and comfortable for people to learn. It’s a challenge to find free time when students aren’t busy with classes and the many activities, so we also pilot this Wednesday lunch hour.

The first event, a workshop titled “Stop Counting Sheep, Get the Flock to Sleep,” was held on Wednesday, April 6, and offered strategies to improve the quality and quantity of sleep. The second event, “Why You Should Practice Emotional First Aid,” was a session that aimed to help people prioritize mental and emotional health.

Upcoming events include “Procrastination and Perfectionism,” which focuses on ways to break out of procrastinating habits; “The Power of Vulnerability”, a meeting for people to learn about the impact of vulnerability on well-being; and “Tapping Away Your Stress,” a gathering that teaches students the benefits of tapping, rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. “Tapping Away Your Stress” is the only in-person Wellness Wednesday session.

Gordon will host the first four sessions, and WesWell Assistant Director of Training and Assessment Dr. Smith Kidkarndee will help you “Tapping Away Your Stress”.

“Tapping is a self-help technique that has been shown to calm emotional responses related to anxiety and stress,” Kidkarndee wrote in an email to The Argus. “We will train together in person.”

Gordon stressed the importance of student participation in these sessions, especially near the end of the semester.

“All of these sessions focus on current issues and challenges facing Wes’ students, including issues with sleep, stress, connection, and barriers to motivation,” Gordon wrote. “During a busy semester within a pandemic, students can potentially learn some really useful skills and strategies to support their well-being or help them deal with the challenges they face. It can also provide a space for them to identify, understand that they are not alone in the challenges they face, and potentially find ideas to address their concerns.

Individuals can register for Wellness Wednesday events through a online form.

Aris Dashiell can be reached at [email protected].

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