+LAB students help plan first Michigan Ross ‘Wellness Week’ promoting student well-being

March 22, 2019

On the heels of a powerful and inclusive set of events for the annual Diversity Week at Michigan Ross, students planned the first-ever Wellness Week at Michigan Ross — a suite of events and initiatives focused on helping students build healthy and balanced lives.

Organized by The Comfort Zone, a new, student-developed well-being community at Ross, programming was designed to give students tools and techniques to help them manage anxiety and stress, while simultaneously creating a space to take a break from their typical MBA routines comprised of class, recruiting events, group projects, and other club meetings.

Each initiative centered around student wellness as defined by the University of Michigan as spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, environmental, financial, occupational, social, and intellectual well-being. Beyond events, which are outlined below, a range of other programs like a gratitude wall, a step challenge, a shared Spotify playlist, and a daily newsletter profiling well-being advice from the community allowed students to “choose their own adventure” and engage in a way that suited their individual needs.

The Comfort Zone (TCZ) co-founders Tracy Wolfbiss Cohen, MBA ‘19 (a +LAB Lead Fellow), Emily Lucas, MBA ‘19, and Alexis Morath, MBA ‘19 said they were excited by the energy the Ross community brought to Wellness Week
“Success to us meant starting the conversation around a topic that all too often gets stigmatized,” they said. “Our next steps include transitioning our roles to the next generation of leaders in the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Based on the level of interest and energy they have demonstrated, we know this organization is here to stay and to make a lasting impact on the community we care so deeply about.”

Here’s a snapshot of the events that took place throughout Wellness Week:

Compassion Power Hour

Students spent their lunch hour with Catherine O’Donnell, MBA ‘20 (a +LAB Fellow), as she introduced new tools to integrate and practice compassion in their lives.

Wellness Tips & Tricks “Speed Sharing” Event

Students took turns sharing and learning tips and tricks for maintaining well-being while in business school. Think speed-dating or speed-networking, but for wellness!

Healthy Cooking: Meal Prep & Tips for Travel

MBA Partner, Hannah Keltner, led a popular session on cooking healthy meals during business school, including meal prep pointers, and tips for eating mindfully while traveling on MAP projects or other school-related travel.

Ross Recess: Minute to Win It Section Games

Full-Time first-year and second-year MBA students competed against one another in a fun-filled series of silly minute-to-win-it-style games.

Wellness Week Keynote Event: Ross Wellness Talks

Rick Harris, with University of Michigan Anesthesiology, and Jamie Cameron, a well-being specialist for Deloitte, shared some of their insights about mindfulness and the myth of work-life balance, respectively, in a TED-talk style event.

“Off” Hours

Wellness Week organizers introduced the first installment “off” hours where students took a break to color, eat healthy snacks, and chat openly about things other than recruiting, class assignments, and spring break. The students are planning to continue this initiative in a weekly, dedicated, digital-free space.

This article was originally published as a Ross News Blog post.