FYI: Grow Kindness

Grow Kindness

The Office of Student Life, in collaboration with the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension and the Chief Wellness Officer will be growing kindness across campus on October 17 (rain date October 18).

With generous donations from Scotts Miracle-Gro and Altman Plants, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to plant two succulents; one to keep for themselves and one to give away in kindness to someone else. The projects will help promote kindness and mental health support.

Plants will be available for assembly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the following locations:

  • Lawn in front of Traditions at Scott
  • University Square (15th and High)
  • Wexner Medical Center (Herrick Transit Hub)

Learn more:

What is Creative Wellness? Opportunities to add creativity into your day

Year after year, Wellness Assessment reports tell us that Ohio State students are struggling with their creative wellness. Consistently, this dimension finds itself in the bottom three dimensions of our campus community, right next to financial and emotional wellness.

So, what exactly is creative wellness? And why are so many students struggling to be well in this area?

According to the Student Life Student Wellness Center website, “the creatively well person values and actively participates in a diverse range of arts and cultural experiences as a means to understand and appreciate the surrounding world. Creative wellness is appreciating beauty in self, expressing your identity and using multiple perspectives to understand complex topics.”

Often we hear from students, “I am just not a crafty person” or, “Coloring stresses me out.” But creative wellness is more than just painting and coloring, it is about finding meaningful ways to incorporate creativity into your life. Which can mean very different things to different people.

For some creative wellness will include engaging in activities and hobbies like arts and crafts, dancing, or cooking, or even focusing on your own creative self-expression. For others creative wellness could be using creativity in your academic and professional experiences by proposing new ideas, problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions.

Today we challenge you to define creative wellness for yourself. How does this area of wellness fit into your routine? What are some simple changes you can make to boost creativity throughout your day?

If you are struggling to come up with something, here are some more suggestions:

  • Use your creativity to come up with a new running route.
  • Try listening to a new artist on Spotify.
  • Grab your friends and head to see the new art exhibit opening at the Wexner Center for the Arts.
  • Attend a free music or art event on campus or check out the long list of events available through D-tix.
  • Try a new activity or hobby by joining one of the many creative and performing arts student organizations on campus.

However you choose to add creativity into your day, know that simple changes can make a big impact on your overall health and wellness.

For those who are looking for support in finding a new self-care activity, Wellness Coaching through the Student Wellness Center can assist with identifying opportunities and helping students find community on campus.


Creative Wellness : Student Wellness Center (

Discount Ticket Program (D-Tix) : Student Activities (

Welcome to the Wex! | Wexner Center for the Arts (

Find a Student Organization : Student Activities (

Wellness Assessment : Center for the Study of Student Life (

Wellness Coaching : Student Wellness Center (


Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

Tips for Creative Wellness

Do you ever find yourself struggling to find a creative outlet? As graduate and professional students, it can be challenging to find time for self-care and creativity as you work to manage and balance multiple responsibilities. However, there is not just one way to be creative – and you don’t have to be an artist to incorporate creativity into your daily life. Check out these tips and opportunities for creative wellness. 

There are many creative activities and hobbies you can do for fun! Some examples include: 

  • Arts and crafts 
  • Drawing or doodling 
  • Painting  
  • Coloring 
  • Digital/visual art and graphic design 
  • Collages 
  • Vision boards 
  • Pottery 
  • DIY projects  
  • Knitting/crocheting/sewing/cross-stitching 
  • Photography 
  • Puzzles 
  • Video games and board games 
  • Dancing 
  • Playing an instrument or singing 
  • Acting or performing 
  • Comedy 
  • Gardening 
  • Cooking and baking 
  • Writing, journaling, or blogging 
  • Interior Design 
  • Fashion 
  • Reading 

Columbus has a variety of opportunities to explore arts and culture throughout the community. Here are just a few: 

  • Wexner Center for the Arts 
  • Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum 
  • King Arts Complex 
  • Urban Arts Space 
  • Short North Gallery Hop 
  • Gateway Film Center 
  • The Candle Lab 
  • Table Top Game Café 
  • Columbus Museum of Art 
  • Cultural Arts Center 
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 
  • Topiary Park 
  • Columbus Park of Roses 
  • Otherworld 
  • Thurber House 
  • Kelton House Museum and Garden  
  • Festivals and Community Events – Experience Columbus 
  • Concerts 
  • Theater performances 


  • Your self-expression is inherently creative! How you dress, style your hair, or decorate your space are all examples of creativity. 
  • Do you like spoken word, public speaking, speech and debate, or poetry?  Communication can be creative! 
  • The music and podcasts that you listen to are all elements of your own creativity and sense of self. So are your favorite movies and TV shows! 
  • Imagination and storytelling are creative. 
  • Problem-solving and strategizing involve a lot of creativity, which students are engaging in all the time! 



Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Outreach Assistant

10 Benefits of Houseplants

For thousands of years, humans have brought plants indoors. But why is this? The following are 10 reasons houseplants can improve your well-being 

  1. Houseplants improve cognitive performance: Given that plants increase the amount of oxygen in your home and remove toxins, they improve concentration, memory, reaction time, and creativity. Experimental studies show that cognitive performance is better in offices with plants, and simply looking at green plants makes us more creative. 
  2. Houseplants reduce the effects of stress : A research study demonstrated that geraniums helped individuals recover faster and more completely from high stress situations. If there is a particular room where you often find yourself getting stressed, consider putting a plant in that room. 
  3. Houseplants boost your mood: Researchers have pinpointed a microbe called M. vaccae, nicknamed “outdoorphins,” which is found in soil and works as a natural antidepressant. It boosts your mood by releasing cytokines, which lead your brain to produce more serotonin. So, just being around soil boosts your mood! 
  4. Houseplants provide a sense of connectedness : It’s human nature to crave connection with others. Plants remind us that we are sharing this earth with more than other humans, and that we are all connected. Everything on this planet plays a role, and having a plant in your home can serve as a reminder of this connection with all other life forms. When we breathe, we take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Plants do the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, making us the perfect team. 
  5. Houseplants reduce anxiety : Plants help us feel calm. Looking at a living plant brings a relaxing sensation that is not experienced when looking at a computer or phone. In fact, studies have shown that patients in hospital rooms with plants report that they feel less anxious compared to patients in rooms without plants. 
  6. Houseplants purify the air of toxins : In today’s world, we are exposed to a number of toxins, even in our own homes. The EPA states that indoor air pollution is one of the greatest risks to our health. Cleaning supplies, candles, beauty products, cookware, smoke, and other sources, release neurotoxins into the air, which can harm our brains. All plants clean the air, but NASA has shown that certain plants are particularly effective at removing toxins.  
  7. Houseplants reduce your number of sick days: Studies have shown that patients recover more quickly from surgery when their hospital rooms have plants. Patients with plants in their room had lower blood pressure, lower ratings of pain, less anxiety, and less fatigue than patients without plants in their room. One researcher has pinpointed an airborne compound that has antifungal and antibacterial properties, called phytoncides, which we absorb when nearby.  
  8. Houseplants teach us the importance of a holistic approach: Caring for houseplants requires patience. Shortcuts won’t work with plants, just as they don’t work with our own health. When a plant is unwell with shriveled brown leaves, we can’t simply paint the leaves green and call it a day. Instead, we ought to look at the whole picture, taking our time and getting to know what amount of sunlight and water the plant needs to thrive. Learning to care for our houseplants more holistically can help us care for ourselves more holistically, instead of opting for quick fixes.  
  9. Houseplants teach us to slow down : Our brains are chronically stressed, because we’re stimulated all the time these days. Taking time out of your day to slowly water a plant and carefully check its leaves gives your brain a needed break from the constant stimulation. 
  10. Houseplants improve sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for overall health. Houseplants naturally purify the air in your home, so having a few in your bedroom will improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Simply looking at plants makes us feel more calm and less stressed, which will put us in the right mindset before going to bed. To get the most out of bedroom plants, choose a plant that continues to release oxygen even at night (most plants do not), such as a snake plant.  

 Joe Doherty, Wellness Coordinator, Wellness Coaching  

  Watch this video to plant your own succulent and start reaping the benefits!


1 Black Mask DIYed 4 Ways for SPOOKY SZN!

Ah autumn is upon us again, with cool air brings pumpkin patches, hot cocoa, bonfires, football, and fall themed face masks. If you are like me and aspire to have a face mask collection that rivals Nancy Pelosi’s (regardless of your political beliefs you have to admit her mask game is on point), then I imagine that you are already scouring the internet for a Halloween themed mask that matches your costume perfectly. Not to fear, the SWC is here to give you a quick, easy tutorial on how to DIY a simple black mask into 4 cheap Halloween themed masks.

First off supplies:


To make your masks, begin by planning out what you would like it to look like; look to Instagram, Pinterest, or at the photos below for inspiration. Really any costume can benefit from a mask accessory, it is all about flexing your creative wellness muscle! Below are examples of a jack-o-lantern, black cat, vampire, and a basic witch.


