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Programme VU Health & Wellbeing Week

Check out the programme and sign up for the activities of the Health & Wellbeing Week from 8-12 November!

If a registration link is included in the activity description, it means that there is limited capacity for that activity. This means that you need to sign up in advance to be able to participate. For activities without a registration link, there is no need to sign up; you can simply walk in. Registration is possible up until the day before the activity takes place.

The location of the activities is mentioned in the confirmation email of your registration. Should you have missed this email, please contact studentwellbeingpoint@vu.nl or visit the Student Wellbeing Point in the Main Building (next to the Student Desk). They will be happy to help!

Are you interested in getting to know more about the University Student Council, Faculty Student Council or the different associations? Please feel free to drop by with your questions during the Health & Wellbeing week. You will find their availability in this overview.

Will you join us?!

Activities per day

  • Monday 8 November - Physical Health

    • 9.00 – 12.45
      Fitsurance
      Take a few supervised tests to find out how healthy you are! The results will be discussed with you and guidelines for improving your lifestyle and health will be provided.
      Sign up here!
    • 9.45 - 10.00
      Break
    • 10.00 - 10.45
      Chair massage
      Come in for a back- and shoulder massage from our massage therapist from the VU Sports Centre.
      Location: Next to the Student Wellbeing Point, on the right side of the Student Desk in the Main Building.
    • 10.45 – 11.00
      Break
    • 11.00 – 11.45
      Food and nutrition: How to have a healthy lifestyle
      There’s no doubt that what we eat influences our physical and mental wellness and can impact academic success. Learning some nutrition basics can help you have more energy and stay healthy. Marielle Spekreijse from the Sportcentrum VU will tell you more about nutrition and having a healthy lifestyle.
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 – 11.45
      Zumba
      An energizing dance fitness class featuring Latin and International music. Exercise in disguise! You'll burn lots of calories and have a great time doing it!
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 – 12.15
      Sleep is your superpower
      It's time to wake up and go to sleep. Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In an interactive session, you will learn about this superpower and get the opportunity to ask every question you ever had about sleep. This session will be given by Pjotr Peulen, a sleep coach who has helped his clients to sleep better and deeper. Science is further than you probably think in unraveling the many mysteries about sleep.
      Sign up here!
    • 11.45 - 12.00
      Break
    • 12.00 – 12.45
      Food and nutrition: How to have a healthy lifestyle
      There’s no doubt that what we eat influences our physical and mental wellness and can impact academic success. Learning some nutrition basics can help you have more energy and stay healthy. Marielle Spekreijse from the Sportcentrum VU will tell you more about nutrition and having a healthy lifestyle.
      Sign up here!
    • 12.00 – 12.45
      Kickboxing
      Get ready to destress and feel more powerful than ever with our kickboxing class. Kick all your stress away and improve your cardiovascular system as you do something just for you.
      Sign up here!
    • 12.00 – 12.45
      Zumba
      An energizing dance fitness class featuring Latin and International music. Exercise in disguise! You'll burn lots of calories and have a great time doing it!
      Sign up here!
    • 12.00 – 13:00
      Chair massage
      Come on in for a back- and shoulder massage from our massage therapist from the VU Sports Centre.
      Location: Next to the Student Wellbeing Point, on the right side of the Student Desk in the Main Building.
    • 12.00 – 13:00
      Physical Therapy
      Stop by for free advice from a physical therapist.
      Location: FysioFysiek, Sports Centre VU (Fitness)
      OZW Building on the VU Campus
      De Boelelaan 1109, 1081 HV Amsterdam
    • 12.45 – 13.30
      Opening Health and Wellbeing week
      During the official opening of the Health & Wellbeing Week we will kick off with a few inspirational speakers: Prof. Maurits van Tulder (Dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences), Prof. Pim Cuijpers (Caring Universities), and students from the newly opened Student Wellbeing Point and Panel.
      Sign up here!
    • 13.00 – 14:00
      Physical therapy
      Stop by for free advice from a physical therapist.
      Location: FysioFysiek, Sports Centre VU (Fitness)
      OZW Building on the VU Campus
      De Boelelaan 1109, 1081 HV Amsterdam
    • 13.30 – 14.15
      Basketball
      Play a game of basketball on the VU campus!
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 – 14.15
      Kickboxing
      Get ready to destress and feel more powerful than ever with our kickboxing class. Kick all your stress away and improve your cardiovascular system as you do something just for you.
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 – 14.15
      Relaxation and Respiration
      Learn how to use breathing techniques to find more relaxation!
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 – 14.15
      Zumba
      An energizing dance fitness class featuring Latin and International music. Exercise in disguise! You'll burn lots of calories and have a great time doing it!
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 – 14.30
      Chair massage
      Come on in for a back- and shoulder massage from our massage therapist from the VU Sports Centre.
      Location: Next to the Student Wellbeing Point, on the right side of the Student Desk in the Main Building.
    • 14.15 – 14.30
      Break
    • 14.30– 15.15
      Kickboxing
      Get ready to destress and feel more powerful than ever with our kickboxing class. Kick all your stress away and improve your cardiovascular system as you do something just for you.
      Sign up here!
    • 15.15 – 15.30
      Break
    • 15:30 – 16.30
      Sleep is your superpower
      It's time to wake up and go to sleep. Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In an interactive session, you will learn about this superpower and get the opportunity to ask every question you ever had about sleep. This session will be given by Pjotr Peulen, a sleep coach who has helped his clients to sleep better and deeper. Science is further than you probably think in unraveling the many mysteries about sleep.
      Sign up here!
    • 15.45 – 16.30
      Relaxation and Respiration
      Learn how to use breathing techniques to find more relaxation!
      Sign up here!
  • Tuesday 9 November - Mental Health

    • 11.00 - 12.30
      Workshop: Boost your Confidence
      Work on your confidence using the growth mindset.
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 - 12.30
      Workshop: Mindfulness
      During this workshop you'll learn the core skills of mindfullness, the difference between meditation and mindfullness, and how mindfullness can be used to reduce stress and psychosomatic complaints. You will practice minfullness through an interactive activity.
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 - 14.30
      Provocative Therapy
      During this workshop you'll get more insight into how provactive therapy can help you with your mental well-being. This therapy is mostly focussed on the use of humor and provocative questions to help you improve your mental fitness.
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 - 15.00
      Workshop: Boost your Confidence
      Work on your confidence using the growth mindset.
      Sign up here!
    • 14.00 - 15.30
      Afrodance
      During this workshop you'll partipate in afrodance and learn how dance can stimulate you to have more selfconfidence. Next to that, the connection between body, mind, and soul will be discussed.
      Sign up here!
    • 14.15 - 14.30
      Break
    • 14.30 - 15.30
      Re-think Workshop
      During this workshop you'll be taught how to challenge your own thoughts and learn how to adjust your thought processes in a way that benefits your mental wellbeing.
      Sign up here!
    • 15.30 - 16.00
      Break
    • 16.00 - 17.30
      Afrodance
      During this workshop you'll partipate in afrodance and learn how dance can stimulate you to have more selfconfidence. Next to that, the connection between body, mind, and soul will be discussed.
      Sign up here!
  • Wednesday 10 November - Social Safety

    • 08.30 – 12.30
      Fitsurance
      Take a few supervised tests to find out how healthy you are! The results will be discussed with you and guidelines for improving your lifestyle and health will be provided.
      Sign up here!
    • 9.45 – 10.45
      Stand up against harassment
      Do you want to know what you can do to build a safe and inclusive university environment? Then register for Fairspace's flagship bystander intervention workshop! Fairspace’s vision is for a society in which everyone, regardless of sex, race, gender or gender expression, feels safe moving through public spaces, including those places where we learn. Feeling safe and included is crucial to create cultures of respect. By encouraging a shift in attitudes, beliefs, and behavior, bystander intervention prevents (sexual) harassment and other forms of inappropriate behaviour, and motivates more positive, respectful and constructive interactions. In the workshop, you will learn about power and privilege, different forms of inappropriate behaviour, and practical strategies for what you can do when you experience or observe harassment. Please join us and Stand Up for a safe university!
      Sign up here!
    • 12.45 - 13.30
      Information about the Student Confidential Counsellors
      The student confidential counsellors will be available at the student wellbeing point to give information about their work when you can contact them. If you want to know more about the student confidential counsellors you can stop by for a talk!
    • 13.15 – 14.15
      Stand up against harassment
      Do you want to know what you can do to build a safe and inclusive university environment? Then register for Fairspace's flagship bystander intervention workshop! Fairspace’s vision is for a society in which everyone, regardless of sex, race, gender or gender expression, feels safe moving through public spaces, including those places where we learn. Feeling safe and included is crucial to create cultures of respect. By encouraging a shift in attitudes, beliefs, and behavior, bystander intervention prevents (sexual) harassment and other forms of inappropriate behaviour, and motivates more positive, respectful and constructive interactions. In the workshop, you will learn about power and privilege, different forms of inappropriate behaviour, and practical strategies for what you can do when you experience or observe harassment. Please join us and Stand Up for a safe university!
      Sign up here!
    • 14.30 – 16.15
      Concerning Behavior & Social Safety Workshop
      The workshop will focus on recognising and dealing with socially unsafe behaviour in the context of a university environment. The workshop will start by explaining the phenomena of socially unsafe and threatening behaviour, and will then continue focusing on the identification of risk factors and the assessment of problematic conduct. Most important is that incidents are reported to those responsible for a socially safe work- and study environment. Participants will learn more about steps they can take when feeling victimised, threatened or anxious, or when having witnessed problematic behaviour caused by a fellow student or any other campus user.
      Read more about social safety on the VU campus
      The trainer is Bram van der Meer. He is an investigative psychologist and threat assessment expert. He has multiple years experience with assessing problematic behaviour and advising organisations on how to deal with potential escalations and unsafe situations.
      Sign up here!
  • Thursday 11 November - Personal Development

