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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Wellness Club has brought a way to relieve stress for students at FHC

The Wellness Club has brought a way to relieve stress for students at FHC

Whether it be walking through the park or doing sessions at a hot yoga studio, the Wellness Club has made relieving stress so much easier for busy-body students. 

With the intention of informing students on how to live a better—and healthier—lifestyle, yoga teacher Stacy Steensma has been advising the club’s activities and extracurriculars. 

“[It’s important to have] another avenue for people to get together to practice a holistic lifestyle,” Steensma said, “whether it be through meditation, yoga, being outside in fresh air, going for a walk, or hanging out with different people.”

This all came about by two seniors, co-founders Sophie Erbentraut and Hailey Miller. They decided to bring this idea to life after many walks through the halls between classes, seeming to alleviate stress in their everyday lives.

These two students wanted to find a way to incorporate a calming lifestyle with busy everyday life. Having taken inspiration from Steensma’s everyday wellness walks, they decided to approach the teacher in hopes of bringing these calming ways of life to the student body. 

“We brought [our idea] to [Ms. Steensma],” Sophie said. “She thought we could do even more with it than just walks. We could do yoga and many other things that are for your wellness that could be social but also active.”

For the other members, having the ability to socialize while also calming down nerves has allowed for a more entertaining lifestyle. It represents that having fun doesn’t always need to be action-packed.

Senior Libby Noonan has been attending the club’s meetings since the beginning of its creation, experiencing its wide range of activities. She has been encapsulated with the club’s social and wellness components, creating memories with her friends while finding new ways to calm herself.

“Going on walks and being able to talk with friends [has been one of my favorite memories],” Libby explained. “Doing hot yoga was kind of hard, but it was still a lot of fun.”

Wellness isn’t only experienced within the presence of nature. Not only are their trips gaining a new way to cope with the stress of life, but also, it is benefiting small businesses in the area. 

With the help of Steensma, the group has taken on many different activities. She has brought the group to her personal studio to widen their perspectives on the art of yoga.

“When we went to the hot yoga studio, that was really fun,” Steensma said. “There were about 14 people that showed up; it just felt super supportive. It was at the studio where I practice, so I brought business to the studio. It was just really awesome.”

You don’t have to have any prior experience; all you have to do is show up.

— Stacy Steensma

Not only does the club bring a means of relieving stress, but it also brings people together to form new relationships and hobbies. The group acts as a community, connecting and inspiring relationships all around the building.

With all of their meetings, there have been new people attending each one, allowing for an introduction to fellow classmates. 

“It is sort of like a relaxer,” Sophie explained. “Since there is so much stress at school, and you don’t necessarily see people that you don’t know or talk to outside of school, [the club] is such a good way to interact with those people, especially while being in a less stressful and open environment where you can do things and not feel judged.”

Although many of the members have previous experiences with the practice of yoga, that doesn’t mean it is needed. A new member could walk in and be welcomed with open arms.

Anybody wanting to relax is welcome to participate in all of the club’s activities. Any level of experience is encouraged to join and learn new ways of relaxing the mind and body.

“All skill levels are available,” Steensma said, “and all skill levels are welcome. You don’t have to have any prior experience, all you have to do is show up.”

The Wellness Club has acted as an outlet for both socializing and working on one’s own mental health and well-being. It teaches those who are interested in many different strategies for coping and dealing with hardships while being surrounded by other people with similar goals.

For Libby, it has satisfied her want to spend time with her best friends and walk off steam from stressful situations. With the assistance of her participation in the club’s activities, she is able to combine two of the things she strives to do. 

“My friends started the club,” Libby said. “I thought it would be a good way to be able to walk and do yoga while having fun, [all] while hanging out with my friends.”

Though they don’t have set times for meetings at the moment, a way to keep informed would be by following them on social media. They post new information about their new planned adventures and keep their members informed about upcoming changes for the club. 

Yoga isn’t the club’s only idea for meetings; they have plans to do even more. They have intentions to open up a whole new world of wellness to students. 

“We want to be able to do other things as well,” Sophie said. “We want to try out SoulCycle, maybe, and try out some other games too.” 

Overall, the aspects of activities, socializing, and academic benefits play a role in a person’s participation in the club.

Whether you want an outlet to alleviate stress or need a club to put on a resume, the Wellness Club is open to anyone and everyone to appreciate and feel a sense of belonging. 

“[Being in the club] is a great way to bring people together,” Libby said. “It is a pretty easy club where anybody can participate. You don’t have to be good at a certain thing.”

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About the Contributor
Lily Bouma, Staff Writer
Lily Bouma is a senior entering her first year on The Central Trend. Since she was young, Lily has held an intense fascination with two things: music and words. She has spent her life singing and listening to music, and writing has always come easy. When she isn't writing, singing, or working, you can find Lily spending time with her friends and family. Lily goes about her life with a sense of compassion and love. She loves anything that has to do with nature, especially flowers. She enjoys making other people smile, whether it be with her jokes or cracking out her horrible Eric Cartman impression. She is thrilled to spend the last of her high school career on The Central Trend and cannot wait to see what this school has in store for her. Favorite movie: Tangled Car: 2003 Ford Focus named Nancy Favorite song: Mirrorball by Taylor Swift Favorite Flower: Lily of the Valley (Ironic)

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