Once you have a pattern decided on, draw the design on your felt sheet. Keep in mind that to avoid pen marks on the front of your mask, you will cut out your pattern and then flip it over to glue onto your mask; this means that your pattern will be backwards so plan accordingly when drawing out.

Next, cut out your pattern and place on your mask prior to gluing to verify sizing and spacing; make adjustments as necessary. Carefully glue down design with fabric glue – remember you do not need to be excessive with the glue. Follow the instructions on the glue bottle; the brand I used said to let sit for 2 hours prior to using and 48 before washing. I would recommend purchasing glue that dries clear to avoid any unsightly glue marks on the front of your mask.

Once your glue is dry, accessorize accordingly to complete your Halloween look! You are now ready to have a stylish, spooky, and safe Halloween season.


Bonus DIY – Pumpkin Headband

Supplies – headband, hot glue, Halloween ribbon, and a plastic pumpkin

**The headband was an old one I had at the house, Halloween ribbon was on sale for $4.01 at Michaels and the plastic pumpkin is from the dollar section at Target. Overall the entire project cost less than $7.**

Wrap your headband with the Halloween ribbon, use your hot glue gun make a glue dot on the underside of your headband at the base (the spot that goes behind your ear) and secure the end of the ribbon to the headband. Continue to wrap adding a glue dot every few wraps to secure in place – wrap the entire length of the headband and secure the second end the same way you did the start. Once complete, add a big hot glue blob where you would like your pumpkin to land. Secure your pumpkin in place. Let dry and you are ready to go!

Fun for All During a Socially Distanced Fall

For many, the fall season is a time for hayrides, hoodies and Halloween. Though fall may look different this year, there are still many things that you can do to enjoy this festive season and stay safe. Keep reading for 4 ways to enjoy the Fall in central Ohio, while maintaining social distancing.  

  • Have a Fall Photoshoot 
    One of the signature signs that autumn has arrived is the changing of the leaves. As the green leaves transition to brilliant shades of red and yellow, the vibrant Metro Park scene in central Ohio are bursting with color waiting to be captured for the perfect picture. Grab your camera or phone and go on adventure to capture the beauty of fall in Ohio. Here is a website that has maps and locations of all the Metro Parks here in Central Ohio. 
  • Fall Movie Stream 
    Some of the great fall past times are scary movies and haunted houses. Although haunted houses may be put on pause this year, streaming services make it easier than ever to access hundreds of freaky flicks. Hop on a virtual chat, grab your snacks and enjoy a scary movie from a distance. Not into scary movies? Check out this list of scary movies that are so bad that they are actually funny.
  • Carve a Pumpkin
    Pumpkin carving is one of my all-time favorite fall activities! Grab a pumpkin at the local store or farm, obtain a carving kit (or check out your kitchen drawers for tools to use) and let your creative juices flow. Whether you enjoy creating complex works of art or prefer simple geometric shapes that vaguely resemble a face on your pumpkin, the act of cleaning and carving a pumpkin are great practices of mindfulness. Looking for a way to get your friends involved? Have a photo contest where you all can share your ghoulish gourds and vote for your favorites. Check out this video for some tips and tricks while carving your pumpkin.  

  • Enjoy a warm beverage 
    Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. One of the highlights of fall is the crisp, cool air that causes the hoodies and sweaters to rise out of the depths of our closets. The juxtaposition of the chill in the air with the warmth of fall beverage is second to none. Grab a warm cider, tea or coffee and get outside for a walk or morning read. If you are looking to add an extra splash of fall to your beverage stop by the supermarket and pick up some cinnamon sticks, clove, nutmeg, ginger and/or allspice to make your drink burst with fall flavors.  

Helpful Links: 

Building Community this Summer

During these unprecedented times, it can be difficult to build and maintain friendships. Check out these activities below, both virtual and in-person, that you might consider as you continue navigating social wellness in our “new normal.”


