Motivational Monday’s combat burnout

Hannah Hippensteel, Features Reporter

As Winona State University enters the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year with classes split between fully online and hybrid due to COVID-19, people may face burn-out.

Mick Lynch, alumnus and current clinical and sports psychologist at Winona State, created a program to combat some of these feelings called Motivational Mornings with Mick.

In addition to his individualized counseling and crisis intervention, Lynch also works on outreach through presentations and workshops.

The program began in the fall semester; and will now be held 9-10 a.m. every Monday, beginning Feb. 1.

Lynch chose the morning time frame for the program after being inspired by the quote, “win the morning, win the day.”

According to the program’s event page, participants can expect to “talk about how to start your day with intention, motivation, gratitude and hope in order to make each day the best it can be!”

Lynch said there is no set agenda for each Monday program; it will instead focus on discussions around personal success, goal achievement and other topics that aim to motivate himself as well as the other attendees.

“I bring me, my personality, knowledge and skills; students bring the same and we just come together,” Lynch said.

According to Lynch, the program was created in response to a need in the student community.

“As a department, as well as a campus, we had to respond to that and we were looking to reach out and connect with students in a meaningful way. I was seeing students were suffering from a lack of motivation, energy, desire and this group came about to hopefully meet that need,” Lynch said.

Lynch also mentioned that this program could help students choose how they react to life as students and beyond.

“We each have this wonderful gift called choice, and we get to choose how we respond to things, choose our attitude and where we place our effort and those are very important things, Lynch said.

Lynch began by working with others from the counseling and health promotion services campus to get the program going. In addition, graphic design teams worked to make posters and signage to advertise the program in residence halls and other areas around campus.

Lynch closed with his expectations and advice.

“Show up. Show up to the group, first of all, to listen and share, get inspired and grow. But also, show up to your life, especially during these challenging times.”

Katie Jensen, health and wellness promotion coordinator, collaborates with counselors and makes students aware of different offerings on campus.

Jensen also leads a group of 10-12 student health and wellness advocates, who she described as the “pulse on campus” to help share the student voice.

This team promotes programs like Lynch’s on their social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with the handle WSUHealth.

To Jensen, programs like Lynch’s benefit students by creating easy access to resources.

“It’s a good way to keep people engaged so students still feel connected to school, even if they’re attending from their hometown. I think it’s good for people’s mental health, social health to feel that sense of belonging and connection to the campus,” Jensen said.

Fourth-year movement science majors Alea Charlier and Bella Koller, as co-presidents of the Public Health club on campus, work to engage and educate students about their mental and physical wellbeing.

To Charlier, a focus of the club is advocacy.

“We aim to be advocates for everything health-related,” Charlier said.

According to Charlier, the club focuses on outreach and volunteerism in the community, as well as informing the student body about health through bi-weekly meetings, as well as participation in Wellness Wednesday and other campus events.

Koller said Lynch’s program allies with the mission of the Public Health club.

“I think the program is amazing because it teaches how to practice mental health and might also spark new ideas to our club,” Koller said.

The club’s meetings for the spring semester will begin Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., bi-weekly with an alternative meeting time on Thursdays of the same week.