The Mercyhurst Wellness Fair is an annual event organized by various campus departments and RCSOs to focus on the seven dimensions of well-being that contribute to our happiness and self-care.
The event this year took place on April 6 in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Wellness Fair provides students with massages, free giveaways, raffles, therapy dogs, healthy snacks and much more. However, the event’s most important aim is to arm students with the tools they need to make a positive impact and on their health, by taking what they learn and applying it in everyday life.
The interdisciplinary approach and collaboration of the Campus Involvement Center, Cohen Health Center, clubs, societies and others at this event connects student life with academics. The core focus is on the seven dimensions of well-being — environmental, emotional, mental, occupational, physical, spiritual and social health.
“The Wellness Fair is a great opportunity for the whole campus community to have fun trying out healthy foods and a wide range of activities,” said Judy Smith, director for Health & Counseling Centers. “We can all add a little more self-care into the day. My hope is that people take knowledge and motivation with them to build healthy habits and decreases stress.
Smith recommended that students “start simple and recognize that it is always more fun when you join together with friends and organizations that are interested in the same thing.”
The event began 14 years ago and has been run in various capacities since, as a fair, a day or a weeklong event. Originally beginning with the idea of celebrating women during women’s history month, it has since evolved to reaching out to all members of the campus community.
Activities this year included tables hosted by campus offices, Taste or Waist food sampling, a labyrinth, physical assessments and crafts, all related to a healthy lifestyle. The raffle also gave students a chance to win a Fitbit, yoga pack, aroma diffuser and much more.
Steph Przepiora, Leadership and Outreach Coordinator, has been involved in overseeing the event.
“The Wellness Fair is beneficial to students by giving them a chance to have some fun in the middle of the day at an often stressful time of year,” said Przepiora. “They can learn about some healthy habits, which they can incorporate into their own lives, from their peers, who show them that it is possible to take steps toward a healthy lifestyle as a college student.”
Even though the Wellness Fair only happens once a year, it promotes healthy living throughout each semester by presenting knowledge about the many different components of wellness.
Physical health awareness is provided by screenings, activities, materials and demonstrations, and the event also encourages the connection of participants with campus resources that can lead them to wholeness and wellbeing.
“I loved the positive message and reassuring nature of this event,” said freshman Intelligence Studies major Michelle Benedetti. “The relaxing and enjoyable experience gave me a timeout from my busy schedule to care for me and my needs, as we all should. I got a lot of tips relating to stress, and especially loved making the glitter relaxation jars.”