AU students hit “pause button” during Pausapalooza

Student assembles and decorates a bamboo holder during Pausapalooza  2013 on the Aurora University campus.

Ashley Gonzalez, AU '16, assembles and decorates a bamboo holder during Pausapalooza 2013 on the AU campus.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, the Aurora University Wellness Center held its first Pausapalooza, an event that encouraged students to hit the “pause button” on life for a few minutes. The idea behind the initiative is for students to take “pauses” or “moments for themselves” in order to sit back and reflect on their lives each day.

“Students will learn how ‘pausing’ can help to increase self-awareness, strengthen their focus, learn how to embrace uncertainty and even minimize or manage stress,” said Cheryl Block, Director of the Wellness Center.

Students were able to visit and learn from six different stations, including:

Arts & Crafts Station: Students were able to color and assemble a bamboo plant holder.

Movement Station: Jump roping, hula-hooping and dancing were some of the activities taught at the movement station.

Stillness Station: Jonathan Dean, Director of Campus Ministry, taught students centering and meditation techniques.

Volunteer Station: Students were able to check-in with Barb Calvert, Director of the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action, and Kris Johnson, Director of Student Leadership, to learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities.

“Getting Out of Your Head” Station: Learning how to start and end your day or simply viewing inspirational quotes were just a few ideas offered at this station.

Creating Space for Pause Station: Being in touch with and engaging your senses throughout the days is one way to help pause. Students learned how to turn their room into a calm space by decorating with attention to their senses.

“It really helped me relax for a moment and not think about any tests or assignments, especially when I got to use my creativity,” said Ashley Gonzalez, AU ’16.

With Pausapalooza being a one day event, the Wellness Center wanted students to get the overall message of how pausing can be valuable in people’s lives. “A large number of our students will be dedicating their lives to helping others. Students oftentimes fail to provide this same level of attention towards themselves,”  Block stated. “As I often remind students, you need to feed yourself first, both physically and mentally before you can provide for others.”