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Supporting Student Wellness Series: Combating Stress and Building Mindfulness
Inclusive of projects, finals and holidays, the end of the semester often correlates to students’ experiencing rising stress levels. From talking with friends to increasing physical activity, through each individual’s unique wellness journey, they navigate stress as they grow emotional wellness differently.
It can be beneficial for students to set aside intentional time to explore stress reducing and mindfulness resources to learn what works for them and their unique holistic health and wellness goals.
“When experiencing stress, we also encourage our students to explore incorporating mindfulness, otherwise known as checking-in with yourself non-judgmentally, to better understand experiences and what may be contributing to stress,” explains Gwyn Esty-Kendall, Barnes Center at The Arch health promotion specialist. “Spending time practicing mindfulness and self-awareness can also help students find ways to cope and that meet their unique interests, such as meditation, journaling, light-therapy, breathing exercises and more.”
As a free resource to grow emotional wellness and combat stress, the Barnes Center at The Arch Crowley Family MindSpa is a private space dedicated to creating opportunities for growing mindfulness through an array of mentally stimulating and relaxing activities.
What is the Crowley Family MindSpa?
One of the newer additions to support efforts surrounding holistic health and wellness on campus, the updated version of the Crowley Family MindSpa opened its doors along with the Barnes Center at The Arch in 2019.
As a place on campus where you can get a physical massage, while waiting for a “mind massage,” the Crowley Family MindSpa is located on the first floor of the Barnes Center at The Arch. Offering three private rooms in addition to a massage chair, the space is accessible, free and available to students, faculty and staff.
Why is it important to encourage participation in the Crowley Family MindSpa?
The list of reasons to share is seemingly endless. However, overarchingly, by sharing these mindfulness resources, you empower your fellow Orange and support their unique wellness journey.
Katrice Ramirez-Henry ’22, Barnes Center at The Arch student assistant, addresses the importance of incorporating self-care alongside academics as a student. “In college, we seldom get the chance to check in with ourselves without the looming pressure of upcoming deadlines. Self-care is important, and it’s easy to forget when balancing other responsibilities at the same time.”
Glory Chung ’22, Barnes Center at The Arch student assistant, encourages others to share that the Crowley Family MindSpa is a need-to-know resource for anyone seeking to de-stress. “It’s important to dedicate time every day to practicing mindfulness and stress relief, so you don’t get overwhelmed and bottle all of your stresses up. It’s good to give your body and mind a rest. The best benefit of the Crowley Family MindSpa is knowing that you have a safe space on campus away from your residence hall, the libraries and classrooms. It is a space where you can come in and be alone for a couple of minutes without thinking of anything.”
Crowley Family MindSpa Experiences
Participants can expect experiences that cater to each of their senses, maximizing feelings of rest and relaxation. The campus community is invited to learn more through the Crowley Family MindSpa highlights shared below. Reservations are free, required and available on the Wellness Portal. To learn more, visit the Wellness Portal Instructional webpage for additional support.
- Biofeedback Tools: Helping to understand and learn to regulate physical responses to stimuli, the Muse biofeedback software measures heart rate and brain activity, while adapting visual and audio feedback to help slow breathing and decrease stress levels. Available in all three rooms per 30-minute session.
- Full-Body Massage Chair: Enjoy a free 15-minute session.
- Light Therapy Boxes: Each of the three rooms hosts a light therapy box. Mimicking the sun’s rays by using full spectrum light, the “Happy Light” prompts your body to produce feel-good hormones that boost natural energy while promoting relaxation and focus. Sessions are 30 minutes.
- Relaxation-promoting Items: All three rooms are equipped with a sand Zen Garden and Buddha Board, allowing your creativity to grow, while prompting the release of tension and stress. Additionally, Room One offers wind chimes and coloring books. Create a reservation to discover more experiences today. Sessions are 30 minutes.
Don’t have the time to commit to an on-campus Crowley Family MindSpa appointment? With the Virtual MindSpa, you can make your own space at home or on the go. Hosted on the Wellness Portal, the Virtual MindSpa is free for the campus community, and through videos and resources, supports mindfulness journeys wherever you are.
About the Supporting Student Wellness Series
Through a student-focused lens of integrated health and wellness, this series explores a variety of Barnes Center at The Arch resources and services. In the pursuit of enhancing the student experience, topics empower faculty, staff, students, families and supporters as catalysts of health and wellness within their daily interactions.
This story was written by Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience communications intern Cecelia Kersten ’23, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.