Promoting wellness virtually

Encouraging students to maintain their mental wellbeing while under quarantine, Diamond Bar High School’s Wellness Center hosted its first Virtual Wellness Week from April 20-24. 

Throughout the week, members of the Wellness department posted videos featuring different activities and tactics to help their peers while they are staying at home. The videos are showcased on the Wellness Center’s Instagram account and website.   

“We had a Zoom [meeting] with the Wellness team about a month ago, and we discussed various goals that we wanted to reinforce [and] target for our school population to reflect their needs and feelings,” senior Matthew Lioe said via Instagram.

The department scheduled different activities for each day, all of which corresponded to four different themes, including self care, social connections, positivity and civic engagement. 

“We all agreed to send in 30 [or longer] second videos with a demonstration [on] wellness topics,” Lioe said.  

Each day also had a meal of the day to motivate Brahmas to cook fun and creative meals with food they have at home.

“A lot of people have felt uninspired by their meals or intimidated by their pantries,” Lioe said. “So this was our way to try to combat that.”

On April 20, seniors Paul Lister and Samantha Velasco discussed different self-care techniques that help them cope with stress or boredom, such as going for walks, journaling and scrapbooking.

“What self-care means to me is taking some time away from things such as school, work and other stressful things to do something you enjoy so it allows you to relax,” Velasco said via Instagram. “I love painting and find it relaxing and fun [and] also it’s refreshing to look through old pictures of my friends and family.”

Sophomore Gabriela Ruiz shared the meal of the day: fideo soup, which is a Mexican tomato-based noodle soup. 

Following this, junior Cassidy Apolo explained how she stays connected with her friends during quarantine through apps like Houseparty. 

“Staying connected with friends can help us stay grounded and in touch with ourselves,” Apolo said via Instagram. “Wellness is all about having a balance, so while we might [need] space, we also need reconnection.” 

Sophomore Angel Zeng presented the activity of writing letters to practice gratitude and appreciation. Junior Natalie Hernandez shared the meal of the day: double chocolate muffins.
For day three, junior AJ Cembrano gave tips on developing a workout routine. In his video, Cembrano recommended using workout apps such as Sworkit to find different exercises that cater to your body type.

“Creating a consistent workout routine is really important not only to stay fit but [also] to stay healthy,” he said via Instagram. “While we’re stuck in quarantine, it’s super easy to become lazy and stay in bed all day [so] I wanted to provide an easy way for them [students] to get started.”

 Sophomore Rachel Mar shared some simple self-care activities like reading, gardening and maintaining a proper sleep schedule. Junior peer counseling publicist Melissa Guerrero-Harper‘s meal of the day was churros.

“I’m Mexican and my grandma used to always [make] them [churros] whenever I came to visit,” she said via Instagram. “She handed me the recipe before she died, and I like making people happy when they eat it.”

On the fourth day, senior wellness consultant Juhi Doshi and junior Anna Chen focused on the topic of positivity through activities such as painting and making a gratitude journal.

“I know it’s a hard time for everyone right now [and] even though many of us are suffering from the pandemic in different ways,” Chen said in her video submission. “I just wanted to validate everyone and say that it’s also hard that we don’t get to hang out with friends, go to prom or even have something as big as graduation.”

To help raise spirits, Doshi encouraged students to write down ten things they were grateful for.

“I felt what would be most helpful for my peers was to reflect on memories that we had that were great, rather than think about what we’re missing out on,” Doshi said via Instagram. “I want my fellow students to recognize how lucky we were to experience good times in classes, clubs, with teachers and with our friends.”

The meal of the day was a smoothie bowl made by Cembrano.

For the last day of Virtual Wellness Week, Lioe provided some insight on civic engagement and gave tips on how to pre-register to vote or contribute to the political process.  

“At DBHS, [so] much of the focus is in our own lives in a little bubble that we forget about the outside world or issues that affect others,” he said. “By expanding our intellectual wellness and awareness of the world around us, we can learn to be more empathetic for others and to create purpose for ourselves.”

Also featured on day five, junior Kimberly Dauwd gave a tutorial on how to make a face mask according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The meals of the day included boba milk tea and chocolate cookies made by Apolo and junior Isabel Chu respectively.