by: Zinnia Ramirez
Photography by: Jacqueline Markham
The UCI Wellness Center hosted their second Wellness Workshop with a focus on ‘time,’ on Oct. 24 in the Writing Center. The Wellness Workshop series runs over the course of the quarter wherein every other Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Writing Specialist Lindsey Allgood and Wellness & Peer Education Programs Manager Natalie D’Azzo host workshops that encourage students to be mindful of their overall wellness. This includes their mental and physical health.
Their goals for the workshop included offering a safe and playful space to have students write about themselves for a change.
Allgood began writing themes based on the struggles she saw students experiencing and what she believed would benefit students on campus.
The workshop was centered around the theme of ‘time,’ because they emphasized that the way time is used should be to your benefit.
Journaling, for the workshop coordinators, is a great way to engage in mindful practices. The workshop began with a few minutes to answer questions projected on a board.
“Engaging in mindful activities allows our mind a break from the constant thinking, planning and worrying about the past or future to just take a moment to pause and be in the present moment,” D’Azzo said.
Mindful practices can be any moment where people are mentally present and tuning in to their personal needs. D’Azzo explained that some examples of “mindful practices” include, but aren’t limited to “meditation,” “yoga” and “walking in nature.”
In regards to her own life, Allgood explained that wellness involves taking care of your own needs first.
“[It is] a conscious practice in being attentive to our physical, psychological and however you define spiritual needs in the moment. It’s when we respond, not react, to stimuli like hunger, pain, exhaustion, threat and emotion. Taking care of ourselves comes first. If we don’t respond to our intuitive needs, we can’t perform well or meet the needs of someone else. A wellness practice is a practice in being human to our fullest potential,” she said.
Allgood explained that this lends in making better personal choices that stimulate a heightened intuitive awareness.
“We hope students will come to our workshop to experience the benefits of journaling and self-reflection. As they practice these self-care skills with us, we hope they will continue to practice it outside of our workshops,” D’Azzo said.