GSA wellness week underway

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The Graduate Student’s Association is holding events this week for its students in an effort to increase wellness at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The events are being organized by the GSA’s wellness committee, a group that promotes a work-life balance in response to the propensity for mental illness within the graduate student community

“Graduate students are so busy all the time, and we all know the impact of stress on our bodies, but with our busy schedules we kind of forget to take care of ourselves,” said Preet Chauhan, wellness coordinator. “It kind of started with graduate students who thought it would be really important to just take some time out, just plan things for other students to be a part of.”

The Waterloo campus will have its wellness activities on November 25 and 26, running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.

The events were planned to enable the maximum number of students to attend, instead of limiting activities to students who may only be on campus in the mornings or evenings.

Students will be able to visit the Hawk’s Nest throughout the day to receive a massage from a registered massage therapist as well as participate in numerous activities such as cupcake decorating, canvas painting or tea sampling, as well as play with therapy dogs on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Massages were additionally available to students on the Waterloo campus on November 23 and 24, with Brantford organizing events for its graduate students as well.

“It’s basically to allow students an opportunity to come out, relax, focus on their self-care and take a holistic approach to their well-being,” said Chauhan. “All [events are planned around] aspects of well-being, so physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.”

All events are open free of charge to all graduate students and will be running for the length of the Wellness Days.

This is in contrast to past years when activities where scheduled in time blocks throughout the day, giving students the opportunity to attend when they could. This is an effort by Chauhan to ensure no one was left waiting around.

“I thought it would be important to give people something to do while they’re waiting [for a massage], because it can be really boring and we’re always on our phone, so it’s important to get off of the technology and do other things.”

Though the GSA is encouraging students to attend, the main goal of the week is to raise awareness around the need for graduate students to care for their personal well-being.

“We know it’s a really busy time of the year for everybody, but taking a little break and coming out and being involved in these activities will just help with well-being and being more productive,” said Chauhan. “Happy students are more productive, creative, better and get more out of their student experience, so I mean that’s what we’re hoping to get out of this.”

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