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Well-being Breaks

Well-being breaks are intended to help support day-to-day well-being by providing opportunities to engage in brief, facilitated well-being activities throughout the workday.

Stretch breaks are provided in 15-minute virtual sessions in partnership with Northwestern Recreation

  • Sessions are recorded and shared with registrants each week.
  • For cyber safety reasons, please register with a valid NU email address.
  • There will be not be sessions on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5.

Summer 2024 Schedule (June 24 - August 23)

Day Time Format Facilitator Register
Monday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Symphony Register
Tuesday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Symphony Register
Wednesday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Symphony Register
Thursday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Cerina Register
Friday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Cerina Register

Kai Chi Do is a movement meditation. Kai meaning free and open, Chi meaning life energy or spirit and Do meaning way or method. This translates as free spirit way or free life energy. The practice integrates movement, music, breath work and mediation.  

Kai Chi Do is based on the philosophy of the Art of Connection and the goal is to experience a feeling of connection to yourself, others and life. It can help restore a sense of emotional balance and well-being, increase emotional awareness of self and others, ease chronic pain, improve posture and quality of sleep, and reduce stress and fatigue. 

The practice is done in a circle, as a way to unify the group and work together harmoniously to cultivate the bond of community. It can be done standing or sitting,  practiced by anyone, and adapted for any level of fitness. All are welcome.

These 1-hour in-person sessions will be facilitated by Francine L. Brown, LMT, RMT, JSJP.  You are encouraged to wear clothes that you can move freely in and may want to wear layers, as your body temperature will rise during the practice. Bringing a water bottle is highly recommended.

Download and share the Kai Chi Do flyer.

A class may be cancelled in cases of inclement weather and registered participants will receive a notification of any cancellations.

Summer 2024 Schedule (June 11 - August 20)

Day Time Campus Location Facilitator Register
Tuesdays: June 11 - July 16 Noon - 1 p.m. Evanston Parkes Hall Francine Register
Tuesdays: July 23 - August 27 Noon - 1 p.m. Chicago Lake Shore Park Field Francine Register
Note: There will be not be class on July 2 and August 20.

Drop-in Meditation

Meditation is traditionally practiced in a group setting with the guidance of a teacher. Join these meditation sessions to develop a new meditation habit, expand your current practice, and to connect with a community of contemplation on our campus.

  • No previous meditation experience is necessary.
  • Open to all faculty, staff, and students.
Day Time Format Campus Location Facilitator
Wednesdays (through May 29) 12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. In-person Evanston Parkes Hall, Multi-belief Space, Room 204

Eric Budzynski

Fridays (through May 31) 4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. In-person Evanston Parkes Hall, Multi-belief Space, Room 204 Eric Budzynski

White light therapy - exposure to artificial light - can be a safe, effective way to treat symptoms of depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep disorders, and mood disorders. SAD is a form of depression that often occurs as a result of reduced exposure to sunlight in the fall, winter, and spring. Light therapy is performed through lightboxes that emit full-spectrum light similar in composition to sunlight and thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep.

Treatment is often helpful beginning in early fall when the days become shorter, and the weather becomes more cloudy (less sunshine) until spring when outdoor light alone is sufficient to sustain a good mood and higher levels of energy.


  • May alleviate symptoms resulting from SAD
  • May alleviate symptoms from other types of depression
  • May boost the effectiveness of antidepressants
  • May help offset jetlag and other sleep disorders
  • May help improve your mood
  • May increase your energy levels
  • May help you feel better about yourself and life
  • Safe with minimal side effects

 Light therapy can start to improve symptoms within a few days, or in some cases, it may take two or more weeks. 

What to Expect
During light therapy, sit or work near the lightbox, with the light entering your eyes indirectly (you cannot get the same effect by exposing your skin to the light). Light therapy is most effective when done early in the morning; however, you can still gain benefits at other times of the day. Light therapy is best when performed on a regular basis (i.e., every day, 3-4 times a week). Monitoring your mood and symptoms in relation to your light therapy sessions can help determine a schedule that best meets your needs.View the “When to Use Caution” section of the consent form to review important considerations of using the lamp.

First Few Sessions

  • Position yourself approximately 40" away from the lightbox and take in the light for 5-15 minutes.
  • Over the course of 1-2 weeks, you can try:
    • Moving closer to the light until you are 2 feet away from the lightbox
    • Increasing your time to 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and eventually 60 minutes

Lamps are available year-round. As mentioned, treatment is often most helpful beginning in early fall, when the days become shorter, through winter until spring. Open to all faculty, staff, and students.

View the consent form to review FAQs.

Day Time Campus Location
Monday 10 a.m. - Noon Evanston Parkes Hall, Multi-Belief Space, Room 204
Tuesday & Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Chicago Abbott Hall, Women's Center, 14th Floor, Room 1400
Monday - Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Evanston Women's Center
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Evanston Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Wellness Suite, 1st Floor
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Evanston Black House, Quiet Room, Room 302 
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Evanston Multicultural Center, Room 205

Unable to attend a live virtual well-being break? Visit our Well-being Activities YouTube channel to access curated on-demand well-being content such as stretch, yoga and meditation recordings or access a well-being recording below.

You can also visit the Northwestern Recreation Group Exercise YouTube channel to access additional content such as barre, pilates, yoga, latin dance, kickboxing, body pump, and high intensity interval training and core recordings.