By Bethany Ensminger, CIP Berkeley Program Director
Getting fit, managing stress and maintaining a healthy life style is no simple task. It takes a lot of time,effort and dedication. To help the students at the Berkeley Center improve their overall wellness we have developed regular Wellness Days.
These are special days where all programming is focused on a holistic approach to wellness. For Leap Day this year we challenged to students to “Take a leap, try something new”. We had several new activities for students to try including a student lead activity, a found art project, and visualization and meditation.
For the student lead activity portion Stefan S. lead students through some movements of Shao Lin Kung Fu. Stefan really shines when he is in front leading the group and is so patient re-explaining things and making sure everyone understands how to do the block or kick.
Student Ashley P., co-lead a hip hop dance class with an instructor from the local YMCA. Ashley has been working on being more compassionate toward herself and others which came across in how she helped students who struggled with the steps. During the hip hop class both students and staff were laughing and working up a sweat. Students got to see that dance, and exercise, can be fun and silly.
Wellness Coordinators, Stephanie Gruber and Deb Cuny lead two different types of meditations. One meditation was a classic visualization while the other was a sensory meditation. Lead by Deb, she encouraged students to use their imaginations to experience things with their senses. Several students commented on how calm they felt afterwards and more ready for what’s next on the schedule.
Residential Coordinator, Yasin Johnson led students in several games including one where a ball of yarn was tossed between students and when they tossed it to a new student they had to say something the appreciated about the other person. It was a great opportunity to show how everyone is interconnected and highlight the strengths of students.