    • 9.00 - 10.30
      Workshop: Develop Yourself
      Perhaps you know a student who always seems like things always come easy to them. How do they manage this? According to researcher Carol Dweck, talent and intelligence are only partly responsible for your performance and wellbeing during your studies. The other part has to do with how you think about performance. The good news is: a growth mindset, which can help you in your studies and with your wellbeing, can be learned! Sign up for this workshop if you want to learn how to use the growth mindset for your academic success and wellbeing.
      Sign up here!
    • 9.00 - 11.00
      Fit for the Future
      During this workshop we want to inspire students to start thinking about the influence they have on their own career. We will look into your WHY (the intrinsic motivation, the reason you step out of bed every day) and your power skills (the qualities that come natural, your key qualities). We will cover a few theories and together we will put the theory into practice with a couple of small assignments. Let’s get fit for the future!
      Sign up here!
    • 10.45 - 11.00
      Break
    • 11.00 - 12.45
      Challenge your mindset to better understand the world and yourself
      We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. Unravelling the way in which we see the world, challenging our personal frames of reference and allowing ourselves to be exposed to different perspectives can bring us to better understand our surroundings and mainly ourselves. With this workshop students will be exposed on how to let go of a fixed mindset and open up to new ways of thinking, to be able to open their mind and start a sincere process of personal growth. Students will learn the power of paradigm shift, a change in the way reality is perceived and how behavior is affected by it, and how that can be the root for innovation in the world but also in someone’s own personal sphere.
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 - 12.15
      Friendshipping (like speed dating but better)
      How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Is there something or someone that really changed your life? Do you think everything happens for a reason?
      There’s so much more to talk about than your hobbies or favorite Netflix show. So if you want to know other students and yourself better, join this famous NEWConnective workshop!
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 - 12.45
      Personal Branding
      With a strong personal brand, others will recognize your value and opportunities may come your way. What is the essence of personal branding? Is it fitting the image of yourself into what you think others will value? Or is it more about showing others who you really are and what you love to do? In this interactive workshop you’ll discover that authenticity is key when developing your personal brand. Based on a best-practice framework and a personal perspective, Chantal will guide you through some essential self-evaluation questions to start building and communicating your brand. This is a process of self-discovery and self-actualisation, which takes time. This workshop is a good first step in gaining awareness of the benefits of personal branding and the self-development journey that comes with it. Active participation is required!
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 - 12.45
      Workshop: Conquer your career saboteurs
      Do you want to start your career with confidence and defeat your career saboteurs? Saboteurs are limiting beliefs that keep you from succeeding in your career. They try to convince you that success comes at a high price, if at all: "You have nothing to offer" or "You must strive for perfection". The aim of the saboteurs is to keep you safe in your comfort zone. And careers thrive in places that encourage learning and growth. Are you ready to ditch your saboteurs and rely on curiosity, compassion and creativity for your next career move?
      Sign up here!
    • 12.45 - 13.30
      Break
    • 13.30 - 14.45
      Friendshipping (like speed dating but better)
      How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Is there something or someone that really changed your life? Do you think everything happens for a reason?
      There’s so much more to talk about than your hobbies or favorite Netflix show. So if you want to know other students and yourself better, join this famous NEWConnective workshop!
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 - 15.15
      Workshop: Conquer your career saboteurs
      Do you want to start your career with confidence and defeat your career saboteurs? Saboteurs are limiting beliefs that keep you from succeeding in your career. They try to convince you that success comes at a high price, if at all: "You have nothing to offer" or "You must strive for perfection". The aim of the saboteurs is to keep you safe in your comfort zone. And careers thrive in places that encourage learning and growth. Are you ready to ditch your saboteurs and rely on curiosity, compassion and creativity for your next career move?
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 - 15.15
      Your Life your Choices
      Fatiema Khadje, student counsellor at vu, shares her own successes and pitfalls during her life and defining moments. With this workshop we try to gain insight into our own strengths and pitfalls with the help of the defining moments in our life. If you are aware of your own strengths and pitfalls, you can develop more focused study skills that apply to help you have a successful study career.
      Sign up here!
    • 15.15 - 15.30
      Break
    • 15.30 – 17.30
      How do I prioritise?
      During this workshop you’ll learn how to prioritise the choices you make during your study and outside of your study. You’ll learn to stand still and to reflect on the crossroad where you make choices. Each participant will be helped based on their own personal circumstances. By means of an exercise you’ll find out practical tools and points that can help you prioritise. During this workshop statements such as 'I don't know what I like' and 'I have no idea what I should focus on' will be highlighted.
      Sign up here!
  • Friday 12 November - Community & Diversity

