Wellness Center Offers Support during Distance Learning

The Wellness Center began hosting a “paint and hang” Zoom session for students on April 29. The session will be held each week on Wednesdays at 1:00pm.

Students are invited to attend in order to paint, watercolor, draw, or talk with Wellness Intake Specialist Liana Holcomb McCann as well as their peers.

According to Holcomb McCann, art is beneficial to student wellness as “painting and art in general is really stress relieving and calming.”

“It is just a nice activity to feel a little bit peaceful and get your mind off of things,” said Holcomb McCann.

Besides wanting to catch-up with Holcomb McCann, senior Madeline House attends the Zoom meetings as a way to “reconnect with people over something like watercolors.”

The “paint and hang” meetings are a substitute for the Wednesday watercoloring sessions that took place in the Wellness Center during lunch before campus was closed for the year. According to Holcomb McCann, she sees the benefit of continuing activities that occured before distance learning as “having routine and having normalcy can be really grounding for students.”

The sessions are also designed to “give students a break from the academics” of distance learning, according to Holcomb McCann.

“Sometimes when I’ve been doing a lot of schoolwork, it’s fun to just take a break and color for a few minutes. It’s kind of just something fun to do and it’s a nice break,” said freshman Leighton Jay.

Besides these ongoing “paint and hang” events, the Wellness Center has provided students with numerous resources to help them through social distancing, including printable coloring sheets, 1-on-1 zoom check-ins, and afternoon drop-in blocks of time for students to meet up with Wellness staff and other students.

According to Holcomb McCann, “the Wellness center is still alive and well and trying our best to support students.”

Jay, who has been utilizing the coloring pages provided by the Wellness Center while at home, appreciates having “something simple and fun to do during these stressful times when we are getting claustrophobic or bored.”

Despite these efforts to connect with students virtually while school remains closed, “participation and interest has been low with most students,” Holcomb McCann of the Wellness Center sponsored events.

Regardless, Holcomb McCann still wants to “extend opportunities,” for students as “when they have shown up they have realized how nice it is once they are there and how good connection feels.”