Undergraduate students welcomed the chance to pause during their hectic study schedules and work on their inner wellness this past February. Building on the success of the first one, the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS) added more interactive activities to engage students at the 2nd Annual Wellness Fair. The result was a lunch hour spent with enthusiastic students taking a moment to refresh, and recognizing how these activities can be used, with positive results, in patient care.
The Nursing Simulation Lab (Sim Lab) and Bloomberg Nursing’s main foyer were transformed into a variety of stations that brimmed with student activity. New additions to the fair included a therapeutic play station with games like Jenga, books, cards and Lego for students to de-stress with, a popular music and percussion therapy room that allowed participants the chance to express feelings through music and a manicure stand that had a long cue the whole hour.
“Music therapy has many benefits, and it was great to see this station attract so many students,” said Kate Dunbar, NUS Wellness Coordinator and one of the event organizers. “I’ve come to understand how music is a universal means of expressing feelings and experiences that can be difficult to articulate or access. Explored in a group, like we set-up at the fair, music also offers a new way of relating to others and fosters greater cohesiveness and sense of community.”
The first Wellness Fair came about through collaboration with then-student Nicole Harada and faculty members Maureen Barry, Pam Walker, Francine Wynn and Cathy Maser. Dunbar and fellow Wellness Coordinator Page Dixon brought the best from the first fair including Qi Gong mediation, hand and neck massages, and expanded to show an even greater variety of wellness options. Back again this year was the pet therapy station, which featured two of the cutest canines to enter the building.
Students who attended both Wellness fairs had extensive praise for the event and enjoyed the opportunity to try the different activities.
“This Wellness Fair expanded on the success of last year and took it to a new level,” said Alyse Hansen. “The turnout of first- and second-year students was beyond expectations and the created a great atmosphere in the health science building.”
Jeanny Boneng, president of the Nursing Undergraduate Society was “captivated by the numerous activities available for health and wellness” and Jenn Najarro enjoyed the “different stations such as the massage, manicure, and pet therapy station.”
Embraced by students and faculty at Bloomberg Nursing, the Wellness Fair has attracted interest from other areas of the university. The Nursing Undergraduate Society recognizes that students at all of the faculties could benefit from these wellness activities and are looking into widening the scope of the fair and potentially engaging students across the university.
“I believe the best antidote to stress or frustration is to get creative and get involved with other people,” said Page Dixon, NUS Jr. Wellness Coordinator and event organizer. “The fair was successful because of the therapeutic activities and how it allowed faculty and students to come together in positivity. The intense focus of our program draws on the emotional reserves of faculty and students alike, so it was important that we gave ourselves some time to refresh.”