Conestoga news

February 7, 2024 2:09 PM

Health and Wellness Week activities prioritize student well-being

Featuring a series of virtual and in-person events that focused on student mental, spiritual, and physical well-being, Health and Wellness Week took place across Conestoga campuses January 29 to February 2.

Over 50 students participated in a Zumba class held at the SRC as part of Health and Wellness Week. The event supported student physical and social well-being — a goal for the week.

“It’s crucial to allow students to see and experience the various facets of well-being and the link between achieving balance in one’s personal life and success in academic and student life,” said Brayden Lisiecki, health promotion specialist, Student Success.

“Taking a broad focus, from physical activity, diet, and relaxation to hobbies and finances, Health and Wellness Week is designed to empower students to take charge of and prioritize their well-being.”

On the creative side, canvas painting events were held at The Breathing Space, a sanctuary reserved for wellness at the Kitchener - Downtown and Kitchener - Doon campuses.

“Each Wednesday at The Breathing Space, we provide a creative activity that allows students to therapeutically relax and express themselves as well as network and build friendships with fellow students,” said Sonia Singhania, a peer wellness navigator.

“We’re also open Monday through Friday for students to drop in for supportive listening and any other kind of moral support we can offer.”

Among other areas of focus during the week were nutrition, and the Create Your Healthy Plate event centred on the key role that healthy eating plays in student well-being.  

“At our workshop, we’re teaching students how to make a well-balanced meal as well as general nutrition tips and tricks to ensure students are living a healthier lifestyle through nutrition,” said Emma Clark of the Athletics & Recreation team, who led the event at the Student Recreation Centre at the Doon campus.

As part of a wider focus on wellness, a seminar led by financial advisor Mike Bissett took place at the Kitchener - Downtown campus. Sponsored by Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI), the seminar informed students about financial wellness and how to avoid some of the problems students often find themselves in with their finances.

“When I was younger, I made almost every mistake that I talk to people about not making,” said Bissett. “I like educating students to help them avoid those same pitfalls.”

“I am doing a lot better than I thought I was,” said first-year student Sam Weber who attended the event. Weber also noted the in-person event made it easier to rely on the source of information.

Beyond Health and Wellness Week, events are held on an ongoing basis that focus on topics crucial to well-being.

The Conestoga Consent Culture series promotes healthy relationships and interactions with intimate partners, as well as support for victims of gender-based violence. The next workshop in the series takes place February 15. Sending the right message: Virtual Consent and Harassment, will focus on online violence including sexual harassment, tools for positive communication and resources for support. Registration is available for the virtual event through the Student Success portal.

A collaborative effort involving Student Success, CSI, Athletics & Recreation and the International team, Health and Wellness week takes place each term to showcase the supports and services available to students.