On Jan. 27, Diamond Bar High School paired up with Academy of the Canyons (AOC) to create together a Wellness Forum which helped educate AOC’s students on why wellness matters.
What exactly is a Wellness Forum?
It’s a dedicated seminar and a day full of activities aimed at understanding stress, life, social, and school problems and how to combat these problems.
The day started off with icebreakers in 10 mini-groups of 10-12 members each. The groups were intentionally mixed with different social cliques, introverts, and extroverts so no two friends were placed together. In my group, Gary’s Gurus, was a mix of juniors and seniors. We tossed around an inflatable ball and chewed bubblegum in hopes to find our best member in blowing bubbles.
We began to learn about stress and how labels affect people. One activity consisted of our group passing around tootsie pops. We were all focused on getting the color we wanted, but when we were told to open them, the tootsie pop was a different color than its wrapper. Through simple activities like this throughout the day, we learned about keeping an open mind, that someone isn’t who they are, and the most clichéd of all: “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Following the stress and label session, the mood started to become deep and personal. In the “Over-The-Line” activity, all juniors, sophomores, staff, and teachers from AOC stood in the middle of the gym with colored tarp between their feet. If the statement said accurately represented the truth, students and teachers were to step upon to the colored tarp in the open. This activity was an eye-opener to many of the conflicts peers face at school and how they feel.
This activity was an eye-opener to many of the conflicts my peers face at school and how they feel. It was a moment of complete honesty and quick thinking. I felt exposed considering my teachers were standing to my sides and in front of me. It took all the courage in the world to step onto the colored tarp during that activity.
Then, we conjoined into our groups for the next activity– “If you knew me really well, you would know…” This portion of the forum was the most eye-opening as often times we walked by people around us and smiled, and when they smiled back we don’t realize how much courage or effort it may have taken them to smile in that moment. We often neglect our friends, family, and our peers forgetting their struggles.
We learned ideas, constructions, labels, and personal struggles about each other and became more open-minded to people’s beliefs and life structure. I encourage everyone to research about this experience and bring it to their schools so their peers can understand how to face problems with their social, personal, and mental life.
You don’t even have to start at school– you can start being open-minded, more aware, thoughtful, and less stressed at home!
Here are some tips:
- Be mindful of everyone around you– be aware of the fact that they have more going on than they are willing to share so respect that space and offer to be there for them.
- Set personal goals for yourself and let someone be aware of your goal so they can check in on you and make sure you are following through.
- Don’t judge someone by who they act or how they look as you may never know them well enough to know what’s inside.
- Allow others to help you with your problems instead of shutting yourself in.
- Practice meditation, coloring, breathing, and watching cute dog videos to become less stressed.