Students gathered in the Campus Center Wednesday night to focus on relaxation at Wellness Night, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Active Minds chapter and the University’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Around 20 people participated in journal making, coloring, breathing exercises and other activities while listening to relaxing music.
“We wanted to just have a night to kind of chill out, do some things that will help us not only in the moment, but in the future,” said Emily Dykstra, junior micro biology and psychology major and president of Active Minds at UMass. “Like doing some breathing exercises and mindfulness exercises that we can then apply to the next time we’re feeling stressed about an exam or just about life kind of stuff.”
In addition to the crafts, the event also featured a wall full of positive quotes.
“People can write any positive quotes that they want and hang it up, and then if they see one that they like, they can take it,” said Kate Schacterle, junior psychology major and vice preside of Active Minds. “It was a good positive reminder to look at throughout the week.”
Schacterle also explained the overall goals of Active Minds.
“Basically it’s a group that focuses on de-stigmatizing mental health or mental illness and promoting treatment for mental health issues and things like that,” she said. “So we really just kind of focus on starting conversations about… mental disorders and things like that to make sure that they’re talked about [and] de-stigmatized.”
Dykstra also talked about her group’s collaboration with NSCS, explaining that the two groups pair well together as Active Minds is focused on mental health and NSCS focuses on academics.
“We decided to kind of talk about something that is at the intersection between those two, and that’s kind of the stress and anxiety that can be associated with school and finding healthy ways to cope with stress,” Dykstra said.
Colleen Ward, a communication disorders junior and president of NSCS at UMass explained that NSCS works with another campus organization each year in philanthropy efforts. She echoed that NSCS emphasizes on academics, but also it is important for students to take time for themselves and relax.
“So working together, I think there are two purposes really [matched],” she said about joining with Active Minds for the Wellness Night.
Active Minds is a national non-profit organization run by students. The UMass chapter of Active Minds was found in 2011. NSCS is an honor society that recruits high-achieving freshmen and sophomores.
Ying Hua can be reached at [email protected]