The Wellness Center: An Outlet for Relaxation to Promote a Healthier Lifestyle

By, Desiree’ McCallum

Aurora University-The Wellness Center is located on campus at 1400 Southlawn. They promote health, wellness and preventive care for the AU community. All services are free and they provide a variety of stress relief resources as well. Some of the stress relief services offered through the Wellness Center are: meditative coloring, computerized relaxation software, meditation sessions that are all held on campus. I recently took advantage of two of these services to help relax and relieve some stress before going into finals.

The first event I attended was meditation and relaxation with Pete on March 27th. The session was an hour long and I learned simple meditation techniques to de-stress when life gets too crazy.  I learned that it starts with your posture and just focusing on your breath. Pete taught us that meditation doesn’t take a lot of effort, it can be done in just a few short minutes. He compared meditation to a healthy lifestyle: being good at meditation is something that happens over time and needs to be done continuously for it to be most effective.  Pete said, “some benefits of meditation include: being able to manage stress better, sleep better, (to have better) posture, better breathing and (having the ) ability to live in the moment.” When you manage your stress better, your entire life is overall better. I had a great experience and was able to not think about all of my stresses for an hour and learn valuable relaxation techniques. I felt better after the experience and hope to incorporate what I learned in the session to my everyday life.

The second event I attended was meditative coloring on April 10th in the Welcome Center inside the Schingoethe Center. The session was held from 11 a.m-3 p.m. I stayed for about an hour and was able to learn about what meditative coloring is and the benefits of it. To make coloring a meditative experience, you first need a mandala. A mandala design can generate increased coherence in our brains, creating a balanced and calm influence. We learned that in other cultures, mandalas are used to quiet a restless mind. Also, coloring not only helps focus our attention, but it allows you to express your creative side which is often not used in our daily lives. Overall, I enjoyed meditative coloring. It was tough to sit down for an hour and just color because my mind started to wander off and focus other things that I had to get done; but I just kept reminding myself to focus on the task in front of me.

The Wellness Center hosts a variety of events to help AU students. If you missed meditative coloring and still want to learn meditative and relaxation techniques, there is another event coming up on Monday April 24th in UBH South from 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. where you can learn these techniques as well. This event is perfect for AU students before going into finals week.

To learn more about the Wellness Center and any other events they are having, please visit their website at:

http://www.aurora.edu/student-life/campus-services/wellness/index.html#axzz4e9oe1dDk.