Wicker Wellness Center fosters positive mindset

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By Song My Hoang

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The Wicker Wellness Center held a series of health-related outreach events throughout spring term.

Ph.D., clinician and Postdoctoral Fellow Shaina Bernardi developed a total of three events: “Mindful eating,” “Talking to friends and family about eating issues” and “10 steps to a positive body image.”

“Mindful Eating” was held on Tuesday,  April 8. It aimed to raise awareness about changing our eating habits and reminding ourselves of pleasure and appreciation with eating. “Mindful eating is an approach that focuses on all our senses,” said Bernardi

On Tuesday, April 22,  “Talking to friends and family about eating issues” fostered an open space for students who find it difficult to talk to a friend about his or her eating behaviors or attitudes.

Last Tuesday, the counseling staff held “10 steps to a positive body image.”

The event encouraged students to focus on healthier ways to perceive their bodies. The staff discussed strategies to practice positive self-talk about one’s body, as well as positive thought patterns.

Bernardi mentioned that this program aimed to show students ways to appreciate their bodies and focus less on the superficial component of body image.

There are many students at Union who struggle with eating issues because they want to conform to a perfectionist ideal.

“People may subscribe to a specific body image that they deem to be the perfect body. We feel it is important to appreciate the different aspects of the body, not just the way it looks,” stated Bernardi.

She handed out a document that listed common body image assumptions, such as “physically attractive people have it all” and “outward appearance is a sign of the worth of the person.”

Bernardi stated, “We wanted to show students that there is not a lot of evidence or truth to these assumptions.”

“The Wicker Wellness Center and the counseling staff intends to continue these outreach programs next year.

We would love to hear from students about topics they would like to have as outreach programs at their health center,” concluded Bernardi.

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