Virtual Activities

  • Virtual Check-Ins: Add some time on your calendar for a weekly check-in with a close group of family and/or friends. These check-ins could happen through Zoom, Google Hangout or Facetime. You might also consider organizing a game night through the House Party app.
  • Rec Sports Physical Health: Keep your body moving with through group fitness classes and personal training.
  • Multicultural Center (MCC): New to OSU? The Student Life Multicultural Center is hosting sessions throughout the summer related to students’ racial and cultural identities. These sessions provide an opportunity for first-year students to talk in community with upper class students who share similar identities about their experiences at Ohio State. Returning students can also check out the MCC calendar to connect in community about how they are navigating COVID-19 and racism in the United States.
  • Netflix Party: Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.
  • Short North (Virtual) Gallery Hop: Join Short North Arts District galleries and businesses for a virtual Gallery Hop on Instagram! See new exhibitions and works from galleries, new Spring products from businesses, and special performances. Need dinner or a snack while you follow along? Visit org/SupportSNAD for a list of Short North restaurants
  • Virtual Cap-City Half Marathon: A virtual race allows participants to complete their OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, OhioHealth Quarter Marathon or 10TV Commit To Be Fit 5K anywhere on the weekend of August 28-30.


In-Person Activities

  • Rock Climb with friends at Scioto Audubon Metro Park
  • Walk or bike the Olentangy Trail
  • Grab a few friends and hike (physically-distanced) the trails at our beautiful Metro Parks
  • Support local farmers at the Worthington Farmers’ Market
    • COVID-19 Rules: Masks are strongly encouraged, limited entry, no pets, maintain physical distancing
    • Hours: Saturdays from 8 a.m. -12 p.m. (*8-9 a.m. is reserved for high-risk populations)
    • Location: 500 W. Wilson Bridge Road, Worthington, OH 43085
  • Meet some new human or animal friends at Goat Yoga
    • Dates: Classes announced on Facebook
    • Location: 5278 Berger Road, Groveport, Ohio
  • Shop locally-produced food and products at the Dublin Market at Bridge Park
    • COVID-19 Rules: Masks are required, cash not accepted, no reusable bags, no pets
    • Hours: Saturday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., June 20 – September 26, 2020
    • Location: 6568 Longshore Street Dublin, OH 43017
  • Admire the art collection at the Columbus Museum of Art (Sundays are free)
    • COVID-19 Rules: Must reserve a time to visit, masks are strongly encouraged, maintain physical distancing
    • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
    • Location: 480 E Broad St Columbus, OH 43215


Whether you choose to hang out with others virtually or in-person this summer, we hope you’re able to keep connecting with the people and activities you love!

  • Ivory & Joe

Podcast Recommendations

If you are like me, you are getting a little burnt out at this point looking at screens all the time. You also may be feeling the weather getting warmer where you are, and wanting to be outside more. One way to boost multiple dimensions of your wellness is to check out a new podcast series. I have found that listening to podcasts is a great way to stretch my mind – particularly when doing tasks such as walking the dog, cooking dinner, or cleaning my space. I thought I would share with you five great podcasts that I have been tuning in to recently!

  • Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard : This is hands down one of my favorite podcasts to listen to for quite a while now. Dax and Monica delve in to the messiness of being human with some phenomenal guests in a variety of industries. You are sure to find an enticing interview in the 200+ episodes – some of my favorites include Alicia Keyes, Hasan Minhaj, and Chelsea Handler! Another awesome thing? Dax Shepard is a person in long term recovery who often shares how recovery has shaped his life – which is near and dear to me as the coordinator of the Collegiate Recovery Community!


  • Unlocking Us with Brene Brown: From the woman who gave us the Power of Vulnerability TED Talk as well as some truly wonderful books about connection, Brene Brown’s new podcast is definitely worth checking out. I’ve found more than one book recommendation that I can’t wait to pick up due to listening to this podcast!


  • WorkLife with Adam Grant: Missing your job, or currently job searching? I highly recommend organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s perspective on the work place. Each episode follows some extraordinary people and companies thinking outside the box to create a work life worth your time. I find myself constantly coming back to some of the episodes and bringing ideas I have learned through this series to my own work place.


  • Last Seen: In to true crime podcasts but looking for something a little less heavy during this time? I could not get enough of this one! Last Seen follows the case of the largest unresolved art heist in history, which took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They also have a great website with additional content that will leave you reeling- and maybe wanting to change your major to art detective.


  • Finding Fred: Finally, this last podcast on my list takes a look at the life of Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. There has been an uptick in Mr. Rogers related works recently, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking a deeper dive in to the life of a remarkable thinker when it came to teaching children about hard topics. If you are also looking for some good in the world, feel free to start here!

-Mackenzie Hogan, Wellness Coordinator – Collegiate Recovery Program 

Craft Break: Spring Wreath

Take a moment to work on your #CreativeWellness and complete our Spring Wreath Craft!

Supplies Needed:

  • 18 inch circular grapevine wreath
  • 14 inch heart grapevine wreath
  • Ribbon
  • Fake flowers
  • Florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Any other decor