The Wellness Outreach Collaborative Encourages Students to Refresh and Refocus During Reading Period

Students try contemplative coloring
December 12, 2016

Today marks the end of classes at Wellesley for the fall 2016 semester, and every student knows what that means: Finals are coming. The Wellness Outreach Collaborative encourages students to make the most of their reading period by incorporating time into their study schedules to regroup.

“There is strong evidence that regular breaks are not only good for you, they allow you to be more efficient and effective in your studying,” said Claudia Trevor-Wright, assistant director of health education and wellness at Wellesley College Health Service. “That’s why many offices and departments offer a wide variety of opportunities for students to recharge during reading period and final exams, some of which can be found on the Take a Break calendar.

Take a Break programming is coordinated by the Wellness Outreach Collaborative, whose members include Health Service; Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics (PERA); Stone Center Counseling; the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life; and AVI Fresh, with the support of partners across campus. From the physically active to the intentionally still, the schedule includes a wide range of options.

Students who want to shake it up and shake it out can climb the rock wall, swim laps or play pool games, attend a spin class, or try Latin dancing. Those who wish to engage their senses can try contemplative coloring, enjoy music at the Greenhouse Coffee House, visit the make-your-own hot cocoa bar, create “aromatherapy to go,” or play with bubble wrap or DIY silly putty. Others seeking quieter alternatives can try yoga, the Conscious Café with guided relaxation breaks, or sacred journaling and letter writing.

Perennial favorites are back: Massages are always booked early, and the therapy dogs and moonlight breakfast draw large crowds. This year offers some new opportunities as well, including gingerbread cookie decorating and cider with President Paula A. Johnson.

Trevor-Wright reminds students that even as organized activities breaks end and finals begin, “If you are feeling anxious, there are many ways to redirect: Going on a walk outside, sharing a meal with a friend, or even taking few 4–7–8 breaths can work wonders.”

“We also know that sleep is incredibly important for a healthy body and a sharp mind,” she said. “To thrive during finals, sleep as much as your body needs to, not less. For college students, that’s seven to nine hours per night. You’ll absorb the material you read better, remember more, and be more creative in your thinking.”


Note: Coloring page is available for download. Primary artwork is used courtesy of Thaneeya McArdle at