A muggy March has hindered Rebel Well’s newest stress management endeavor, but the people behind the “Manage Your Monday” program are positive as ever.
Organizers T Davis and Ali Delgado have spent their last five Mondays helping ease University students into the week in an unusual way, by designing a mandala coloring series as part of their weekly routine of encouraging students, faculty and Lafayette County residents to “stress less,” as Davis describes it.
“Manage Your Monday” joins Wellness Wednesday and Rebel Well’s Tuesday event as the latest way to de-stress in a healthy way.
The “Manage Your Monday” table outside the Union, usually accompanied by live music, they offer mandala coloring pages and colored pencils as stress relief.
“Coloring’s better than sitting and watching Netflix or something,” said Ali Delgado. “It’s constructive.”
Their weekly therapy is struggling to gain traction and attention around campus, however, which the team attributes to unlucky weather and poor timing. With many students on vacation or simply staying inside to stay dry, business has been slow for the coloring sessions. Delgado and Davis said of the few coloring pages they’ve been able to give out, almost all were pocketed or folded into backpacks on the spot. Despite the inclement weather and the obstruction of the Union renovations, “Manage Your Monday” has picked up a small group of regulars.
“Some students come by and look for us, so we try to add a new book or page every time,” Davis said.
The group hopes faculty and staff will start showing up for the stress relief sessions or even integrate the idea into their classrooms. Rebel Well and the “Manage Your Monday” group aim to reach both the Oxford and University communities, and they believe this influence starts with professors. Delgado and Davis lead by example, coloring pages themselves while advertising to those who pass.
The mandala coloring series is coming to a close in April, with the group’s final two Mondays set for April 11 and 25. In the fall, the mandala coloring staff plans to revamp their plan on countering student stress. Ali Delgado loves the program the way it is, but hopes to see an extension of their efforts next school year. Delgado wants to see their program offer board games and more weekly events through Rebel Well in the coming year. With their passion for the wellness of Oxford’s community, the women behind the mandala coloring series strive to make student life much more colorful.
– Slade Rand