Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Ready to Thrive

The fall term is more than a month old, and already the more relaxed summer months are a distant memory.

As stress begins to build around this time of year, Human Resources (HR) is bringing back Thrive Week to remind staff, faculty, and students about the importance of self-care.

[Yessica Rivera Belsham with her drums]
Yessica Rivera Belsham returns for Thrive this year to lead a Sound Healing in Nature session at Agnes Benidickson Field. (Submitted photo)

“We really hope to reach more people on campus this year and get them thinking about the skills and resources they require to ‘thrive’ throughout the year,” says Sydney Downey, one of the organizers of Thrive Week and Manager of Return to Work and Accommodation Services in HR. “We received such a positive response after our first Thrive Week last year, and we are excited to offer it again.”

Thrive Week, which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 4, will feature a number of events that focus on building positive mental health among members of the Queen’s community. The organizers draw on a number of resources from both Queen’s and the Kingston community to offer the programming.

Based on feedback from last year, the organizing committee decided to focus this year on offering several key events each day that align with the Thrive pillars: nutrition, physical fitness, sleep, stress, and stigma. The organizers plan to distribute a “bingo card” that participants can use to collect stamps performing various activities that promote positive mental health. Collect all five stamps and you have a chance to win a prize.

“There may be fewer events, but we have tried to refine our list to ensure our offerings truly engage the broad Queen’s community,” Ms. Downey says. “We want people to walk away from the events with a new perspective and ideas for strengthening their mental health.”

Old favourites, new offerings

Thrive Week 2016 will feature several popular events from last year, including the adult conversational ball pit during the kick-off event (Oct. 31 from 8-10 am). There are new events this year, including a Nordic pole walking clinic (Nov. 4, noon-1 pm) and a pumpkin carving workshop on Halloween (noon-1 pm).

One of the community instructors returning this year is multidisciplinary artist Yessica Rivera Belsham. Last year, Ms. Belsham offered a community drum circle. In addition to hosting that event again this year, she will lead Sound Healing Meditation in Nature on Agnes Benidickson Field (Nov. 2 from 2-3 pm). Using “singing bowls” made of quartz crystal, she produces sounds and vibrations that relax workshop participants and foster a meditative state.

“I am passionate about mental health. There’s a whole spectrum to mental health, and what I do is more focused on relaxation and restoring balance,” she says. “I felt happy and privileged to engage with the Queen’s community last year; people joined in, had fun, and really let go. I hope that happens again this year.”

Visit the Thrive Week website (www.queensu.ca/connect/thrive/events/) to see the schedule, which organizers will continue to update over the next couple of weeks. You can also host your own Thrive Week event. More information is available at www.queensu.ca/connect/thrive/partnership/ You can also like Thrive Week on Facebook www.facebook.com/queensuthrive