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The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Nursing students promote wellness at Leo’s Feel Good Fest

Whitney Veazey

Leo’s Feel Good Fest provided UNA students with yoga, massages, stress balls, community engagement and lessons on mental health.

The event took place on Feb. 24 at Laura M. Harrison Hall. Dr. Lisa Harrington, assistant professor, explained that the inspiration for the creation of the event came from her volunteer work at the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions Tiny Cubs Baby Shower. 

“I have witnessed first-hand how community partners and students can help share information and resources in a way that is fun and educational,” said Harrington. “I wanted to create an event that brought together campus and community partners to share accessible resources that can enhance overall wellness in a way that was also fun and educational.”

To put Leo’s Feel Good Fest together, Harrington counted on the help of the enthusiastic support of Dean Tera Kirkman and her incredible colleague Nikki Davenport.

The festival was divided into rooms all across Harrison Hall. Participants could sign up for group mini yoga and massages on the third floor, as well as goat yoga sessions on the practice field. Other rooms contained campus and community partners sharing their facilities’ information, including Student Counseling Services, Recreation Center, Health Services, Dieticians, Keller Affiliates and Remedy Behavioral Health.

“Yoga definitely helps you slow down and let your thoughts run freely through your mind,” said Dr. Grace Zills, an assistant professor who supervised the mini-yoga sessions. “It enhances your stretch and flexibility, we are so busy these days, and it helps you to remember to feel your body.” 

Regarding the students’ participation, Zills said that the event was a great opportunity for students to “think outside the box” and “look past the textbook.”

Nursing students from levels two to four received the task of choosing engaging and educational applications focused on disseminating mental health to their users. The students were divided into rooms, and each group chose the app they perceived as most helpful and entertaining.

Giving out UNA merch, stickers, healthy snacks and useful information, each table explained to the audience their chosen app. 

Abby Arias and Britney Mendoza, level two juniors, chose “Finch,” which is a “built-in” best friend for mobile phones. Users must take care of their pets in order for them to grow. 

“They are very fun and relaxing,” said one of the group’s students. “I named mine Bubba.” 

“Tappy: Self Care Fidgeter” tends to help especially with ADHD or sensory issues. The app provides fidgeting controlled vibrations, breathing exercises and daily reminders on building healthy habits, as explained by Maisie Irvin’s group. 

“Headspace” is a meditation app for people with short attention spans. 

“Anywhere from five minutes to an hour, you can use as much time as your attention lets you,” said Ashley Kelley, level two. “It gives you a really nice breakI have an experience with the app. I worked for Disney, they had a subscription included in [the job’s] benefits.”

“‘I am sober’ helps people track their habits if they are having problems with nicotine, alcohol, or any other addiction,” said student Logan Clinerd. “It helps people lose those habits. 

The event flowed in the way Harrington had hoped, enjoyably and educationally. It was a great success for the wellness improvement of the UNA community. 

“Beyond just that day, I hope that those positive experiences dabbling in new activities such as yoga, ReFit and massage might inspire the adoption of some new strategies that promote health and wellness,” Harrington said. “I believe that it is so important that people have overflowing ‘toolboxes’ of resources and strategies to enhance their own wellness.”

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About the Contributors
Manuela Ludolf, Staff Writer
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

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