Emory Law News Center

Emory Law promotes student self-care with Wellness Week
By Emory University School of Law | Emory Law | March 3, 2015

Making healthy choices:
Cooking demonstration for healthy eating: Students and staff take part in a cooking demonstration during Wellness Week. An Emory Dining chef taught participants how to make an easy, healthy meal.

Mental and physical wellness lead directly to academic success. In the case of law students, who experience higher levels of stress due to the nature of their studies and their chosen profession, a focus on wellness becomes even more important. In February, Emory Law observed its annual Wellness Week, featuring activities to introduce students to methods of self-care that will help them stay below their thresholds of stress and anxiety.

Student Bar Association President Monna Lea Bryant 15L was excited about the partnership that led to Wellness Week. She said, “This year, the SBA partnered with the Office of Student Engagement to promote and support Wellness Week. While the administration had a big part in assisting with the scheduling and logistics of the Wellness Week programs, the SBA worked from the student side to encourage participation and understanding of the underlying principles defining the initiative.”

This year’s Wellness Week observance included a health and wellness fair, a blood drive, an interactive cooking class, yoga and Zumba – all events that were chosen to meet the various needs of a flourishing student. According to Katherine Brokaw, assistant dean of students, those needs include a spiritual support system, mentors, healthy activities and the opportunity to be generous to others, among other facets of the science of flourishing, a field studied by Emory’s own Dr. Corey Keyes.

“It’s important for us to be aware of that vulnerability and present the self-care message in a positive, constructive way. One of the goals is to remind law students that there are many positive actions they can take to promote their own wellness. Law students who take better care of themselves tend to do better academically.”

There are numerous resources at Emory Law that can help mitigate stress, several of which participated in Wellness Week. Play Emory provided yoga and Zumba classes as well as trainers to speak with students about how to work fitness activities into their busy schedules. Emory Dining participated, too, offering an interactive nutrition and cooking class with a chef and university nutritionist. The nutritionist helped participants to create healthy food programs.

“We were fortunate to have students participate in so many of our Wellness Week programs! While we had a few setbacks due to the mid-week "snow day," we felt very encouraged that students both recognize and appreciate the Wellness Week initiatives and that the program will only grow from this inaugural year,” said Bryant. “Personally, my goal is to see the SBA, and the greater student body, perpetuate Wellness Week as a student-led week of programming dedicated to student health and happiness.”

For more information about wellness activities and wellness partners at Emory Law, contact Assistant Dean of Students Katherine Brokaw in the Office of Student Engagement. On March 27, the Office of Student Engagement will recognize the Nationwide ABA Mental Health Awareness Day. Find out how you can participate.