Thriving Together Series

Thriving Together Series: Let Springtime Renew Your Well-Being


By: Sonya Henry, Associate Director of Well-Being Programs, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and Lewis Forrest, Associate Dean, University Life

“The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” – Harriet Ann Jacobs

Spring is a time of growth, renewal, and hope for new possibilities. It’s also the perfect time to renew our health and well-being! While many people set health goals as a new year resolution, this change of season marks an opportunity to set or reset new goals and intentions for a healthier lifestyle.

George Mason University offers a variety of programs and events each April to jumpstart spring and refocus on the holistic well-being of our community. The 2023 themes for Spring into Well-Being (#SIWB23) include: physical health, strengths and resilience, mental health, kindness, and thriving together. Read on to learn how each of these components can contribute to and can enhance your well-being.

Physical Health

We can think of our physical health as the foundation for other aspects of our well-being. Regular exercise and other habits that promote physical wellness have robust and positive effects on our overall health, longevity, and quality of life. As we develop individual toolkits to sustain our physical health, we must keep our routines fresh and activities varied. This allows us to stay committed to our fitness goals and avoid plateaus and disinterest.

On Monday, April 24, Mason will kick off #SIWB23 with a variety of fitness events. This includes a one-mile walk on our three regional campuses to jumpstart the six-week Mason Miles Faculty and Staff Walking Challenge. We’ll also offer free health screenings, smoothies from the blender bike, and a HIIT fit class at the Midday Movement Fair on the Fairfax campus.

Strengths and Resilience

We often take our individual resilience for granted. As we navigate the day-to-day challenges of life, many of us do not take time to pause and reflect. Our lives as students and employees are fast-paced, and we’re also busy with our lives outside of Mason.

A great strategy to consider for building reflection into your life is journaling, which offers multiple well-being benefits. Journaling slows down the mind, making room for meaningful reflection and helping get your thoughts out of your head and on to paper or a computer screen. Take some time for yourself, find a quiet place, and reflect on how you have remained or are working on becoming the resilient person you want to be.

During #SIWB23, join us for the Strengthen Your Resilience event. Mason and Gallup have been partners in Strengths development for nearly a decade. At Mason, we pride ourselves on being a Strengths-based campus, which means we work to share resources that help individuals maximize their potential. For many, this means knowing our Top 5 Strengths and being able to do what we enjoy each day.

Whether you are a strategic person or highly relational, you can leverage your Strengths at school, work, and home. If you are interested in discovering your Strengths, learn take the CliftonStrengths assessment for free as a Mason student or employee. If you already know your Strengths, come to the Showcase Your Strengths event to celebrate your unique strengths.

Mental Health

Research shows that the weather can affect our mood and our environment can impact our overall mental health. While we cannot control weather, we can adjust our surroundings to enhance our mental well-being. One way to boost your mental health this spring is through spring cleaning! Clutter can enhance feelings of anxiety, disorganization, and depression. By decluttering your physical spaces, you can refresh your environment and boost your mental health!

Our lineup of events for Mental Health Day during Spring into Well-Being offers a variety of programs to enjoy the outdoors (Dogs and Donuts and Gardens and Community for Your Health), learn about valuable mental health resources (De-Stress with Learning Services and Pretzels with Purpose), and to practice proven mindfulness practices (Healing Arts Ensemble and Introduction to Sophrology).


The mission of the Mason Chooses Kindness initiative is to create and sustain a kindness revolution at Mason. Now more than ever, we believe kindness is essential in uplifting compassion, connectedness, and courage to advocate for our common humanity.

Learn about the well-being benefits of kindness, and discover ideas for how to spread kindness in our community, in our Mason Chooses Kindness Toolkit.

While spreading kindness to other people is the goal, we can’t forget to take care of ourselves so we can care well for others. This means that we must develop habits that focus on our self-kindness. This may look like creating boundaries for your time, or forgiving yourself when you miss the mark for an important project or conversation. It can also mean finding the courage to say “no” to a request when you are at capacity. This also means finding practices and approaches that will support and elevate your well-being. A few helpful practices to develop self-kindness are:

  • Developing positive social circles
  • Journaling
  • Routine personal affirmations
  • Making time to attend to your physical and mental well-being (such as walking and quiet reflection time)

Finding the time to commit to an integrated and intentional approach to your self-care will not only be good for you, but also for others around you.

During #SIWB23, join us for the Loving-Kindness (Metta) Mindfulness Meditation event the Self-Kindness Station event, and the Keeping Conflict Kind Panel event.

Thriving Together

Positive and healthy relationships are key to leading a happy and healthy life. We must prioritize our social connections in order to maintain our individual and collective well-being. On the last day of #SIWB23, enjoy Mason Day and/or the Graduate Student Spring Picnic.

In addition, you can invite others to partake in your recommitment to well-being this spring. Here are a few ways to thrive together:

  • Take a walk or enjoy an exercise class with a friend
  • Go to an on-campus event with others
  • Share your health goals with a friend and ask that friend to help you stay accountable to achieve those goals
  • Join a fitness challenge and invite someone for some friendly competition
  • Read an article or listen to a podcast about health and well-being, and discuss it with a friend over coffee


There is no time like spring. The cherry blossoms are out, the grass is green, and our campuses are alive with activities. We hope the #SIWB23 celebration will give you an opportunity to see all the ways that Mason is working to help our community Thrive Together. We also hope that you get plugged into some student resources and tools that can help you level up and sustain your well-being. It does not matter where you feel you need a little boost, #SIWB23 has a program or engagement opportunity for you to discover. Remember that we are all learning and growing, and this is a great week to find out what resources might fit your needs. Check out all the #SIWB23 events to enjoy!

Additional Resources

Review this 30 Days of Kindness calendar for ways to boost your well-being.

Read this list of health goals to pursue and helpful tips on how to achieve them.

See a range of resources designed to improve your well-being and mental health on the Patriots Thriving Together website.

Write one of these Thriving Together Series features! We’re looking for contributions on all topics related to well-being. Read other Thriving Together Series articles here and contact us at for guidelines. Thank you for helping our Mason community thrive together online!