Wellness Week 2019 #hereforyou
Nov. 4th to Nov. 8th (Monday to Friday) was exam week. We also decided to make it wellness week. The reason why we did this was because it’s a time of extreme stress where we tend to ignore our mental wellbeing. We come up with excuses like, "I’m too busy: , "Or I don’t have time for that". During this wellness week, we encouraged everyone at Qibao Dwight to take a few minutes and do something for their mental wellbeing because just a little can go a long way.
#hereforyou is a mental health campaign started by Instagram. Its purpose is to spread awareness regarding mental health and remind everyone that people around you are there for you. We really like this message so we decided to use it for our wellness week as well. We want people to know that we are here for them and we are here for each other.
We set up 3 stations: the energy boost station, mindfulness station, and words of encouragement station. For the mindfulness station, we had coloring books, chess, yarn and needles, squishy balls and origami paper to help destress. We found the squishy balls and the origami paper were the most popular. As soon as the squishy balls arrived at the station, they were gone in a few seconds. The repeated squeezing and stretching of the squishy toy helps to release tension and stress. Origami paper was a shared memory among students. We can all recall the first time we folded a paper airplane. As an ancient, peaceful craft that is not just for children, Origami can also be used as a way to enhance mindfulness for people of all ages.
Words of encouragement: We had almost two hundred students offer words of encouragement to their peers - from wishing them well on their exams to just letting them know that they are appreciated as a friend. The opportunity to write something positive, share their feelings, value their relationships, and lift someone's spirits opened students hearts and helped them them breathe life into the activity. There were smiles, laughter, and a warm energy that was infectious! The board was then put on display in the Office of Student Affairs but there are plans to make it more visible on campus.
For the Energy Boost Station, the student committee generously used part of their budget to purchase nuts, raisins and juice boxes to help boost students and teachers’ energy during the exam week. The student committees message was “We are here for you!”
On the last day of wellness week all the students took part in an English-speaking activity known as Fluency Friday whereby students are encouraged to have conversations during lunch time. This activity allows learners to practice speaking openly and helps them to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts on certain topics. Speaking openly and sharing was a key theme of wellness week. The conversation topics of this Fluency Friday event were centred around physical and mental wellbeing, stress management, relaxation, communication and friendship. The response was great with many students having meaningful conversations and sharing their thoughts and experiences related to wellness.
During the Wellness Week, we also had a poster challenge where we encourage the community to find the #hereforyou posters we put up and start to talk about mental health openly and genuinely.
In all it was a great week at Qibao Dwight