At Hillel, we care about each other’s well being. We feel it is vital for us to include mental health and wellness in our support within our community. And so, two weeks ago, Hillels Waterloo and Laurier planned an entire week focused on students’ mental health and wellness. We based the week around the 5 Pillars of Wellness which are Emotional Wellness, Mental Wellness, Spiritual Wellness, Social Wellness, and Physical Wellness. Each of our events had a purpose in fulfilling and educating students on how to include these pillars in their lives.
Before reading week, it can be particularly hard for students to remember to take breaks from the pressures of midterm season. We know how important it is for students to balance their schoolwork while remembering to take time for themselves.
Wellness Week was packed. On Monday, the first day, we hosted a Colouring and Crafting event in the Waterloo Arts Quad where students coloured, and made bracelets and keychains. Despite the light rain, we had a great turnout. On Tuesday, we had our Shal:OM workout in Waterloo Park to get some physical activity. Wednesday was our biggest event of the week: Coffee Schmooze! Students came out to Laurier’s Alumni Field for coffee, snacks and games. It was a well-deserved break and a ton of fun. On the fourth day, Hillel ran two simultaneous study sessions; one at Laurier’s Alumni Field and another at Waterloo’s Science Teaching Complex. This was a great opportunity for students to surround themselves with peers and still feel productive.
Finally, on Friday, we celebrated reaching our well-deserved break: reading week. After a hard week of midterms, assignments and classes, we came together for a beautiful walk in Waterloo Park before we all took off to our respective homes for the week off. The trees filled with the fall colours, students sighed with relief and exhaustion as they reflected on their week. At the park we visited the llamas and peacocks – and this connection with nature was so needed.
Overall, this week was a huge success. Our students executive team is proud of all we accomplished for our community and are overjoyed with the feedback we have received from students. We are looking forward to hosting future wellness weeks.
Anna Muller and Jori Reiken
Student Leaders of Wellness Week