University Counseling Services has been offering Wellness Tuesdays for students, staff and faculty to relieve stress during the school year. These sessions are held every Tuesday during the semester in Room 223 in Royce Hall starting at 4 p.m. They rotate between Mindful Minutes, Mindful Movement, Creative Expression and Random Tuesdays. Specific counselors from Counseling Services host each session.
One of the university’s counselors, Jason Artz, hosts the Mindful Minutes sessions. During this, Artz leads a group meditation followed by a self-evaluation of how meditating went for each person. Artz states, “I would say the groups are smaller in terms of attendance, but I think for the purpose of this it works pretty well.”
Wellness Tuesdays started eight years ago with combined sessions led by Artz and a previous counselor who has since moved to a different UW System university. These combined sessions started with yoga, as the previous counselor had yoga training, and then closed with a brief mindfulness activity led by Artz. This continued for a couple of years before more options were developed and thus different types of sessions were created.
While Wellness Tuesdays may not work for everyone, many other strategies are available on campus. Artz stated, “Last year, the UW System purchased access to the SilverCloud app. Anyone from the UW System, whether it’s students, faculty or staff have free access to it.” SilverCloud is a wellness app that includes journaling applications, mindful meditation activities, programs for sleep help and many more self-help tools.
Another opportunity students have available on campus is the Wellness Walk. One of the counselors, Mandi Wood, states, “The Wellness Walk starts outside of Bridgeway Commons, (where) you walk away from the bridge and go around coming up near the Circle and GWAM and it goes all the way to the library.” Along the way, there are activities posted for students to read and partake in.
One other wellness option on campus includes the Pioneer Activity Center. “The PAC offers a lot of great options because we know physical activity is going to be a part of wellness,” states Wood. Within the PAC, there are the wooden courts, an indoor track, weight room and many other activities for students to participate in. Lisa Emendorfer, a senior lecturer in Health and Human Performance, states, “In the PAC, they offer the virtual classes so you can do them in the privacy of your own dorm room, house, apartment, etc.”