The second monthly Parkland College Counseling Center workshop was led by Parkland Counselor Joe Omo-Osagie. Upon arrival, he assured attendees that the workshop would not be passive, but “experiential”.

The green chairs of Room U-140 were strategically laid out in a circle, provoking communication which Omo-Osagie emphasized the importance of, “A former Surgeon General says there’s a new epidemic… loneliness”. Consequently, the workshop kicked off with a culture-based scavenger hunt aimed at student connection.

Students were also guided through controlled breathing, imaginative thinking, yoga, and a drumming circle.

“It calms your mind and lets you know you are not in danger. You are safe.” – Joe Osmo-Osagie on controlled breathing- slow breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Connecting to your body is one of the most vital tools in caring for your mental health. Achieving this goal can be done using several different techniques, but much of which include some form of movement. A few examples include but are not limited to:

  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Exercising
  • Meditating

Rhythm and beat were significant elements of the workshop. With a little bit of feet tapping to music by Pitbull and joining together in a drum circle, students were inclined to become more attuned to their bodies. The goal was to “feel centered and have fun while doing it,” Omo-Osagie elaborated.

Self-care doesn’t have to be an intimidating activity. It doesn’t require experience, but it does require will. Simply keeping an open mind and leaving behind the anxieties of what others think will guide you in the right direction.

For another perspective on Omo-Osagie and his Drumming Circles, check out Prospectus Reporter, Nikola Buis’ article on a past workshop. Additionally, more information regarding upcoming counseling workshops can be found at Counseling Services website.

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