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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.

  • Click on "Register" to view the format description.
  • Sessions are recorded each week and shared with attendees the following week. 
  • For cyber safety reasons, please register with a valid NU email address.
  • There will be no sessions on Wednesday, November 22 through Friday, November 24, 2023.

Fall 2023 Schedule (September 11 - December 15)

Fall 2023 Schedule
Day Time Format Facilitator Register
Monday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Katherine Register
Tuesday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Chelsea Register
Wednesday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Katherine Register
Thursday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Symphony Register
Friday 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Stretch Cerina Register

Jin Shin Jyutsu (pronounced jin shin jitsu) is a form of touch therapy that originated in Japan and came to the U.S. in the 1950s. Similar to acupressure and reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu is a complementary and integrative practice that focuses on unblocking stagnant energy pathways in the body by teaching one how to place their hands on certain areas of the body, known as Safety Energy Locks (SELs), to promote healing and balance. The practice is a form of self-help that is used to address stress, fatigue, illness, and injury as well as to maintain overall health, harmony, and well-being.

These 1-hour virtual sessions will be facilitated by Francine L. Brown, LMT, RMT, JSJP.  You are encouraged to be in an area where it is quiet, in which you will be able to follow along in practicing the self-help lesson(s) being taught. It is suitable to be in a seated position during the lesson, however you can do it laying down as well. You may also want to have a notepad and pen to write down any information that resonates with you. For most lessons, a handout will be provided to help support your own self-practice. All are welcome.

Fall 2023 Schedule (October 10 - December 5)

Fall 2023 schedule
Day Time Format Facilitator Register
Tuesdays Noon - 1 p.m. Virtual Francine Register

Introduction to Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Wednesday, November 15, Noon - 1p.m., Baldwin Auditorium, Chicago

You have likely heard about meditation and mindfulness being a remedy for a global generation plagued by anxiety and catastrophe, but does meditation actually reduce the stress in our lives? Join an intimate and interactive conversation led by Eric Budzynski ’01, Associate Director for Religious and Spiritual Life, Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher, to explore, meditate, and learn more about the benefits of adding a meditation practice to your well-being routine. To-go lunches will be provided. To guarantee there are enough meals, please register below. Open to faculty, staff and students.


Drop-in Meditation

Meditation is traditionally practiced in a group setting with the guidance of a teacher. Join these meditation sessions facilitated by Eric Budzynski of Religious & Spiritual Life 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 Campus Location
Wednesdays (Oct-Nov 2023) 12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Chicago Abbott Hall, 14th Floor, Room 1400
Fridays (Fall 2023) 4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Evanston Parkes Hall, Multi-belief Space, Room 204

 Join the Mindfulness@NU listserv to receive program updates. Contact Eric Budzynski with questions.

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 reveiw FAQs.

Day Time Campus Location
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Chicago Abbott Hall, 14th Floor, Room 1400
Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Evanston Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Wellness Suite, 1st Floor


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.