Following the SUNY-wide decision to cancel spring break due to COVID-19, New Paltz has decided to create their own version of a break by implementing three Mind, Body and Spirit Days on Feb. 23, March 24 and April 15.
The goal of these days is to still be able to provide a break for students that they normally would’ve had during spring break.
Following their announcement, some students expressed uncertainty towards whether or not having a break from school work to allow for time to focus on yourself would be attainable with only one-day breaks. The first Mind, Body and Spirit day proved that this was in fact possible.
On Feb. 23, classes were canceled and different activities and events around campus were offered to students.
On Feb. 17, New Paltz News posted a letter explaining the details of the Mind, Body and Spirit day signed by President Donald P. Christian and other members of campus administration.
“The theme for our first Mind, Body, Spirit Day is ‘Love and Nourish,’ in homage to Valentine’s Day and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Between learning remotely, the weather, anxiety over health, finances and current events, we all can benefit from paying attention to our own and each other’s well-being,” read the letter. “We hope that students, faculty and staff will use these days to restore themselves and support one another as a community.”
On Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., a yoga class was held at the Hawk Center with instructor Gianna until 3:30 p.m. The class was focused on self-compassion.
First-year English major Morgan D’Amore attended the class and said that it really allowed her to focus on herself.
“For the mind, body, and spirit day I woke up later than usual and I attended the yoga class that was held in the gym. I didn’t have any work due, but I finished some notes that I started the day before,” D’Amore said. “I think the activities provided by the school helped to make the day more worth the while as opposed to merely a day without work.”
Second-year geography Marissa Trojan also attended the yoga class.
“For mind, body and spirit day I went to yoga with Gianna,” Trojan said. “It was definitely a challenge but really rewarding in a way. We did some basic yoga poses and just focused on ourselves.”
A Holistic Movement class with instructor Shannon was held at 7:30 p.m. at the Athletic & Wellness Center Dance Studio. The class focused on body positivity, in observation of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
At noon, everyone was welcome to show their gratitude by decorating thank you cards for health care workers in the Atrium.
For non-group activities, the Atrium gave out paint by numbers kits from 3 to 5 p.m.
Overall, students were able to use the day to focus on themselves.
“I went on a run and then went to the yoga class at the wellness center and colored in the SUB,” said first-year English major Carlin Freck. “I did have work to do, but I felt in a better headspace to do it. I had lots of time to focus on me which was so nice.”
However, having the day off did not mean that students were without work.
“I had some breakfast with friends after sleeping in and am catching up on work [today],” said first-year undeclared student Olivia Tracey. “I have quite a bit but I viewed this day as a workday, to begin with.”
It was also suggested that students take the day to focus on themselves and their well-being. Students were reminded that the Psychological Counseling Center and Reach Out SUNY are both available resources.
The Student Resilience Advocates also shared positive messages and self-care ideas on their Instagram account, @np_resilience.
“We hope that students, faculty and staff will use these days to restore themselves and support one another as a community,” read the letter.
To reach the New York State Office of Mental Health Crisis Text Line, text GOT5 to 741741; for additional mental health support, call the NY Project Hope at 844- 863-9314.