The staff members of The Well at Elizabethtown College want to make Monday students’ new favorite day of the week. They plan to do this with this semester’s Healthy Mondays program, a series of weekly events designed to educate the Etown community about different types of health in creative ways. The program is run by the staff of The Well and members of the Student Wellness Advocacy Group (SWAG).
This year’s series began Monday, Feb. 1 in the Blue Bean and BSC Concourse with an event dedicated to helping Etown students “Shake the Winter Blues” and discover how the winter could affect their mental health. Students learned about Seasonal Affective Disorder and enjoyed free cookies and hot drinks. The next Healthy Monday event is “Sex Trivia Night” on Monday, Feb. 8 at 7:00p.m. in the Blue Bean. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
This is the third year that the College has dedicated a day of the week to health and the first time that day has been Monday. Healthy Monday itself is a national initiative that encourages people to get each week off to a fresh start by making simple lifestyle changes. “If you try to make a healthy change at the start of the week, you’re more likely to commit to that change,” senior SWAG member Colleen Taylor said. More information about the national Healthy Mondays initiative can be found on its website.
Each SWAG member is put in charge of certain events. Taylor is helping to run the Escalation workshop on dating violence on Feb. 15 and the Consent Conversations on April 4. The Escalation Workshop will be similar to the one held last semester. Students who register to attend will watch a short film about dating violence and enjoy free pizza. The Consent Conversations event involves a discussion about giving consent and takes place during Sexual
Assault Awareness Month. “I really like seeing students get involved and having healthy services
on campus that students can utilize,” Taylor said.
This semester’s Healthy Monday lineup features events that focus on different types of health and well-being. Well director and SWAG advisor Amanda Cheetham is particularly excited for the “Love You Like a Love Song” event, which will take place on Feb. 22 at 7:00pm in the Blue Bean. The event will feature Music Therapy majors singing popular love songs. After the performance, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the lyrics of popular love songs and how these songs portray relationships. Cheetham expects this to be a popular event because students may still go to see their friends perform even if the topic does not interest them.
Other upcoming Healthy Monday events include an opportunity to learn how different caffeinated drinks affect a person’s health, a “Blue Jays Flock Together” event with free t-shirts and a destressing event before finals week. There will also be a lecture given by Dr. Elicker from the business department offering resources and tips for maintaining financial wellness. This has been a popular event in previous years because financial security is particularly important for college students preparing to enter the working world. “We’re covering lots of topics in clever and unique ways we’ve never done before,” Cheetham said.
The Healthy Mondays program will be especially beneficial to students who are struggling to keep their New Year’s Resolutions or who have already given them up. “There’s a lot of research showing people like consistent programs” when it comes to making lifestyle changes, Cheetham said. “So now students will know that every Monday they can talk about new health topics” Cheetham and the SWAG members want this consistency to make those who attend Healthy Mondays more motivated to implement the techniques discussed at the events. Making several small changes on a weekly basis will also feel less intimidating than making one big change all at once.
Flyers posted around campus describe Healthy Mondays as “The day all health breaks loose”. Cheetham, Taylor and the rest of the Well and SWAG teams hope their passion for making Etown a healthy campus will spread to the other students. “Mondays are essentially the January 1st of the week” Cheetham said. “Now students can make new week resolutions”.