After the extreme challenges faced by Nepean’s school community during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to consider student wellness. Today’s young people have experienced such prevalent disconnect in their formative years that student-led events such as Nepean’s Spirit and Wellness Week cannot be overlooked.
While not an official national week, Spirit and Wellness week was an initiative from Nepean’s Student Council to organise events celebrating students’ mental health. Running from March 6-10th, it took place right before the March Break; “We’ve wanted for a long time to do something for mental health . . . we know that before the [March] break can be a really busy time for some people, so we just wanted people to have fun things to do, and take a breather”, says Anika Goodwin, Nepean’s Grade 11 representative.
However, Wellness Week will hardly be the end of Nepean’s celebrations of mental health. The first week of May will mark the CMHA’s (Canada Mental Health Association's) official mental health week. Studco is hoping to continue their support of student wellness in May, demonstrating their passion for uplifting and promoting wellness for fellow students.
The week was packed to the brim with fun and relaxing activities for students to enjoy. On monday, Anika was taking the lead on, “Messages To Make You Smile”; pop music resounding down the hall invited curious students to poke their heads around the corner to see what was going on. With colourful markers provided, students were encouraged to write words of encouragement and support for their classmates during Wellness Week. By the end of the day, the papers on the wall were adorned top to bottom with cheerful and inspiring messages for students to walk past on their way through the halls.
However, the excitement didn’t stop there. On Tuesday, students tapped into their creative side to make art with Ms. Amenta, while Wednesday focused on relaxing with yoga in the gym. Thursday’s “learn and lounge” in the science hall allowed students to study and catch up on assignments while enjoying live music and snacks. Finally, the week wrapped up with a pyjama day breakfast, providing breakfast and beverages free of charge.
In addition to the endless options of fun wellness activities, students were also encouraged to participate in Spirit Week. Each day involved a specific outfit theme for students and teachers alike to follow and get creative with. Students twinned with a friend on Monday, busted out their best pink outfits on Wednesday, and came to school comfy in their pyjamas on Friday.
With the combination of these overlapping ideas, the week before the break was practically overflowing with school spirit, and provided countless opportunities for students to come together and practise mindfulness. The endless arrays of fun activities were the perfect way to wrap things up and alleviate stress before the break, truly celebrating our school’s renewed sense of community.