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Drexel Libraries Resumes On-Campus Intellectual Wellness Program

November 17, 2021

When people think of health and wellness, chances are they think of diet and exercise. In fact, there are several interconnected dimensions of health and wellness that all contribute to our overall well-being: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, financial and environmental.

Over the last few years, the Drexel Libraries has played an increasing role in supporting the wellness needs of students, faculty and staff, with a particular focus on intellectual wellness.

“Intellectual wellness” refers to expanding one’s knowledge, skills and creativity. It focuses on lifelong learning and improving skills in areas such as academics, studying, and stress management.  

The Libraries launched its first on-campus wellness program in April 2019 with a pop-up wellness gallery in the W. W. Hagerty Library. The wellness gallery, developed by Libraries Administrative Coordinator Tainesha Ware, MPH, served as a space where Drexel students, faculty and staff could relax and recharge—important aspects of stress management. Activities offered in the Gallery included coloring pages, board games, sound machines, aromatherapy, and meditation space.

In March 2020 (one week before the University moved to remote teaching and learning due to COVID-19), two Drexel Libraries Information Explorers put their own spin on the wellness gallery by creating a Study Break Room. Students were invited to stop by the Study Break Room during week 10 of the winter term to talk with peers about managing stress and get tips for relaxing during exam periods and beyond. Available activities included yoga, origami, stress relief balls, and modeling clay. 

Due to COVID-19, the Libraries moved its wellness program (and all other programs and services) online. The Libraries’ first Marketing & Communications co-op student, along with Libraries Information Explorers and the Libraries’ expert staff, created a stress relief resource guide to help students manage their stress throughout the term.  

Later this month, the Libraries is excited to resume its on-campus intellectual wellness program on November 29, 2021—just in time for final exams.

“We are building on the wellness activities we offered in the past and resuming our commitment to helping students achieve optimum intellectual wellness,” said John Wiggins, the Libraries’ Director for Services. “We are expanding our offerings and collaborating with new groups on campus, such as the Counseling Center, to offer a variety of tools and activities students (as well as faculty and staff!) can use in the W. W. Hagerty Library.”

Starting November 29, activities that support intellectual wellness will be on display on a table by the Service Desk in the W. W. Hagerty Library. Students can simply grab an item from the table and take it to the Service Desk to borrow it. Items will be reservable for 30 minutes at a time and are for use within the Library.

Activities available to help the Drexel community relax and recharge include puzzles, origami, sound machines, light therapy boxes, aromatherapy, yoga balls and pose instructions, and noise machines.

In addition, the Drexel University Counseling Center, in partnership with the Drexel Libraries and the Center for Black Culture, recently announced the launch of a new light box therapy program for the University community.

Light therapy is one way to help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a common form of depression associated with the lack of natural light during the winter months. Common symptoms of SAD include increased sleep and appetite, weight gain, depressed mood, and low energy. During light therapy, you sit near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light, which research shows affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and helps ease the symptoms of SAD.

Several light therapy lamps are now available at the W. W. Hagerty Library Service Desk, as well as at the Counseling Center and the Center for Black Culture. Lamps available in the W. W. Hagerty Library can be checked out for 30 minutes; no reservations are needed at this time.

New activities and equipment will be added to the Libraries’ wellness table starting in January 2022. Check back for updates or visit us on campus.