Mini Break Day: Explore Ways to Restore

Web Banner

Mini-break, big impact.

Even a mini break can have a big impact on your well-being.  Consider this your permission slip to take a day off for rest and restoration.

Each of us has different ways of feeling rested and restored.  McWell is offering a variety of activities throughout the day on April 21 (and beyond) to support your well-being.  We invite you to explore ways to restore by checking out the events and resources below. Need help thinking through how to integrate rest and restoration into your daily lives? Check this out: "Take a Break: A Guide to Creating a Restorative Routine."

Please be sure to follow the latest University protocols regarding health and safety precautions for COVID-19 transmission prevention. For additional and up to date information, visit the HERE website.


Rest

Data collected from Notre Dame students shows that going to bed earlier, sleeping in, and taking naps are the way many build rest into their lives.  We know that sleep is foundational to our well-being, and can reduce anxiety and support learning and problem solving.  Sleep deprivation (of even just a few hours!) can impact our ability to connect with and relate to others, and can lead to a cycle of loneliness and isolation.  Here are some resources to support you in sleeping well - and enough! - today and every day.

Self-Care Kits @ McWell Health Hut (1-4pm on April 21)
Make your own self-care kit with items from each of our well-being categories! We'll have games, cards, exercise and movement tools, rest aids, crafts, toys and stickers. Due to weather, we invite you to visit us at the LaFortune Ballroom between 1pm and 4pm.

Take a Brain Break
Research shows that short breaks throughout the day are also essential to brain health and actually increase our productivity, creativity, and ability to focus. It can be challenging to allow ourselves to step away, so consider scheduling in a couple of breaks throughout the day when you can daydream, zone out, doodle, or just look at nature for a little while. Most of the time we are using our brains to process information, but giving that processor a break once in a while is important so something called the default mode network (DMN) can do its very important work. While we daydream, the DMN gets to work linking ideas and retrieving memories. Scientists think our processing brains need to rest so our DMN can organize everything we are actively thinking about the rest of the time.

Cultivate a Restorative Niche
What is a restorative niche? Check out this article for more details, and make time in your own life for hobbies and activities that refill your energy tank.

One Minute Jesuit - Less is More
Check out this quick video about the importance of rest.

Dreaming Domers
Register for a virtual sleep program with real life results - four weeks of sleep education and a free Dreaming Domers Sleep Toolkit.

Sleep Stories with Calm.com
Explore soothing sleep stories to listen to while you drift to sleep.

Explore an ‘Ambiance Room’
What’s an ambiance room?  Here’s an explanation.  Find one that suits your mood, and grab a cup of coffee or tea as you allow yourself to rest and relax.  Try an Enchanted Forest, a Tropical Beach, a Cozy Coffee Shop, a Spring Meadow, or a walk through the Rain in Manhattan. Or explore the Calm Scenes in the Calm app.

Listen to a Podcast about Rest
Listen to Brene Brown talk about the importance of “resting our tired brains”.

Take a Nap
Notre Dame’s very own renowned sleep researcher, Dr. Jessica Payne tells us how and why to take naps.

Create a Bedtime Routine
Check out 5 Steps to Wind Down and Fall Asleep for tips to create a bedtime routine and a short bedtime meditation.

 


Pray

Prayer, faith, and religion offer us much support and restoration during times of stress.  Research shows that prayer can promote a sense of calm, a deeper connection with and trust in God, and alleviate stress. Find ways to integrate prayer into your day through the opportunities below.

Restore with Campus Ministry 
Integrate faith and prayer into your day with these restorative suggestions from Campus Ministry:

  • Take a walk around our beautiful campus reflecting on a scripture verse that speaks to you. One example is, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" - Matthew 11:28.  
  • Stop into the Basilica for a quiet moment to slow down and catch your breath. The Basilica is open from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.
  • Talk with a campus minister during Need to Talk, 5-7 p.m. in 113 Coleman-Morse. 
  • Attend daily Mass at the Basilica (11:30 a.m. or 5:15 p.m.) or with your hall community.
  • Enjoy quiet prayer during Adoration in the Coleman-Morse chapel from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

"Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God." - Pope Francis

Pause for Prayer
A prayer for stillness.

Walk the Notre Dame Campus Pilgrimage
Take a self-guided tour of Notre Dame's sacred sites. This is designed to offer a glimpse of the rich spiritual life on Notre Dame's campus, while also offering an opportunity to pray and reflect.

Start, Restart, or Make Time to Journal
Spend a few moments journaling.  Journaling can serve many purposes and take many forms.  Here are a few starting points:
How This Journaling Challenge Transformed My Life | Grotto Network
How a Lenten Prayer Practice Changed Me for the Better | Grotto Network 
5 Easy Steps for How to Keep a Prayer Journal | Grotto Network

Mindfulness, Prayer, and Mindful Prayer
Check out the Mindfulness Menu for a list of more mindfulness and prayer links, resources, and options.


