March is National Collegiate Health and Wellness Month. Who knew?
I just called our senior university student as a market study of one and these were his answers to my questions:
Are you aware that this is Health and Wellness Month for colleges and universities? No.
Are health issues a common discussion among students that you know? No, however in the dorms (recalling from when he was in a dorm), there is some discussion regarding health and sexual habits.
So, health is not a “water cooler” topic among students? No, unless there is some kind of bug (contagious disease) going around.
Do students use the health center? No, not often that I’m aware of.
If they are not well, do they call home for support or advice? No, not really. When a common, contagious disease is going around, the students usually take care of it themselves with rest or common over-the-counter drugs.
As a caring parent, I’m glad that disease does not occupy our student’s thought and time. It may be an important reason why he has had a healthy four years. Part of the reason I don’t find myself being anxious about his health while he is away from home is knowing peace of mind is a reassuring support for him.
I was reading an article in the “Your Health” section of The Arizona Republic, March 15, regarding the disease, shingles. The purpose of the article was to discuss vaccination as a method of prevention. It reminded me of when our son had shingles a few years ago. He had wandered into the nurse’s office on campus for a band-aid and she diagnosed it as such. Our own particular approach to healing is spiritual, seeing the importance of being mindful of one’s innate health as an expression of God’s love, always present and powerful. Our son’s healing came quickly and completely…no recurrence or lingering, no medical treatment required.
It was interesting to note at the end of the newspaper article, written by Connie Cone Sexton, that she listed some good advice other than vaccination for addressing shingles. I was pleased to see that the list included, rest, avoidance of stress, simple exercise, and, perhaps most importantly, “Do things that take your mind off pain”. Right. There is a fair consensus growing that what we hold in thought, affects how we feel.
That simple advice, along with daily prayer that clarifies and strengthens my thoughts against prevalent fears of disease, appears to be at the base of what I am able to do best for our collegian. I am able to impart a sense of peace, freedom from fear, and expectation of healthy activity, which our son knows he will find when he calls or even thinks about home. In turn, his concerns are not inflamed by parental fears.
Overarching this is the awareness our family has developed from study of healings in the Bible and a companion text* we peruse regularly that illustrate there is one infinite, loving Parent, who impartially and universally bestows constant, divine good to all. United in that thought leaves no separation between parents and their college kids in the face of challenges to their health and wellness. Here’s to March and beyond.
*Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy.