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NSC Promotes Wellness through Weekly Activities

NSC News 
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I take yoga class every time. I came when I have a problem with my knee and back. The pain has gone down after doing yoga. It also helps with stress. Yoga, I really like it. I came from Africa, and I think too much. Yoga helps me wind down. I can talk to people. I feel American. I see my life. I really appreciate it. You meet your friends, you talk, and you do exercise. I enjoy. It changed my life. Big change.

Establishing a new home in a new country with new systems and language is demanding and can be a stressful time for many refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. Additionally, the nature of the work of service providers at a dynamic agency like NSC takes a great deal of energy and personal commitment. With clients and staff alike, it can be challenging to find time for self-care and effective stress reducing practices that fit into busy lives.

To help NSC clients and staff, interns, teachers and volunteers reduce stress and to promote self-care, the Health and Wellness Department has introduced a weekly program called Wellness Wednesday. Every Wednesday from 12:30-2:00, clients are invited to participate in free massage, acupuncture and trauma-informed yoga. Clients can take part in all or any individual service during Wellness Wednesday’s 6-week sessions.  Services are then opened up to staff, interns, teachers, and volunteers from 2:00-2:30. Local certified holistic service providers generously donate their services to NSC. During the 2-weeks between sessions, clients and staff are invited to come to our Mindfulness Walks and other wellness activities, which take place on the same day at the same time.

Newly added to Wellness Wednesday are the Community Service Project and The Peaceful Room. Inspired by client requests to help the victims of the recent hurricanes in the U.S., clients and staff will be making gemstone stretch bracelets that will be available for purchase for $10 or three for $25. 100% of the profits will go to hurricane relief. The Peaceful Room is a designated room during Wellness Wednesday where clients and staff can take part in the service project, listen to music, participate in quiet writing activities, create with clay, color mandalas, read, have a cup of tea or simply take a few minutes to recharge.

Clients and staff have responded very positively to the programming and look forward to the services and events each week. One client who regularly participates in Wellness Wednesday says:

"I take yoga class every time. I came when I have a problem with my knee and back. The pain has gone down after doing yoga. It also helps with stress. Yoga, I really like it. I came from Africa, and I think too much. Yoga helps me wind down. I can talk to people. I feel American. I see my life. I really appreciate it. You meet your friends, you talk, and you do exercise. I enjoy. It changed my life. Big change."

Taking a few moments of calm in the midst of a busy week goes a long way for clients and staff, and Wellness Wednesday provides a scheduled day of self-care. Stay tuned for more Wellness Wednesday activities in the months to come.

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