Health Center to open new wellness space for meditation, relaxation

BY  MERYL PHAIR ’21

A new wellness space will open in the Pattie J. Groves Health Center on Feb. 26. The wellness space is a part of Mount Holyoke’s Be Well initiative, a student-focused and community-based program made up of 15 members of faculty, staff and student representatives who are in charge of promoting well-being on campus.  

The new space, which is located to the right of the waiting area in the Health Center, contains a massage chair, yoga mats and pillows, plants, a flowing water fountain and calm lighting, all to promote relaxation and health.

“The new wellness space is important for students at Mount Holyoke to break down the stress culture and to physically step away from the bustle of campus,” said Rachael Essing, student representative on the Be Well steering committee. “Having a designated, intentional space where one knows they can go to meditate, do a relaxation exercise and to unwind and unplug throughout the day is a start to cementing a regular self-care practice.” 

The space will be open for student drop-ins, for group meditation or for yoga exercises through an electronic reservation system. Weathers is also hoping to have professionals come in to hold workshops and classes for small groups of students. 

“We address well-being and health among students, knowing that there is this culture of stress. We’re coming up with initiatives and programming to help support students,” said Erica Weathers, clinician at Counseling Services. She is also co-chair of the Be Well steering committee along with Jennifer Balut, the director of the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP). 

The “Be Well” initiative is based on a four-component model of “healthy body,” healthy mind,” “healthy life” and “healthy community,” each of which address different aspects of student life. “Healthy body” addresses concerns in athletics and recreation, and risk-taking education. “Healthy mind” handles emotional and spiritual wellness. “Healthy life” deals with academic, career and life skills, and “Healthy community” with creating connections, understanding others and celebrating together. 

“We are looking at how the individual influences a community and vice versa so we can have, as a whole, a healthier community,” said Weathers. 

There will be an open house in the new wellness space every night from 6-8 p.m. Monday Feb. 26 through Thursday March 1. On Monday and Wednesday, Pet-a-Pet will be there and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, members of the Mount Holyoke College community are encouraged to stop by to test out the massage chair. Weathers also confirms there will be a chocolate fountain and fresh fruit. 

Be Well committee members are looking for feedback from students about what they like and what more they can do in the space. They hope that the center will eventually have satellite spaces all across campus to be even more accessible for students. 

A new wellness space will open in the Pattie J. Groves Health Center on Feb. 26. The wellness space is a part of Mount Holyoke’s Be Well initiative, a student-focused and community-based program made up of 15 members of faculty, staff and student representatives who are in charge of promoting well-being on campus.  

The new space, which is located to the right of the waiting area in the Health Center, contains a massage chair, yoga mats and pillows, plants, a flowing water fountain and calm lighting, all to promote relaxation and health.

“The new wellness space is important for students at Mount Holyoke to break down the stress culture and to physically step away from the bustle of campus,” said Rachael Essing, student representative on the Be Well steering committee. “Having a designated, intentional space where one knows they can go to meditate, do a relaxation exercise and to unwind and unplug throughout the day is a start to cementing a regular self-care practice.” 

The space will be open for student drop-ins, for group meditation or for yoga exercises through an electronic reservation system. Weathers is also hoping to have professionals come in to hold workshops and classes for small groups of students. 

“We address well-being and health among students, knowing that there is this culture of stress. We’re coming up with initiatives and programming to help support students,” said Erica Weathers, clinician at Counseling Services. She is also co-chair of the Be Well steering committee along with Jennifer Balut, the director of the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP). 

The “Be Well” initiative is based on a four-component model of “healthy body,” healthy mind,” “healthy life” and “healthy community,” each of which address different aspects of student life. “Healthy body” addresses concerns in athletics and recreation, and risk-taking education. “Healthy mind” handles emotional and spiritual wellness. “Healthy life” deals with academic, career and life skills, and “Healthy community” with creating connections, understanding others and celebrating together. 

“We are looking at how the individual influences a community and vice versa so we can have, as a whole, a healthier community,” said Weathers. 

There will be an open house in the new wellness space every night from 6-8 p.m. Monday Feb. 26 through Thursday March 1. On Monday and Wednesday, Pet-a-Pet will be there and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, members of the Mount Holyoke College community are encouraged to stop by to test out the massage chair. Weathers also confirms there will be a chocolate fountain and fresh fruit. 

Be Well committee members are looking for feedback from students about what they like and what more they can do in the space. They hope that the center will eventually have satellite spaces all across campus to be even more accessible for students. 

Mount Holyoke News

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