Wellness Week explores seven zones

Week-long event focuses on multiple dimensions of well-being


Anna Malesiewski, Features Editor

Students will have the opportunity to fortify their physical, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual, emotional and occupational wellness at this year’s Wellness Week, which will take place Monday, Feb. 7, through Friday, Feb 11 at the Recreation and Wellness Center.  

This year’s Wellness Week is a version of the Wellness Fair, which was held in previous years and was only one day long. 

The theme of Wellness Week this year is “Carnival.” 

Each day of Wellness Week will be dedicated to a different zone or zones of wellness, Lisa Laird, director of Academic Student Support and Engagement at Gannon, said. 

“Wellness week will expose Gannon students to the variety of wellness areas that the university supports regarding student, faculty and staff well-being,” Laird said. “Providing information, resources and engagement in a weeklong event will be an opportunity for Gannon’s campus community to engage in a positive and supportive way to improve one’s own well-being.” 

There will be activities, food, raffles, prizes and giveaways corresponding with each zone and day of the week. Anyone who participates in two or more Wellness Week activities will receive a free Wellness Week T-shirt, said Mackenna Haskins, wellness coordinator at Gannon’s Recreation and Wellness Center and primary planner of Wellness Week. 

“There will be something for everyone,” Haskins said. “The hope is that all participants will learn about each of the seven dimensions of wellness and incorporate wellness into their everyday lives.” 

Haskins also said that the Recreation and Wellness Center staff partnered with many organizations on campus to make this weeklong event possible, such as Career Exploration and Development, occupational and physical therapy departments, Student Success Center, Health and Counseling Center, Active Minds, Mental Wellbeing Taskforce, Mission and Ministry, APB and LDCE. 

However, some components of the planning process this year were different from years past, Haskins said. 

“We are being mindful of all COVID-19 protocols and including some virtual events, so that anyone can participate in some way,” Haskins said. “The Wellness Week has been well-received by campus partners and we are eager to receive feedback from participants.” 

Monday will focus on environmental wellness. Students will have the opportunity to build their own Zen garden with free succulents, and items like reusable straws, water bottles and grocery bags will be given away. Peak n’ Peek gift cards and a desk Zen garden will also be raffled off. 

On Tuesday, physical wellness will be the focus. Activities such as biometric screenings, intramural tournaments, nutrition activities, fitness challenges, opportunities to rent a personal trainer and a life-size Hungry Hungry Hippo game will be held. Personal training packages, Fitbits and a deep tissue massage gun will be raffled off. 

Intellectual and occupational wellness will be the center of attention Wednesday. A virtual speed networking event and virtual resume and interviewing sessions will take place, as well as professional head shots, brain games and puzzles. An Amazon Echo Dot and AirPods will be raffled off this day as well. 

On Thursday, emotional and spiritual wellness will be at the forefront. There will be Mass in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel, as well as a presentation by Kimberly Morrow, Ph.D., titled “Living Well as a Student in Uncertain Times.” Other activities include mindfulness and meditation, massages, therapy dogs, Legos and stress games. Yoga mats, a weighted blanket and massage gift cards will be raffled off and there will be Cold Stone Creamery frozen yogurt. 

The emotional component of overall wellness is one of the most important tenants of wellness, Laird said. 

“There are a variety of definitions regarding emotional wellness, but what resonates with me are being aware of and accepting feelings and clearly recognizing thoughts, feelings and behaviors,” Laird said. “Emotional wellness influences our daily life and affects our physical health, the choices we make, how we view ourselves, our jobs, how/if we view a higher power, and who we engage with. So, in essence, our emotional wellness impacts all areas of our wellness.” 

Education about how to maintain emotional wellness is especially important for students and part of a well-rounded educational experience that goes beyond academics, Laird said. It is important for students to learn about themselves and the world around them. 

“Having an opportunity to learn more about one’s emotional wellness can help students throughout their time at Gannon and beyond,” Laird said. 

“When attending the Wellness Week, ideally students will develop a better understanding of their own emotional wellness. Being exposed and open-minded is a start that can lead to students learning strategies for supporting their own emotional wellness.” 

Active Minds, Gannon’s chapter of the student-led mental health awareness club, will also make an appearance Thursday of Wellness Week. Active Minds will not only have a table in the Recreation and Wellness Center on that day, but the group also aided in planning and marketing the events. 

Georgios Koutroulis, a junior accounting and entrepreneurship major and vice president of Active Minds, said that Active Minds’ presence on this day is essential to the group’s mission to promote emotional wellness. 

“Active Minds focuses on the mental well-being of students as this organization focuses on destigmatizing mental health,” Koutroulis said. “We promote activities that benefit the mental well-being of students, which is why the emotional component of wellness is very important to Active Minds.” 

Thursday of Wellness Week will also offer students opportunities to engage in self-care. 

“Attending the Wellness Week is supposed to be relaxing for the students and it is supposed to be an opportunity to forget about any worries students may have,” Koutroulis said. “People can take care of their emotional well-being by taking some time of their day to relax and simply do things they enjoy.” 

Friday will focus on social wellness, with social activities such as APB wellness-based trivia, movie night, e-sports tournaments and create-your-own Valentine’s Day cards. AirPods, a speaker and gift cards will also be raffled off. 

Because Wellness Week is now a weeklong event, there are more opportunities for students to explore the various elements of well-being. 

“One highlight of the planning process is the extended amount of time for participants to explore each zone rather than just one day,” Haskins said. “We are embracing the change and are excited for everyone to see what Wellness Week is all about and to learn about the seven dimensions of wellness.” 


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