One of Nassau Hall’s resident advisors, sophomore Leah Arroyl, created a monthly event this semester called Self-Care Sundays for campus residents to help address the stress associated with attending college.
The first event took place on Sunday, Sept. 29 on the third floor of Nassau Hall. The hour was filled with bonding activities like nail painting and movies. Hannah Winston, a freshman musical theatre major who attended the first self-care session, said, “I was just having a good time relaxing and doing face masks.” There was even an area for students to take Instagram pictures, according to Arroyl, who organized the event.
As an RA, one of the many requirements is to generate one event per month for their residents. Arroyl, who is double majoring in theatre and communications, designed Self-Care Sundays because she realized that amidst the many assignments, essays, and exams, students sometimes forget to take care of themselves, both mentally and physically.
The event provides students with a judgement-free zone where they can “take away the stress of school and leave the homework and drama at the door,” according to Arroyl. “I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Jessica O’Neil, a freshman musical theatre major. “It was a good bonding experience.” It allows students to dedicate an hour of their time towards self-care with friends and fellow classmates. “Before you take care of anything else like your schoolwork, relationships, and things like that, you have to take care of yourself,” Arroyl said.
The concept of Self-Care Sundays was initially developed between Arroyl and her mother. While growing up, they dedicated every Friday to bonding activities, but when she moved from Tennessee to Long Island for school, she said they were unable to continue the tradition.
Freshman year was difficult for Arroyl and she believes it’s partly due to the move and her lack of time dedicated towards self-care. “I was just very stressed out and there wasn’t a space for me to really relax,” she said. This setback is largely what inspired her to create Self-Care Sundays for incoming freshmen. “[It’s a place] for people to just chill. Everyone shows up in their pajamas; no judgment. Everyone leaves everything at the door,” she said.
Taking time to wind down during college is essential to maintaining good mental health, especially during high-stress periods throughout the semester. In particular, the weeks of midterms and finals.
Self-Care Sundays will continue to take place on the last Sunday of every month on the third floor of Nassau Hall at 8 p.m. Arroyl said students can expect something different each Sunday and she’s hoping to set up some relaxation activities such as yoga sessions and guided meditation. But Arroyl wants students to know “there will always be face masks involved because I love face masks,” she said.