WellRec offers activities to improve mental health | News

Incorporating movement is a great way to relieve stress, find community, and give students a moment to check out their mental health. NC State’s WellRec creates opportunities for students to work on their mental and physical health by becoming active.

Alexis Steptoe is the Assistant Director of ThriveWell at WellRec, where she finds ways to improve the well-being of campus communities through strategic planning and creative programming.

“Take care of yourself in ways that bring you joy,” Steptoe said. “Move your body in ways that make not only your body feel good, but your mind as well. [At WellRec,] we just want to make it as simple as possible.

Steptoe said movement is an important pillar of stress management and overall well-being.

“A lot of research out there will show you that movement is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle,” Steptoe said. “Stress gets trapped in the body and we experience it, we carry it with us. It gets into our necks, it goes into our minds, we might feel it in our bellies – we have all this stress that is somehow trapped in the body. Movement offers a way out.

Lulu Black, a fourth year in sports management and nonprofit studies, is a student athlete. She is also part of the ThriveWell team, serving as a wellness assistant providing educational resources to students.

Movement has served as an outlet for me for as long as I can remember,” Black said. “It has helped me battle some of the toughest challenges I’ve faced, especially in college.”

WellRec creates movement opportunities for students to use, from private gyms to fitness classes and wellness instructors who help students overcome challenges through movement. Black wants students to know more about resources like Wellness Coaching.

The Wellness Coaching provided by ThriveWell is a great resource that is often overlooked by students at our university,” Black said. “The beauty of this resource is that Wellness Coaches can assist students with anything they need guidance, including including physical well-being, mental well-being, financial well-being, forming new friendships, setting career goals and so much more.Every student at the University has access to four free Wellness Coaching sessions per semester.

Not everyone is ready for a sweat session at WellRec and that’s okay, said Steptoe. There are many ways to get the benefits of movement without doing an intense workout.

“We can move throughout the day,” Steptoe said. “Whether you’re an outdoors person and love taking a walk on the Greenway or if you enjoy doing tai chi on the lawn, whatever helps you achieve that balance. Moving in a way that brings you joy allows your body to breathe and releases the cobwebs of the mind.

Black said finding new ways to incorporate movement is important for enjoyment.

“I think it’s important for me to discover other ways I like to move,” Black said. “This helps prevent burnout, allows me to connect with different people on campus, and also allows me to try something new and develop new hobbies.”

Steptoe said it’s only when we’re presented with challenges that we truly understand the importance of prioritizing our well-being.

“These are the same things we’ve been talking about for years,” Steptoe said. “I think right now is just an opportune time for us to amplify those messages and be really firm and strong in the fact that we stand behind these things. [that make us feel good].”

Exercise and movement are a great way to manage stress and can be an important part of a holistic mental health strategy. Check out the WellRec website to find out more.

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