Are you anxious about being back on campus and need help managing classes? Want to learn how to better balance your life? Do you want to support your nutrition, or maybe get more involved with resources to support your well-being? Well, you’re in luck, because all of these questions can be answered by the Office of Student Wellness (OSW)!
You might know OSW from their Wellness Wednesdays or Wellness Fairs with therapy dogs, but there is so much more. The OSW is a new office at Wellesley started just before the pandemic and serves as a hub to connect students to different departments on campus that support holistic wellness.
Their primary goal is to help students achieve balanced well-being amongst eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, financial, social and environmental. They offer group workshops and individual general wellness consultations and appointments with their nutritionist. Don’t worry if you can’t make time for the workshops or individual wellness consultations. You can still check out their monthly newsletters for resources, watch videos on their virtual library or ask questions anonymously through a Q&A form on their website.
The staff consists of nutritionist Barbara Southcote, nurse practitioner Nancy Baden and Allie Weinberg, an expert in behavioral medicine and mental health counseling. Southcote is a nutrition coach, a registered dietitian nutritionist with an MSc in nutrition and health promotion and holds a certificate in sports nutrition from Simmons College. She has been with Wellesley since 2016. Weinberg received her BA in sociology and gender studies from New College of Florida and an MA in behavioral medicine and mental health counseling from Boston University. She has work experience in college counseling, health education, community mental health, substance abuse and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Last but not least, Nancy Baden, RN has over 20 years of experience focused mainly on community health nursing.
Additionally, the OSW offers specific COVID-19 resources, such as public health updates, mindfulness tips, mental health tips, how to get motivated and be productive during these times, nutrition, sleep resources and much more. The OSW also partners with other Wellesley orgs that focus on wellness education such as the Peer Health Educators, Mental Health Educators (MHEs), Balance Health Educators (BHEs) and Sexual Health Educators (SHEs).
OSW recently published their first monthly newsletter of the year: “Keeping Well at Wellesley (September Edition).” In this issue, the OSW shared their YouTube series called “Thrive in Five” covering nutrition, sleep and mindfulness in just five minutes. This is a great resource to “set yourself up for success,” says OSW. They also include tips on how to create a mental health first aid kit, tips on staying safe with substances and caring for mind and body. Lastly, they include a COVID-19 corner with transition tips, mask facts, sexual health and other resources.
The previously known Wellness Wednesdays are now called Wellness Breaks and will occur on Thursdays with Wellness Student Ambassador Grace Fang ’23.
“[The OSW] will be doing these every week from 12:30 to 1:30 throughout campus, including Lulu, Bates, Science Center and other various residential neighborhoods, so we encourage folks to come to check us out and stay updated on locations through our social media! (@WellesleyWellness),” says Weinberg, furthering that OSW will hold monthly features on different dimensions of wellness. For the month of October, the highlight will be the social dimension.
Mark your calendars for next week’s Wellness Break where the OSW will be chatting about sleep, nutrition, exercise, immunity and more!
The Wellesley News would like to thank Allison Weinberg for her contribution to this article.