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Healthy Living: A Function of Wellbeing

Evangeline Delgado, Suzanne Dewey, and Jennifer Ulicnik
Adolescent girls are faced with a myriad of opportunities and challenges. High school is a time where many are exploring new interests, finding their voices, considering their futures, and formulating life-long habits. Wellness is an important foundation for personal success and is a necessary ingredient for daily living. Emma Willard educators work hard to provide positive modeling and encourage students to consider their wellbeing as a fundamental ingredient in their pursuit of success.

Our wellness theme for the month of November is NOURISH Well. This focus is part of an on-going effort to model and create conditions for holistic wellbeing. The theme of NOURISH Well points to the relationship between food and our bodies.Important considerations include how to develop a healthy relationship with food and how we keep a healthy body image throughout our lives.

Launched this month is the Silent Breakfast Room, a place where members of our community can reflect and begin the day with mindfulness. This quiet haven allows individuals to start their day by considering their food, their bodies, and to acknowledge their internal dialogue. Rituals like a breakfast of tranquility can impact daily vitality and overall health. This practice was inspired by a READY Center field trip to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. A silent breakfast is one of their daily offerings and they emphasize the value of “A meal taken in silence reduces stress, elevates immunity, and increases the body’s ability to digest and fuel [one] for the day ahead...It supports [individuals] in creating emotional spaciousness...feasting on the gift of who we are at that moment…”

This past weekend, residential faculty brought all of the ninth-grade boarders together for a program connected to NOURISH Well. While we immediately think of the ways that we nourish ourselves with food, tonight dorm faculty asked the girls to think about other ways that we nourish ourselves. The students spent time rotating through three stations. Each station was run by one of the ninth grade houseparents and included a chance for each of them to showcase something that nourishes them. Residential Faculty and JV Lacrosse Coach Abby McOsker '13 led a station that focused on healthy snacks. The girls prepped kale chips and parsnip fries. Residential Faculty Deidra Jefferson led a station on letter writing and crafting. The girls wrote thank you notes to another person on the hall and the notes will be used to create a gratitude wreath. Residential Faculty Chair Jenn Ulicnik led a station that focused on physical nourishment through Nia. Nia is an exercise that incorporates dance, yoga, and martial arts. The girls got an opportunity to try out three different songs and find joy through movement.

As we head pell-mell into the holiday season, we hope we all find time or start a new routine to nourish ourselves, step away from stress, and find more daily presence.

NOTE to Emma Willard families -- there is a wealth of information about wellness on our community portal My Emma. You must sign in to view.
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    • Creating healthy snack options

    • Girls having fun practicing Nia

    • Busy writing notes of gratitude to their hall mates

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