“What is Wellness?” – Z. Alligators
Wellness is a time to achieve and maintain a state of personal health through stress management and relaxation. In music class, students dance, sing, and play instruments, learning music through various mediums. Lots of energy is spent and our focus switches throughout several activities. Before we sing good-bye, we have wellness time to regroup our energy and body.
Students are given the option to lay on the floor or to sit in their chairs with their eyes opened or closed. I play a CD of calming, relaxing music with a slow pace to help the students breathe and relax. Students are quiet (usually, not always) as they take time for themselves. Occasionally, there are a few giggles at the start of wellness time who learn to be comfortable sitting quietly after a minute or so.
During this time, I walk around and gently touch the backs of students to let them know that I am there, a reminder to keep quiet, and a reminder to breathe. After several minutes or when the song is over, I softly tell students that they may quietly sit up, can wiggle their hands and toes and bring their focus back into the music room. Then I speak quietly into our microphone system, and instruct students to find their chairs to get ready to sing good-bye.
Many students look forward to Wellness time as it their time to manage some of the anxiety they are feeling, gather their thoughts, and relax. Some students fall asleep, and that is okay. They work so hard through the day that their bodies need a break. Through our wellness time, students are getting to know what their bodies need, how to express that need, and find ways to cope with their stress and anxiety.