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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Self Care Week Heals Before Hell

Self-Care Week, beginning last Monday, offered a variety of activities that allowed students to take a break from intensive academics and prepare for the hard weeks to follow.

Stephanie Brown, Lead Psychologist & Director of Student Health & Counseling of Grinnell College came up with the idea of “Self-Care Week”, after seeing the effects that exhausting finals and stress had on students. The first Self-Care Week happened last spring, so this is only the third self-care week to take place at Grinnell.

Often self-care is low on the list of student priorities during Hell Week and Finals Week, but SHACss and the HWCs are trying to get students to think about taking care of themselves.

“Before we get to the crisis of final’s week and the week before that, we want to provide our students with some tools, or at least get them thinking about the idea of taking care of themselves,” said Jen Jacobsen, Wellness Coordinator. “From a wellness perspective, self-care is really holistic. It’s not just exercising enough, eating well, or sleeping enough; think about the plant potting event on Monday. Just working with your hand has shown to be very therapeutic and de-stressing. And then you can leave the flower in your room, which is nice.”

Self-Care-Week also partnered with the writing lab, which did Revision Palooza in JRC 101 on Monday. “That was some academic wellness to make sure you are on top of your papers and lab reports.” Jacobsen said.

There was Yoga and Yogurt in ForumSouth Lounge at 4:30pm on Wednesday, during which about 20 people showed up. “What I like about 4:30pm is that it encourages students to take a break between the end of classes and going to dinner, after which they will be studying in the evening. You can’t study 24 hours a day. Nobody can,” Jacobsen said.

Also on Wednesday was the Sexual Assault Awareness Panel talk, where a sexual assault survivor, college administrator, SGA representative, and psychologist from SHACs gave speeches.

The Hall Wellness Coordinators put together a smoothie-making event on Thursday during which people got fruit smoothies, based on the idea that fruit might reduce stress.

Chair Massages will be on today, Friday, May 4, hosted and sponsored by SHACs. “The idea is that some touch and physical contact is important in terms of releasing stress,” Jacobsen said.

Though uncertain about this year’s attendance, Jacobsen is confident about the activities: “Last year, the HWCs did ice cream and we handed out a hundred pieces of ice cream and other things also worked well.”

“One of the things that I like about Self-Care Week is that a lot of the things are driven by students, so it doesn’t need to be someone from SHACs, Wellness, or student affairs showing you how to take care for yourself,” Jacobsen said. “Students are really in power to be able to share their skills and knowledge, plan with other students and come up with good ideas.”

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