Iowa State encourages students to “press pause and take a break” by kickstarting well-being strolls


Courtesy of Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Iowa State is offering well-being strolls to promote students to pause and practice mindfulness.

Kaitlyn Richardson

When in the midst of a busy semester, it can be hard to remember to take a break or pause for activities beyond the textbook or computer. Strolls for Well-being at ISU has set this exact necessity as their key message, to “Press Pause & Take a Break.”

March 28 marks the launch of spring strolls. According to Karen Couves, one of the coordinators of the strolls, this launch is aligned with Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week and will include both an in-person and online informational session on the launch. The in-person launch will be on the Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. in 2030 Morrill Hall and an online launch on the Thursday at the same time.

“Participants will leave the interactive Spring Strolls sessions with practical ways to use these resources for themselves, their departments and in their learning spaces,” Couves said.

According to the ISU Wellbeing webpage on the Strolls for Wellbeing, there will also be a three-part workshop occurring as a part of the series. This workshop will also provide participants with a spring guidebook with maps, details and other options.

“The first workshop creates a foundation of mindfulness and the strolls options, then you explore on your own – when it works for your schedule,” the webpage reads. “The group meets twice more to reflect and discuss what you experienced and what you will take away.”

The main webpage for the strolls goes on to discuss the importance of taking opportunities for breaks and participating in activities like this on your own time for 30 minutes or even just 5 minutes.

“Practicing mindfulness and making time for well-being supports your work-life balance and the ability to enjoy the present moment with happiness and wonder,” the webpage reads.

“The Strolls program is based on the practice of mindfulness,” Couves said. “Some of the benefits of mindfulness include stress reduction, improved concentration and focus, boost to the immune system and building community and connections.”

The website has sections for background information, FAQs, map and location details, pause where you are, pick a pause and strolls by season. All of these sections are set to provide options that fit individual schedules and needs. The information is intended to help individuals feel prepared to partake in the series of activities.

“These mindfulness practices offer ideas of locations on campus to go, reflection questions to ponder and simple strategies to get you into the present moment,” the webpage says. “Make the time to take a few deep breaths, notice the natural beauty around you and simply ‘be’ for a few moments.”

To Register for the event, use your Net ID/password via the Learn@ISU website, email [email protected] or call 515-294-5357.