By Lauren Amico
On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Byram Hills High School hosted Wellness Day. The focus of Wellness Day was to promote mental health awareness and share strategies to reduce stress and live a healthier lifestyle. Students listened to the keynote speaker, Mr. Shaun Derik. Mr. Derik is a speaker and performance artist. His performances motivate people to be unique and inspire them to go after their passion. One freshman reflects, “He was interactive with the audience and taught us the importance that everyone is special and has a purpose.” His motivating messages embraced positivity and self-love. Another individual notes how the assembly left him “feeling excited and refreshed. It inspired me to do my best.”
Following the assembly, students participated in breakout sessions on topics of their choice. These breakout sessions focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle and mindset. The topics included dangers of vaping, mindfulness, yoga, healthy snacking, kickboxing, goal setting, healthy relationships, progressive relaxation, visualization, biofeedback, art therapy, ethical eating, reducing the stigma of mental illness and infinite power. Some breakout rooms were taught by teachers in the school, while others were taught by outside individuals. In the art therapy breakout group, Ms. Menache showed students how to stress relieve using paint and shaving cream. Students put shaving cream on a foam board and colored with paint and then pressed their creation on a sheet of paper. One student says, “I loved to be able to pick the topic because I got to learn more about something I was interested in.” Wellness day seemed to be a great experience for many students. This was one way in how Byram Hills is trying to implement a more stress-free environment. We can’t wait for Wellness Day next year!