Illinois State students reported that stress and anxiety were two of the biggest factors affecting their academic performance. Fortunately, the University’s Health and Wellness Promotion Unit offers several resources to improve Redbirds’ sense of well-being.
From coaching sessions to deep breathing meditation, Promoting Health and Wellness helps students overcome the obstacles they face.
“We’ve found that more students are reporting difficulty with different aspects of mental and emotional health,” said Jim Almeda, MS ’02, assessment and wellness initiatives coordinator at Health Promotion and Wellness. Almeda is also a certified health and wellness coach with the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching.
Alongside her colleagues, Almeda ensures that students across the state of Illinois have access to the many programs available to those looking to improve their well-being. Here are some of the free resources available to students.
1. Wellness Coaching
Introduced on campus two years ago, wellness coaching offers students the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and develop strategies for success. During a session, students meet one-on-one with a Certified Wellness Coach to discuss their wellness goals and identify how they can work to achieve them.
“What we do is work with them to tap into their strengths to help them see what they are capable of, and to create a plan to help them understand what their vision is for their well-being. and a roadmap to get there,” Almeda said. “We, as coaches, try not to tell them what we think they should do. Instead, we really work with them to help them identify the things they think they can do and want to do that will work for them.
Coaching sessions typically last 30 to 60 minutes, with the frequency determined by the needs of the student.
2. Koru Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness is about acknowledging and accepting one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily state. The Koru Mindfulness Program was designed specifically for students to help them overcome common challenges faced by young adults. The research-based program, developed by Duke University, focuses on gratitude and “being in the moment.”
During four weekly sessions of approximately one hour each, students are guided through meditation and mindfulness techniques. This practice allows an increased awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment, and therefore the practice of mindfulness.
The Koru 2.0 program offers four additional sessions that will further extend student learning. “We’ve seen people who, over the eight weeks, have really noticed significant changes,” Almeda said. “They may not be experts in mindfulness and meditation, but they use it enough where they find it can help their overall well-being.”
3. Learn and grow as a group
Facilitated by Health and Wellness Promotion staff, the workshops are a great option for students and faculty looking to both learn and share information about improving their well-being. This resource is often used by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) who wish to educate their members on certain topics related to student success and well-being.
Specific workshop content varies, but topics can range from nutrition to workspace organization. For mindfulness and stress reduction, staff offer “Managing Your Stress by Being More Aware,” a workshop in which participants will learn and discuss stressors, coping techniques, and self-care strategies. .
Interested groups should determine which workshop best meets their needs and submit a request with a preferred date, time, and location, as well as an alternate date, time, and location at least two weeks in advance.
4. LIVE WELL with Eight at State
The Eight at State initiative addresses the maintenance of one’s well-being by focusing on the eight dimensions of well-being: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and professional. The initiative’s LIVE WELL program is an offshoot of this belief.
The incentive program is designed to empower students in healthy living. Upon joining the program, students will record their daily activities as they align with one or more of the eight dimensions of well-being. Participation in activities awards students points that will go towards monthly rewards and challenges.
The objective of this program is to encourage students to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to motivate them to adopt them as regularly as possible. After only the first 10 registered activities, participants are eligible to receive a LIVE WELL t-shirt or stone coaster.
5. Wellness in the palm of your hand
WellTrack is an app with functions similar to the LIVE WELL program, providing a virtual workshop alternative for students who might not be able to fit wellness classes into their schedule.
The self-guided program can be used to treat stress, anxiety and depression. After an initial wellness assessment, users receive information and courses tailored to their specific needs. In the app, students can enroll in cognitive behavior classes, track their mood, engage in regular reflections, and complete wellness assessments to track their progress.
The app, paid for by Student Advising Services, Student Health Services, Health Promotion and Wellness, and Campus Recreation, is available to all students, staff and members of the body. Illinois State professor.
In addition to the above resources, Health Promotion and Wellness also sponsors the Student Wellness Ambassador Team and PAWSitively Stress Free Therapy Dog Tours.
“There are many factors that impact people’s well-being, and when you think about all of these issues, they’re kind of interrelated, aren’t they? So if you don’t sleep well, you won’t be resilient. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, it may be difficult for you to sleep well at night,” Almeda said. “We do, however, have programs that can help students get started and take action that can greatly help them navigate all of these different factors.”