By Alyssa Daniels
Wednesdays are no longer just early release days; now the guidance office has added a Wellness Wednesday weekly during fourth period. This is led by counselors Haley Armstrong or Laura Ehringer in the guidance conference room. It was started to help students de-stress from school or anything happening in their personal lives and it gives them a chance to relax.
Armstrong explained how Wellness Wednesdays started.
“We sent out a student survey at the beginning of the year, which was voluntary for students to fill out and we got 450 responses; that was an even divide between all four grade levels. I think it’s about 25 percent of each grade level so it was really good data,” Armstrong said. “From that, what we learned was that over three fourths of the student body representing in that survey either agrees or strongly agrees that they need help in the areas of managing their stress and anxiety.”
Sophomore Malia Cooper is one of the many students that enjoys attending. She enjoys being in a positive atmosphere with other students who are also dealing with stress just like her.
“…Lately in life it’s just kind of been a bit stressful and Miss Armstrong, she was telling me about it, that they’re going to be starting it up. I wanted to try it out and see if it helps and lately it’s been helping me with things at home and school,” Cooper said.
These meetings are supposed to help students deal with their stress in and out of school and for students like Cooper, this has proven quite helpful.
“I have gotten de-stressed and it has given me ways I can use it in the future and if I don’t have someone to talk to, I can just one of these methods to help,” Cooper said.
Another student, freshman Amelia Floyd, has also been attending most of the meetings. She signed up because she needed a break from school and personal things that were happening in her life.
“I just kind of couldn’t think about myself or anything that’s going on in my life. That’s why my life kind of started going downhill,” Floyd said. “I wasn’t thinking anything. I’ve been doing things I really regret and so this really helps me think more about myself and my decisions because school isn’t really helping.”
This fourth period is made for students to feel welcomed and to de-stress with different activities they do every meeting.
“It’s so peaceful and everyone here is so nice. We all don’t care about each others’ insecurities or anything; we are just here to have fun and relax. We always have something new every time and something physical to do and it’s just really fun,” Floyd said.
Since Wellness Wednesdays have been popular among students and counselors, the goal is to expand the program past just Wednesdays and into the larger community.
“…We have some exciting goals with the department to grow Wellness Wednesdays and make it bigger than just the counselors running a few activities once a week. We’re hoping that this can expand and maybe we can bring it in community and make it a much broader program for the students. If it goes well and we’ll look at all the dates at the end of the year and decide what would be best,” Armstrong said.
These meetings happen every Wednesday and all students are welcome to join. Students who are interested can sign up for it on Plus Time under Wellness Wednesday.