The Wellness Issue



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Homemade meals, clean sheets, no homework—winter break is welcomed every year as the perfect antidote to the mental and physical exhaustion that inevitably results from 10 weeks at Northwestern. So coming back to campus to do it all over again, albeit with the weather about 20 degrees colder, can be daunting; the idea of going into a three-month long hibernation looks better and better with each gray day. At a time like this, perhaps the notion of wellness seems far away, but that when it’s most important to discuss.

In creating our Winter Wellness Issue, STITCH explored the question: what is wellness? In talking to students and experts about their personal definitions of wellness, we learned a few things. Wellness is not an expensive face mask or a bubble bath with that new LUSH bath bomb, or even a cup of herbal tea. It can be those things—our cover shoot epitomizes this kind of luxurious relaxation—but wellness can also be about something so much greater. It’s about listening to yourself, being kind to yourself, and making choices every day that maximize happiness. But it’s important to note that wellness is not something that happens—it’s an ongoing process that may look different for each person at different points in time. And importantly, our wellness theme in no way counteracts the fact that it’s okay not to be okay all the time.

As you flip through these pages, you’ll encounter a plethora of perspectives on what it means to be pursuing wellness. One STITCH writer gives us a personal account of how Northwestern Professor Renee Engeln’s concept of “beauty sickness” has resonated with her own battle with anorexia. Another writer looks at the ethics of the $3.4 trillion wellness industry, which could be said to capitalize on vulnerabilities. “Faces of Wellness” profiles Northwestern students about their personal journeys with wellness, including everything from their feel-good outfits to advice they’d give themselves when struggling. We hope this issue encourages you to think about your own definition of and quest for wellness. Take a breath. Reflect. Keep going.



Amber Cline and Rachel Lefferts

Co-Editors in Chief


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