Food for the mind, body, and soul

Food for the mind, body, and soul

By Carla Kelly ’22

Only the feet of a person walking up stairs with sneakers on and the words "thrive" written over the photo.


What if getting healthy could be a fun and happy experience? The Thrive program recently offered in J-Term, had the unique goal of not only encouraging but supporting participants in the health of their mind, body, and soul. This six-session program was designed to improve these aspects of the participants’ lives and to evaluate how journaling, imagery, breathing techniques, and discussions can be helpful in alleviating and managing symptoms of anxiety.

The program used goal-setting to encourage the steps taken throughout the program. Alexa Glatfelter ’20, an applied health science major, started this program as her project for the College Honors Program. She broke down different ways the mind, body, and soul are addressed. Participants, which included both students and employees, were encouraged to set goals in the first session for their mind, body and soul components, and then try to take steps throughout the program toward their goals--even small steps. “Mind is focused through mindfulness,” Glatfelter said. “The body aspect of the program is focused through physical exercises and cardio, mostly in the form of circuit training,” she added. She emphasizes that the movements were not based on the amounts of reps they did, but rather on the amount of time it takes them to do it. Finally, she touches on the “soul” portion of the goal and how it fits into the program. “We meditate upon Scripture. There is a time set apart for participants to journal as well. The focus is always pointed back to Jesus,” she said.

Through a program like Thrive, students benefited from discovering new skills and exercises. Glatfelter added that another essential part of these sessions is the group aspect. Aside from the fact that it’s encouraging to be doing this alongside someone as opposed to doing it alone, it gives students the opportunity to hold each other accountable. All three of these different aspects of one’s health collectively help make someone happier and healthier and that's what Glatfelter wants the program to communicate to its participants. While this began as a project, this program will be continuing this spring as a group exercise class!