Play

Play is not only beneficial for children!  Research suggests that adult playfulness enhances stress management and contributes to overall physical and emotional well-being.  Additionally, laughter and joy are proven to benefit our bodies and minds, as well as decrease stress and strengthen social relationships. Spend some time today reconnecting to your inner joy. You can play virtually with us with the links below, or play a different kind of game alone or with friends.

Together at Heart
If you enjoy escape rooms or collaborative puzzle games, check out Together at Heart.  (This is different from the game that was offered in March.)  Invite a friend to sign up, then on Tuesday, April 20, you will both receive a license to start your adventure! Registration now closed.

Finders Seekers Mystery Box - Washington D.C.
Try it alone or invite some friends to explore world cultures solving puzzles, decoding cryptic messages and discovering underground societies. Box Rental pick-ups are on Thursdays.  If you'd like to reserve a box or be added to our waitlist, please email mcwell@nd.edu or call 574-631-7970.

Astronauts In Trouble
Astronauts in Trouble is a hilarious party game where one player is an ASTRONAUT with a problem. The other players are MISSION CONTROL who help solve the problem with their household items. But with malfunctioning audio, the astronaut can only guess how these items could help. Guess correctly to score points and win!  Invite your friends to play.

Take a Break at the Snite Museum
Visiting the Museum can be a source of relaxation and escape. It's a form of armchair travel. It can awaken the imagination. It can inspire you to see and think differently.  Stop by the galleries during open hours. Please note that the Snite Museum will be closed on April 21.

Stroll Among Art
Visit the Hayes Family Sculpture Park to take in some fresh air, move your body, connect with a friend, and stroll among the sculptures.

Sign Up for Art180
Looking to experience something new this semester? Sign up for Art180 to spend 180 minutes over the course of the semester with a single work of art. The average museum visitor spends mere seconds in front of work of art; we want you to take your looking to the extreme. We’ll recommend the works to choose from while you decide on your viewing schedule. Spend ten minutes a week for a short look or challenge yourself to a few long looks over the semester. 

Take a Slow Look
Join the Snite Museum on April 15 and April 27 for a slow look at a piece of art.


Move

Moving your body in the ways you are able to can have many benefits, beyond the obvious ones.  Exercise can help you connect with others, increase your sense of joy, and build a sense of belonging, among many other things.  Check in with your body today to see what it needs, and consider dancing, walking, running, or stretching. Whatever way you choose to move, you'll be giving yourself a boost of endorphins and taking an active step toward reducing stress. Need some virtual ideas to guide your movement? Check out this list of ideas curated by the GROW Peer Educators.

Restorative Yoga Practice @ 2pm, Snite Museum of Art Courtyard (April 21)
Yoga is good for your brain and for your body.  Move your body and shift your mindset with this Restorative Yoga practice with Yoga Steve. Moving slowly and mindfully can help reset your nervous system and bring your body and mind into a state of calm and equilibrium.
REGISTER HERE

Peaceful Places Scavenger Hunt 
Pick up your Scavenger Hunt Punch Card at the Health Hut between 1-4pm on April 21 or anytime at the McWell front desk. Or print it yourself and follow these clues. Every participant will win a prize! Anyone who finishes the scavenger hunt and turns in their card by the end of the day Wednesday will be entered to win a polaroid camera! 

Free Virtual Fitness Classes
Did you know all Virtual Fitness Classes offered by RecSports are now free? Click here to register for a class and to learn more.

Try a Walking Meditation
A walking meditation invites participants to anchor their awareness to their movement and steps.  Try this one from mindful.org or this one from Koru Mindfulness.


Connect

Social connection, a sense of belonging and closeness, is critical for our happiness and health.  Yet, connectedness is not related to how many friends we have.  Simple activities can help us feel more connected to others and ourselves.

Shared Walks (April 21)
Register for Shared Walks to find connection in people and places by exploring campus spaces with a fellow student. Walkers will be randomly paired with another student and invited to meet up and take a walk together on campus. Registration now closed.

Thanks for a Journal
Find a scrap piece of paper, grab a notebook, or use a journal to pause for a moment of reflection and gratitude.  Use it to write down a few things each day that you’re grateful for - or people you’re grateful to - to boost your sense of connection and well-being. While you're at it, check out this TED Radio Hour podcast about gratitude. Or explore different ways to use a journal and let your creativity guide you.

Pause in a Peaceful Place
Check out this Peaceful Places Guide, created by GROW peer educators, to find your own space for a peaceful pause on campus and beyond.  Scroll to the end of the guide for a curated list of activities to do once you’ve found your perfect place.

Write a Letter to a Friend
Connect with friends and family near or far by writing a letter.  Here’s a template to get started.

Loving Kindness Meditation
Research shows that a loving kindness meditation can strengthen our sense of connectedness.  Here are instructions to practice one.  Or try this one from Sharon Salzberg.

Connect with a Friend
Reach out to a friend (or even someone you don't know that well), ask meaningful questions, listen well, and share well in return.