Personal Wellness 101

Written by Shahnaz Khan

We hosted a free event in the Spring of 2021 called “Personal Wellness 101.” The event was facilitated by Shahnaz Khan. Thirteen individuals came together virtually on Zoom to attend the wellness workshop on a sunny Saturday morning.

The morning began with everyone introducing themselves and sharing about how they have been feeling with everything that has been going on with the pandemic. Members were embraced with reminders of confidentiality and a safe space. Support was made available in case anyone needed a breather, but as the event went on, the connection between all the participants cultivated as stories were shared.

The session kicked off with a five minute deep breathing mindful exercise. The exercise was demonstrated with a composed video guidance. The participants found the deep breathing exercise relaxing and quite helpful.  Click here for the exercise.

For the second part of the session Shahnaz shared two of her written poems by reading them out loud and asked the participants to share their thoughts about it. For the former poem participants could relate it to the pandemic and how a silver lining could be found from it all by how one could rise out of the storm stronger. The poem went like this…

I bloomed
against all the odds
when I was told
there is no rising

after a storm quite like this one.

The next portion of the session was presented with a ten minute best possible self exercise. This exercise is about visualizing ones best possible self weeks, months, or even years in advance where things have turned out how one would have hoped. Individuals were encouraged to write or draw what they were to envision in their future. The best possible self exercise has been showed by research to enhance one’s mood, which was the idea behind presenting it in the event. One participant emphasized it as “I found the best possible self exercise really helpful. It helped me to see what I want to achieve and to make my dreams a reality. It also showed me to think from a positive perspective.”

The fourth bit of the session put forward a laughter therapy moment where the participants laughed and enjoyed memes as well as America’s Funniest Home Video together.

For the second last part of event, individuals were encouraged to list gratitude statements in order for them experience positive emotions and bring them more joy in their daily life. Some of the statements shared by the participants were as follows:

I am grateful for…
a roof over my head and my family that support me
get to go to school and that I have a supporting family
being alive
a place to live, food, friends, my family & Community 🙂

Participants were lighthearted after trying on these different strategies in order to improve

their overall mental wellbeing. “Fun” and “informative and insightful” were the words used by participants from the post-event survey to describe the personal wellness session.