Amid the stress of the final stretch before winter break, Paly’s Wellness Center and Associated Student Body (ASB) have planned multiple events to help students navigate this difficult month.
The Wellness Center will partner with Palo Alto Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) to host the annual Self-Care Week from Dec. 11-15 to alleviate students stress before finals.
Each day of next week, a different theme-based stress-relief activity will be featured on the quad during lunch.
Monday’s activity will be “Choose to Snooze,” which focuses on sleep hygiene and promoting healthy sleep.
“We’re relying on empirically based stress-relief practices, but we are modifying them more to be student-friendly, so sleep is very important in terms of stress and depression,” said Elizabeth Spector, the Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator. “Promoting healthy sleep and learning about how to sleep will be beneficial for students in real life.”
On Tuesday, students will be able to design and create their own “Do It Yourself” bath salts.
The Wellness Center will offer pet therapy next Wednesday, where students can interact with service animals to relieve stress. There will also be a card-writing activity.
“Students will have the opportunities to write postcards during lunch,” Spector said. “We’ll supply the postcards and bring them to local organization such as Ronald McDonald House.”
The PTSA will host and sponsor a soup bar next Thursday.
Next Friday, students interested in yoga can go to the Media Arts Center (MAC) to participate in stress-relieving yoga activities.
Self-Care Week before finals has been a tradition at Paly for several years. According to Spector, there wasn’t a full week of activities last year; however, this year, the Wellness Center is implementing a wider range of activities.
“Students can learn a number of ways to take care of themselves especially during stressful times like the finals.”
Elizabeth Spector, Paly Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator
Spector encourages all students to participate in the activities throughout next week.
“Conservatively, we’re guessing that 50-100 students will show up, but we hope that the entire student body can participate,” Spector said. “We’re hoping that everyone will participate in at least one activity.”
ASB has also prepared a variety of activities to help students relax as they tackle the last few weeks of the first semester and beyond.
From Dec. 4-8, Paly held its annual Ping-Pong tournament, according to Junior Class President Caroline Furrier. This week-long tournament took place in the MAC during lunchtime, where two-player teams faced off. ASB encourages participation in these intramural tournaments, which allows for the opportunity for different types of students to come together.
Tonight, ASB is scheduled to host a movie night in the MAC, full of snacks and a showing of “Pitch Perfect.” This movie was selected by Paly students through a survey. Not only are ASB’s movie nights a fun break from schoolwork, but they also often bring together unexpected groups of students, according to ASB Spirit Commissioner Sarah Mitz.
“We want to do a few movie nights this year in the MAC. A variety of students like to go to the movie nights, which we really like, so we’re trying to incorporate more of those this year.”
Sarah Mitz, ASB Spirit Commisioner
A number of fundraisers will occur throughout the school year in order to raise money while simultaneously providing the student body with enjoyable schoolwide activities.
“Something to look forward to much later on is a Winter Lodge event for students that will fundraise as well as be a fun start to the winter season,” Furrier said.
All of ASB’s upcoming winter events are designed to reduce stress, improve Paly’s school climate and include as many students as possible, according to Mitz. To commence the month of December on a high note, students participated in a Pajama Day on Dec. 1.
“I’m glad ASB could put on an event that serves the students well, but I think in the future we can get more cookies for more people to enjoy,” Furrier said. “I also am inspired to do more small events like this to make the student body happier more often because many people seemed to enjoy it.”