Clark students will have some extra time to relax, unwind, and focus on their well-being this semester thanks to several Wellness Days that have been incorporated into the academic calendar.
Classes will not be held on Tuesday as Clark celebrates its first Wellness Day, with additional dates planned for April 21 and May 20. Instead, students will have a chance to participate in a wide range of fun and relaxing Clark-sponsored events, including a hike and meditation in the Hadwen Arboretum, outdoor games on the Green, do-it-yourself (DIY) activities, food trucks, and more.
“This year has confronted our students with unbelievable challenges and demands, and these have understandably affected our collective level of well-being,” says Erica Beachy, director of wellness education at Clark. “We have been reminded that a state of wellness is not something to be taken for granted and is not static, but an ever-changing and dynamic process. My hope is that each Wellness Day serves as a brief moment of pause for students to think intentionally about what they are needing for that day.”
Wellness Day activities are designed to meet a broad range of needs within the campus community, according to Beachy, whether that be connecting with others, having fun, getting out into nature, working on a creative project, or exercising.
“The ability to regularly tune in to ourselves to understand how we are doing and what we need is essential to our wellness,” she says.
Tuesday’s events will begin with a morning mile walk around campus that departs from Red Square at 9:30 a.m., followed by warm drinks in Red Square from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Yoga on the Green will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, with outdoor music on the Green from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Other activities include giant board games on the Green from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., name coloring sheets in the UC Tent from 1 to 3 p.m., DIY eye masks in the UC Tent from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and tie-dye on the Green from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Several food trucks will also be making an appearance on campus, including The Grub Guru in Atwood Plaza from 2 to 4 p.m. and a fried dough food truck from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Those looking to connect with nature may wish to participate in a hike and meditation in the Hadwen Arboretum that departs from the Little Center at 3:30 p.m., or sit outside by firepits on the Green from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“We’re hoping these Wellness Days will allow students to safely let loose and have fun,” says Allison Shilling, director of campus life for Student Leadership and Programming. “The amount of energy that our students are being required to give to function as friends, students, and members of society is a lot, and it takes a toll on physical and mental well-being. We’re hoping students see the activities planned as a mix between a casual Friday afternoon on the Green and Spree Day.”
Shilling adds that the University plans to offer a diverse mix of activities for each Wellness Day to create a schedule with the student experience at its core. Engagement offices within Student Affairs are developing and staffing each Wellness Day and are open to ideas and feedback. Students can give their input for Wellness Days here.