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McWell to host events to encourage relaxation, mindfulness in the absence of a fall break

| Monday, October 12, 2020

The McDonald Center for Well-Being will host Restoration Week Oct. 12-17, a new initiative designed to help students relax and recharge in the absence of Fall Break.

In a normal year, after eight weeks of studying, Notre Dame students were granted a brief break to prepare for the rest of the semester, Megan Brown, director of the McDonald Center for Well-Being (McWell), said.

This semester, coronavirus concerns prevent students from having the same opportunity. Even so, McWell wants to help prevent burnout and encourage students to develop self-care skills to bolster them throughout the rest of the semester.

“There are several different kinds of breaks,” Brown said. “Although fall break is a cherished one, there are many different ways to restore and rejuvenate, and we need to incorporate different types to be at our best.”

All week long, students can participate in a social media contest, using #NDRestoration or #NDTakeaBreak for a chance to win a restorative gift pack. The Fighting Irish Wall in the Duncan Student Center, sponsored by Campus Ministry, will also offer words of hope for anyone in need of encouragement throughout the week. Each day, Getting Real on Well-being (GROW) peer leaders will be showing students different restorative spaces around campus and offering various restoration goodies, such as tea, cookies, essential oils and journals. Additionally, students are always welcome to reserve a McWell restorative space, attend daily mass at the Basilica or visit the Grotto.

Throughout the week, a variety of campus groups will host opportunities to practice restorative activities ranging from sleep workshops and special dining hall menus designed remind students of home to yoga sessions and a special travel movie night. Here’s a look at the week’s itinerary:

On Monday, campus dining services will serve a Hawaiian-themed meal. There will also be a virtual mindfulness drop-in session and virtual restorative yoga sponsored by Student Welfare & Development.

Tuesday, otherwise known as GratiTUESDAY, features a gratitude card kit handout, a collaborative drawing game hosted by the Snite Musuem of Art, a virtual racial microaggression workshop, a special Italian meal and more.

On Wednesday, the University Counseling Center will be handing out chalk for students to write or draw encouragements on the sidewalks around campus, and Campus Ministry will be offering a guided meditation and prayer. In addition, the dining hall will serve a Polish meal.

Thursday offers stress-relief coloring, a nature walk sponsored by GROW peer leaders and a Cajun meal. Students can also visit a virtual photography exhibit or drop-in for a mindfulness session.

Friday features a virtual sleep workshop, restorative yoga, a travel movie night sponsored by Active Minds and Student Union Board and a homestyle American meal.

Finally, on Saturday, students can close out the restoration week with some free sketching materials from the Snite Museum of Art and a 90s karaoke night on South Quad.

The full descriptions of each day, including the times and locations of various programs and events are listed on the Restoration Week website.

“Ultimately, we hope this week will infuse a little positive energy and hope into the middle of a tough semester, prevent burnout and help students hone their self-care skills that will last them a lifetime,” Brown said.

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