Recess. Your Student Life for the week of 3/28/21

March 28, 2021

Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service is delighted to showcase the benefits of mindful play. We love this time of year and remind everyone to take a break, play and relax. Typically celebrated during periods of National and World Mental Health Awareness, the mission of RECESS is to join with others in our Buckeye community to offer activities aimed at education about mental health, stigma reduction and wellness.

Spring RECESS Challenge 

Time again for RECESS! This time, the focus is on belonging. Find the antidote to loneliness though the ten challenges below.  

Stuck inside? Sick of doing everything online? You deserve an extra period for RECESS! Find your team, your friends and get to know your classmates. There are thousands of Buckeyes out there, it’s just been harder to find them during this period of necessary precautions associated with COVID-19. You can also visit Buckeye Nation Rewards to complete the challenge and earn GoBucks to put towards future rewards!

1.    Acceptance
We all have needed additional coping skills since the pandemic began. It’s important to acknowledge the overwhelming feeling that things are difficult right now. The skill of acceptance will help you acknowledge, validate and accept the current reality associated with COVID and social distancing precautions. Check out this blog post from the Wexner Medical Center to learn more about acceptance.

2.    Embrace Gratitude
Gratitude can provide a sense of collective hope when it feels like everything is a challenge. Start out small-- write a sticky note and place it on your neighbor’s door or thank an essential worker when you are at the grocery store! Discover inspiration for ways to practice gratitude and find ways to share it with those around you.

3.    Lean into the Discomfort of Connection
The side effect of social awkwardness from the pandemic is real—you’re not alone. Our challenge is to lean into the discomfort associated in making and maintaining relationships. Perhaps set a goal to check in with someone every day. Use voice memos instead of a text, put on FaceTime while you eat dinner, do homework together on Zoom and find other creative ways to overcome the social awkwardness brought on by the pandemic.

4.    Get Involved
It’s never too late to think about joining a student organization. For this challenge, take a moment to look through the Student Activities’ Get Involved Guide to see which organizations look interesting to you or schedule a Get Involved Consultation with a coach for personalized recommendations. Make a list and reach out to one or more to see when their meeting is happening. You could discover a new passion or a great group of new friends.

5.    Speak Up
Trying to connect to others during COVID-19 can feel like a chore when you have exhausted all the different ways reach out. For this challenge, try to go back to basics. Do small things like engaging with your professor more vocally in class, or attend our Connecting and Belonging During COVID workshop.

6.    Spread Kindness
This week, send some kudos to someone you work with, a close friend or an acquaintance at Ohio State. Everyday acts of kindness can benefit your own health and wellbeing. Read more about the benefits of altruism on our Emotional Fitness Blog.

7.    Listen
Over the past year, everyone has been trying to navigate how to socialize in new ways. Try considering how you actively listen and engage with the people closest to you, and new folks you meet. Enrich your conversations by listening more.

8.    Be Brave
Especially during these colder months, it’s important to get outside despite the chill or discomfort. Listen to a podcast on how movement, talking with a friend and being outside helps enrich cognitive functioning or connect with others on a common goal, like the 1000 hours outside challenge.

9.    Practice
Joining a team can be a quick way to feel a sense of belonging. This could be a sports team, academic team or a creative team at work. Working together and practicing towards a common goal impacts wellness in multiple ways.

When we feel a greater sense of belonging and connection to others, it can impact our wellness in multiple ways. Check out Wellness Coaching to achieve greater balance and attend to areas of your life you might be neglecting, or try any of the RPAC’s recreational activities for more ideas. Either way, put your goals into motion through practice.

10.                  Play It Forward
These days, we can all benefit from the nostalgia associated with playing during recess. Add some whimsy to your week by attending the Creativity and Connection workshop, organize a virtual amazing race or join a fantasy league online. Read more about the importance of the spirit of “play” and find ways to work play back into your life.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

  • Let’s Talk – Our informal, drop-in mental health consultations on a first-come, first-served basis. These are 15-20 minute confidential problem solving sessions with a CCS counselor.
  • Drop-In Workshops – Hosted by CCS, these classroom style sessions are developed to help students learn about skills and strategies for supporting mental health and well-being. No appointment necessary, just stop by. Topics include anxiety, stress, resiliency, psychiatry, etc.
  • Peer Access Line - The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources through peer-to-peer assistance that promotes and enhances student development and wellbeing. Buckeye PAL operates Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight. Call us at 614-514-3333.
  • Wellness Coaching - Provides opportunities for you to gain awareness regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future. Wellness coaches take a positive approach to personal development, focusing on your strengths and using the Nine Dimensions of Wellness model as a framework for generating goals that are meaningful for you. 
  • Group Meditation - The Student Wellness Center is now offering Wellness Coaching Meditation Sessions for students who would like to practice meditating in a virtual, group setting. Weekly sessions are facilitated by peer Wellness Coaches, who will guide participants through a brief meditation and allow space for participants to share their reactions to the meditation. Sessions last 30 minutes.
  • Wellness Assessment - Are you interested in further understanding your well-being? Take the Wellness Assessment! This online survey provides you with an opportunity to become more aware of your own well-being and connects you with resources at Ohio State to encourage healthy living. If you complete the assessment during the month of October, you will be entered to win BuckID Cash!
  • Group Fitness LIVE - Check out the full schedule of Group Fitness classes and work out from the comfort of your home. These livestreamed group fitness classes held over Zoom are open to all fitness levels and can be done with minimal to no equipment.
  • Yoga for Stress Relief with Philip B. - Recharge with this 45-min class designed specifically to enhance the mind-body connection for stress relief. We will utilize yoga postures (asanas), breath practices (pranayama) and meditation to help you decrease stress and anxiety, increase concentration and improve mental, emotional and physical well-being. Great for beginners and all levels of yoga practitioners.
  • 20 Min Total Body with Catherine R. - Reenergize with this quick 20-min total body workout! A combo of strength and cardio circuits, you’ll leave feeling sweaty, stronger and ready to take on the rest of your day. No previous fitness experience or equipment necessary to join.
  • Remember to Breath - When is the last time you did nothing except just breathe? Bringing awareness to your breath for even a few minutes is a simple way to bring yourself back to the present moment and connect with how you are feeling in body and mind. Join Rec Sports yoga instructor, Leah S., to learn how to practice Alternate Nostril Breathing and 4-7-8 Breathing. These mindful breathing techniques can help reduce stress, ease anxiety and refocus the mind.


Harry Warner, MA, LPCC-S

Associate Director, Outreach
Counseling and Consultation Service
Office of Student Life