Third Annual Michigan Ross Wellness Week Promotes How Students Can Support Each Other in ‘Staying Well Together’
The third annual Wellness Week at the Ross School of Business took place virtually with a series of events aimed at helping students increase their understanding of wellness and discover what it means to support their own well-being as well as the well-being of others.
This year, Wellness Week events were centered on the theme of “Staying Well Together.” Events highlighted the various ways individuals and groups can practice wellness activities together and look out for each other — including those within the Michigan Ross community.
“If this year has taught us anything, it is that our collective wellness is really the priority and that every person has the opportunity to proactively support one another. The theme provides a sense of unity and fosters a positive image of students supporting each other in our wellness, not just focusing on the individual,” said Anna Eaton, MBA ’21, who helped organize Wellness Week. “This idea of unity and compassion for others is critical while we continue to battle racial injustice and a global pandemic as a local and global community.”
Eaton said that Wellness Week’s holistic approach to well-being is what makes the event unique.
“Not only are we focusing on physical wellness with yoga- and cycling-focused sessions, but we are also going deeper into the uniqueness of wellness for each individual and giving particular attention to mental health,” explained Eaton. “We are doing our best to make the week inclusive and representative of the community’s many voices, which unfortunately is not always the case in the wellness space at large.”
As a result, Eaton said she believed participants — no matter their background — are able to connect with Wellness Week events and gain important insights.
Among the Wellness Week events were a keynote talk from Nicole Cardoza, founder of Anti-Racism Daily, Yoga Foster, and Reclamation Ventures; a Mental Health Across Cultures panel featuring University of Michigan psychologist Dr. Reena Sheth; interactive workshops led by faculty to design personal wellness routines; and virtual yoga sessions.
Students also collaborated with each other throughout the week by posting on the Wellness Week Gratitude Project Jamboard and shared what they were grateful for. The Gratitude Project is a partnership between Well@Ross and students from the MO 620: Leading a Good Life class.
This was the first year Wellness Week was organized by Well@Ross, after it rebranded from the Comfort Zone. The new branding provides a broader scope for what the Full-Time MBA Program initiative does, explained Eaton, who oversees the initiative as the MBA Council’s vice president of wellness.
“This is the first year that the MBA Council has included a vice president of wellness,” she said. “So it’s a really exciting time to be a part of increasing wellness initiatives at Ross.”
Eaton said a goal for Well@Ross is to host one or more monthly events, with each one focused on a specific area of U-M’s Well-being Wheel. Areas on the wheel include spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, environmental, financial, occupational, social, and intellectual well-being.
In the fall, Well@Ross hosted a popular Financial Wellness 101 session; sponsored a yoga sculpt session led by Sonja Manning, MBA ’21; and organized a group cycle ride. Additionally, they ran a Step Challenge for Full-Time MBA students between Thanksgiving and finals.
“The Step Challenge was very fun and really contributed to section bonding and morale,” Eaton said. “Last year we also ran the first-ever, program-wide Volunteer Day, which is challenging to do this year, but hopefully will continue in the future. The opportunity to incorporate a diverse set of wellness activities into the MBA program really are endless.”
Wellness resources available at Michigan Ross
Beyond the events and activities organized by Well@Ross, there are a number of wellness resources available to Michigan Ross students. Those include a dedicated CAPS counselor, Julie Kaplan, who runs wellness programming and works individually with undergraduate and graduate students. Wellness coaches are also available through the university. These trained coaches work with students to help them set and achieve wellness goals, balance dimensions of health and wellness, and learn resilience and coping skills for life.