Wildcat Wellness program continues to expand

Evelyn Simpson, Reporter

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In today’s world, it’s easy to become unbalanced. There’s always a million and one things to do and only twenty four hours to do it. If you have practice after school, then you’ll get home late, and if you get home late, you can’t hang out with your friends, and you definitely won’t study for that chemistry test because you’ll be exhausted from practice. It’s difficult to balance out priorities and make time for everything. 

Living a balanced life is all about choices. Wellness is defined as the active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life (“What is Wellness”). Wellness has been introduced to our school district through a program known as Wildcat Wellness. The tagline for Wildcat Wellness is “It’s your choice ; live well”, once again proving the impact of choice on overall wellness.

Wellness is divided into eight dimensions, each one just as important as the other. The dimensions are interdependent, which means if you’re lacking in one dimension there’s a good chance you’re lacking in other dimensions too. The dimensions are physical wellness, emotional wellness, intellectual wellness, social wellness, financial wellness, environmental wellness, spiritual wellness, and occupational wellness. 

While most people have a good understanding of a few of these dimensions, there are also a lot of misconceptions. For instance, you can be intellectually well and not have a 4.0. As long as you’re doing activities that stimulate your mind and trying your hardest in school, you’re practicing intellectual wellness. Spiritual wellness is another area of wellness that people often don’t fully understand. Spiritual wellness doesn’t mean you have to go to church everyday. It actually focuses on finding meaning and purpose in life, which often is achieved through religion, but it also can also be achieved through other means. Wellness is about knowing who you are as a person and utilizing the dimensions to be the best version of yourself. 

The goal of Wildcat Wellness is to build a culture of wellness in each student, thus helping them be the best, most well rounded version of themselves.It’s about giving every student the capacity to live a balanced and productive life.

Over the past few years, the high school has put an increased amount of effort into building a culture of wellness. They have been doing that by teaching kids about wellness and allowing students to become involved in wellness related activities. The STAR Team and the Aevidum club have done many activities to try to promote wellness. Mrs. Daniel, member of the STAR team and the Aevidum club, says she and other teachers/administrators have been trying to “Figure out how to promote wellness at a level that is mature enough for high schoolers.” Many teachers and administrators are involved with Wildcat Wellness and they have had great support from Mr. Harris

Flex is one of the best times to participate in wellness based activities. Mr. Reidy, Flex team lead, explains, “By choosing Flex activities, you as the student have the opportunity to control your wellness.There are over 150 different Flex activities to choose from, which all relate to some dimension of wellness.” For example, you can practice physical wellness by signing up for soccer or dodgeball. Activities like silent reading and meditation can contribute to both intellectual and emotional wellness. Office hours and study hall help students practice intellectual wellness by giving them time to catch up on work or meet with teachers for extra help. If you want to learn more about wellness based Flex activities, use the QR code to the right of the article to watch the video, which was made by Ethan Cook

A recent poll conducted by administrators found that 45% of students sign up for study hall. The rest sign up for activities or office hours. But Mr. Reidy believes study halls can be very beneficial. “Study halls give students time to catch up on work or do other things like talk to their friends or read.” As long as you make the most of your study halls, they are worthwhile.

Other staff members are also committed to promoting wellness. Mrs. Sabatini is working on setting up a wellness lab in the library. Computer lab three is going to become a silent lab with cozy chairs, dim lights, and calming activities, like mindful breathing exercises. She calls it a “de-stress area” for students. Half of the lab will be dedicated to silent work and half of it will be the previously described wellness area. Mrs.Haines is another staff member committed to promoting wellness. “Eating breakfast and getting a good night’s sleep definitely helps us to feel well overall,” she says. If you need breakfast, you can always get crackers from the nurse’s office or breakfast from the cafeteria. The expanded breakfast program has been great because “it gives students a longer period of time to eat breakfast.” Mrs. Haines also notes that many students struggle with anxiety and the nurses office has many coping resources like stress balls, fidgets, or advice on how to cope.

The STAR Team is hosting an event called Just Talk About It, which is dedicated to mental health. The purpose of the event is to inform young adults and youth to recognize the warning signs of stress, anxiety, depression, and crisis. Our school district partnered with the Minding Your Mind organization to make this event possible. If you are interested in mental health or wellness you should consider coming to the event. Be sure to make use of the activities and programs listed in this article, because wellness can truly change your life for the best. Remember, it’s your choice; live well!