From January 20-24, student services across the college hosted Health & Wellness Week at Conestoga campuses to provide students with an opportunity to engage in events that boosted mental, spiritual and physical health and wellness.
New York Times bestselling author and Emmy award-winning Netflix star Antoni Porowski joined the Conestoga community for a feature presentation on health and wellness.
Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI), Student Engagement, Security Services, Athletics & Recreation and Student Success Services collaborated to offer a full week of activities to highlight the various on-campus services available to students.
As a special feature organized by CSI to close out the week, the Conestoga community welcomed Antoni Porowski to the Student Recreation Centre at the college’s Doon campus. The New York Times bestselling author and Emmy award-winning star of Netflix’s Queer Eye shared his perspective on health and wellness and how it relates to food and self-care.
A self-taught cook, Porowski discovered the joy food brings at a young age and honed his craft in restaurants from Montreal to New York City to establish a place in the culinary world. As the food and wine expert on Queer Eye — a reality makeover show helping transform individuals by making their lives easier, healthier and happier — he shares his philosophy of food having the power to connect and inspire.
Porowski encouraged students to take opportunities to share meals as a way of connecting, whether it be cooking for friends and family or sitting on the floor of a dorm room sharing pizza. It’s these connections, especially to those with shared experiences like the pressures of school, Porowski stressed are important to self-care.
“I wish when I was in college I was a little gentler with myself,” said Porowski. “I punished myself over things I had no control over because that kind of felt easier, and I just wish I would have taken a little bit more time for myself and self-care in terms of connecting with other people.”
To help manage the stress of college life, Porowski also encouraged students to keep a journal to help identify and understand stressors and how to plan for them. For Porowski, understanding how feelings of being overwhelmed affect his diet and mental well-being helps him better prepare. He explained that being conscious about healthy eating and physical activity make him a happier person, and ensuring healthy snacks are stocked for days when he has a hectic schedule or finding ten minutes to be mindful with meditation helps him adapt.
Other Health & Wellness Week events across Conestoga campuses included workshops on stress management, basic budgeting and healthy eating, as well as expos showcasing resources from counselling services and the medical care clinic and opportunities to connect with Student Success Advisors and dietitians.
The college’s official student association, CSI, represents the interests of students across all Conestoga campuses. Support services focus on leadership and career development, academics, and health and wellness.