SWAG promotes well-being

We have all heard the spiel. The one where your parents remind you, on repeat, to get eight hours of sleep every night while also somehow finding the time to study for the massive test you have tomorrow, spending three hours working at your on-campus job and  writing the paper that is due in two days. Sorry mom, but sometimes sleep gets pushed aside in the face of a to-do list that is a mile long.

We all know that well-being is important, but it is also easy to forget. The Student Wellness Advocacy Group (SWAG) is doing their part to help students remember to take care of themselves, even when it would be easier to just pull an all-nighter.

Through a mix of tabling events and office hours, SWAG Peer Educators help students stay in touch with their well-being with more frequency and accuracy.

Junior SWAG Peer Educator Erin Brownlee noted that busy students do not take the time to fully check in on their well-being, and do not realize when they are struggling.

“We are present on campus to help remind students about how much goes into an individual’s overall health,” Brownlee said.

Collectively, the 10 SWAG Peer Educators aim to help students maintain a balance between the eight Dimensions of Well-being: Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Purpose, Social, Emotional, Financial and Community.

These student workers table several events per month in residence halls, Gallagher and the Health United Building (HUB). At these events, they offer tips to help students improve their well-being and reminders to keep their dimensions in balance.

Each SWAG Peer Educator is also responsible for holding two office hours per week in the Well-being Office in the HUB. These office hours give students the opportunity to talk through their problems or receive referrals to other campus services.

SWAG workers see a diversity of people and issues every day, offering advice ranging from how to wake up a little earlier to easy breakfast ideas and even study tips.

Junior Peer Educator Danielle Stone noted that part of SWAG’s work is sharing an understanding of well-being that goes beyond just physical and mental health.

“We take a holistic approach to well-being and provide students with resources to take care of themselves,” Stone said. “Every person is unique and we all have different ways to care for ourselves. It is important for everyone to find what works for them.”

While their campus job might be unconventional, both Brownlee and Stone feel fulfilled by the work they do to voice the importance of well-being at Xavier.

“Last semester, I hosted a tabling event for World Suicide Prevention Day. I loved how many students came up to our table and wanted to learn more,” Stone said. “They wrote notes of hope for friends and enjoyed learning how they can support someone who is struggling.”

SWAG Peer Educators have also created an intimate community that makes their work environment unique.

“The peer educators have become genuine friends that make working together during events so fun,” Brownlee said.

SWAG can be reached at their daily HUB office hours, emailing them at swag@xavier.edu, or signing up for their monthly newsletter.