Wellness Rooms in Educational Settings
Stress and anxiety are intense and exhausting issues that all ages are experiencing in the busy and fast lives that we now lead.
Research has shown that overstressed, busy and anxious minds find it difficult to focus and learn.
A wellness room in your school, college or university will help to reduce the stress that students are feeling, helping them to focus and achieve in both their personal and academic lives.
Creating a wellness room where students can go to decompress will help them to destress and in turn regain their focus and be ready to learn. In recent years more and more students are leaving college or university courses as it all becomes too much for them. A wellness space will help them to reduce their anxieties by giving them a safe place to escape to calm and regain their focus.
Research has shown that our behaviour is affected by both short and long term periods of stress and results in our working memory, planning and response inhibitions being impaired when our stress levels are elevated. More specifically, it has been found that if you are feeling stressed you are more likely to be forgetful and unable to remember information, all of which will hinder students’ learning and their ability to focus when studying.
Stress and anxiety activate the fight or flight reaction, and when this happens as a reaction our bodies send blood to the extremities, hands and feet. This decreases the blood flow to other areas of our bodies, including our brains impacting its ability to function as you need it to.
When we feel anxious and stressed, we can’t think logically and learn like we could if we’re feeling calm, safe and secure. A wellness room will help to alleviate stress, anxiousness and unbalanced emotions, allowing students to relieve the pressure they are feeling.
Designing a wellness space for students to relax and emotionally unwind will almost certainly help them to decompress and regain their focus, giving them the will and desire to learn again.
In recent years there has been lots of focus on creating online resources to help students in their studies and personal lives, however, it is now becoming clear that this, in a lot of cases, is not enough. Students also need a physical space they can escape to and relax in. By having both of these resources available it will help them, their fellow students, teachers and the educational setting as a whole feel better and achieve so much more.
What Are the Benefits of an Educational Wellness & Calming Room?
A wellness room offers a safe place for students to slow down and escape to, getting away from their busy social and academic studies, as well as helping them to regulate their emotions and reduce the stress and anxiety they are feeling. When you are feeling stressed and anxious you are less likely to have the natural ability to regulate your emotions and make the decisions and choices you need to move forward and think clearly.
The aim of a wellness room is to provide a space to support students to emotionally reset by mitigating the negative sensory inputs and aspects of life.
It should be clean, warm and inviting and a place in which students will choose to go for time to feel safe and unwind.
When you have your wellness space designed it is extremely important to talk to your students about the room and the benefits it will bring them. Explaining, it will give them a safe place to go when they need to destress and unwind, offering them the environment that will help them to physically and emotionally reset and learn how to care for their minds. All of which will equip them to focus and succeed in their educational goals.
Be clear about the benefits they will experience from their calming room, as well as the behaviour that is expected from everyone that uses it, don’t assume they will know this. As well as verbally communicating this, you can provide a checklist of behaviours that are acceptable when using the space. This helps everyone understand what and how they should behave to ensure everyone can benefit from it.
Designing Your Wellness Room
A wellness room also provides positive ideas and resources for mindfulness which is key for everyone to succeed in the busy and pressurised world we live in and skills they will use throughout their lives.
When designing your wellness room, we think about both the physical and emotional needs of your students offering ideas and suggestions to ensure your space is effectively used.
- Suggested layout and zones
- Efficient and workable use of the space
- Comfortable furniture and furnishings
- Tactile and textured fabrics and surfaces
- Natural materials
- All aspects will be easy to keep clean and tidy, no clutter
- Seating that students can rock or sway on
- Low lighting to create a calm and serene environment for them
- Distraction gadgets for stressed and anxious minds (fidgets, stress balls, puzzles, music and books)
- Books about travel, the world, nature, hobbies, wellbeing and mindfulness
- Soft, muted and calming colours
- Plants which offer health benefits to reduce stress, boost productivity and attention
- Zoned areas for students to relax, or work in
- Online help resources for relaxation, mindfulness and where to get help if they need it
We can also help you with your staff rooms to ensure they are calm and functional for your team.
We are really excited to be working in partnership with the Honour Thy Women Group charity who offer safe places, wellness spaces, mentoring, online and face to face wellness learning and training for people in need.