McWell’s ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ offer opportunities to maintain well-being
Evan Ploeckelman | Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Every week, the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell) hosts a “Wellness Wednesday,” as part of a new initiative designed to address the wellness needs of students. The weekly is held either in person, virtually or on the center’s Instagram page.
The initiative has both an overarching monthly theme and specific weekly topics.This month’s theme is “Bouncing Back,” which focuses on managing stress and building resilience. This week, the topic will focus on self-compassion and will be announced on the Instagram account. It will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. on North Quad.
Eleigh Tricker, health and wellness coordinator for McWell, has developed the programming for Wellness Wednesdays this semester.
“Wellness Wednesdays is a flexible program that enables McWell to share simple, easy-to-learn strategies that can positively impact different aspects of our well-being,” Tricker said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, life on campus has changed dramatically, which has particularly impacted the mental health and well-being of students, Tricker said. Wellness Wednesdays have been designed to meet the needs of students on campus during the pandemic.
“The Notre Dame community has been deeply impacted by how the structure of our social network has changed over the past year,” Tricker said. “Providing opportunities for deeper social connection has always been a focus of our work at McWell.”
The topics for the weekly event are based on survey data collected by McWell.
“Our most recent surveys indicated that the top three challenges for students were staying connected, managing stress and keeping up with academics,” Tricker said.
In February, Wellness Wednesdays focused on staying connected. In March, the focus has been on managing stress — the second of the top three challenges survey respondents identified. The theme “Bouncing Back” aims to incorporate events that promote stress management and resilience building in order to help lower stress during a particularly stressful semester.
Last Wellness Wednesday focused on healthy eating and was a part of McWell’s “Fuel Yo’ Self Week.” It took place on North Quad and included a dinner kit giveaway, a raffle and a “Fuel Yo’ Self” guide. McWell and Campus Dining hosted “Meet, Greet, and Eat” groups in February to give students the opportunity to meet new people while sharing a meal together. Registration is now open for other upcoming McWell events, such as virtual Koru mindfulness classes and connection groups.
Tricker said her favorite aspect of Wellness Wednesday is the ability it gives students to feel safe while discussing important topics about mental health and well-being.
“It gives us a platform to talk about heavy topics and needs in a safe way that hopefully leaves everybody feeling more capable and calm,” she said.
She also highlighted the importance of participating in these events.
“Everyone can benefit from taking a few moments to improve their own well-being,” Tricker said. “Strong communities are built when we take good care of ourselves and one another.”