Wellness Week


Maddie Blackstone, Staff Writer

As full time students, it can be hard to balance school work, sports, and a social life, while still thinking about eating healthy, working out, and taking care of our bodies. In order to promote and enforce the importance of physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness, school counselor Ms. Neal-Jones has organized Wellness Week, which was celebrated across all three campuses from March 12th to March 16th. The first event on our SMP campus, which was scheduled for Monday, was a lunchtime presentation with professional dietitian, Daphne Olivier. Open to all grades, it is meant to inform students more about why making healthy diet choices is beneficial for our bodies and wellbeing. On Tuesday, there was a similar “lunch and learn” meeting open for all parents to attend. On Wednesday, there was an open break for students to relax and protest for gun control, and on Thursday there was a special Eucharist focused on promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Today, for the final event of the week, there will be a “brain break” which will be full of activities centered around reducing stress and promoting self care.

In addition to these scheduled events, chapel and Good Morning Ascension both included more information on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. An example of this information was the focus on healthy lunches. With our busy day to day lives, it is easy to ditch a homemade salad or sandwich for a drive-thru burger and fries. While a choice like that may feel good in the moment, it can have drastic effects on our energy and cause a crash. Maybe it takes a little bit more time to choose the first option, but we feel so much better at the end of the day. Ms. Neal-Jones explains that when she knows she is going to have a busy day, she tries to pack a lunch or eat at home home. She says, “my body appreciates it, and I feel happier and more positive about myself.”  Even if you don’t have time to pack a lunch, find places around you that have healthier options for food and you will feel much better about your choice.

Ms. Neal-Jones says that “in high school, it can be easy for your identity to become tied up in grades, test scores, or the number of wins you get”, but she wants our school to have this week to recognize the importance of caring for the mind, body, and spirit. At this point in all of our lives, we are young, active, and can count on our parents to remind us to eat healthy and take care of ourselves. However, Ms. Neal-Jones explains, when we eventually graduate and move out, we will no longer have coaches, counselors, or teachers to keep us on track. Wellness Week is meant to educate students and enforce habits that will develop into a wellness-centered lifestyle. Ms. Neal-Jones says, “I hope that students will take away a renewed sense of kindness towards themselves and the desire to care for themselves. If even one student develops a new mindset towards self care, I will consider the week a success!”