    • 11.00 – 12.30
      The Spoon Challenge
      We use a certain amount of mental and physical energy to do things in a day. The effort it takes to complete an assignment or attend a lecture is different for everyone. Despite looking just as productive as other people, many of us struggle with every-day tasks. For students with disabilities, mental health conditions, and physical disorders, even fun activities can have a high energy cost. In this workshop, we will use Spoon Theory to experience a day in the life of someone with a disability. The workshop will consist of exercises and discussions, through which people with and without disabilities can connect, learn from each other, and understand the decisions required to make it through the day with limited resources.
      Sign up here!
    • 11.00 – 12.45
      Embracing diversity for highly creative solutions
      There is a transformative power in appreciating the distinctive characteristics of each individual. By learning how to embrace divergent thinking, exposing ourselves to different points of view and new experiences, we can allow a free flow of ideas to create original solutions and innovative concepts. This workshop aims to expose students to all the perceptions of the term ‘diversity’, letting go of assumptions and building a sense of empathy and belonging. After realizing the balance between diversity and similarity among individuals, students will be involved in a second phase, in which they can learn how to break normal thinking patterns, approach different opinions from their own, in order to generate creative and original outcomes that would not be possible if derived only by singular individuals.
      Sign up here!
    • 12.30 - 13.15
      Connecting with Community through Community Service Learning (CSL)
      In this day and age, while we are progressing in the frontiers of science and technological innovations, we are also increasingly getting disconnected from our society/community and our environment. The Community Service Learning (CSL) programme, which is a part of the Broader Mind project of VU –aims to support students in building and strengthening connection with the community/society, and vice versa. In CSL, the students get to work with community partners to jointly address diverse societal issues – which forms a part of experiential learning. It helps students build transformational competencies that prepare them for society and are relevant for success in their future careers. It also helps the community connect with science/academia, and pool an array of solutions to address issues in the community. In this workshop, we will discuss CSL, provide examples and stories on some of the CSL activities/projects – like Loneliness in Amsterdam Nieuwe West, present testimonials or findings from students, and have a short interactive session with the participants on CSL. Students and teachers who attend this event will get the opportunity to explore their interest in connecting with the community through CSL. If you are interested to connect with your community through service learning, and build essential skills/competencies that will prepare you for the society and labor market of the future – then please attend the workshop.
      Sign up here!
    • 13.30 - 15.00
      Being a minority on campus – Share your story or listen to the stories of others
      Join us for a conversation on being a minority on campus. On 12 November we will share our stories and look for common ground in our experiences during the event ‘being a minority on campus’. This event is organised by FAM and VU Pride. FAM is a student association that strives to create a student community with a sense of belonging to foster diversity and inclusion. FAM students are mainly from minority groups, such as first-generation students, bicultural students and students from a lower socio-economic background. VU Pride is the network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex & asexual students & employees of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During the event our speakers will share their stories and we will get to know each other with some icebreaker questions and we will have room for an open talk on this topic. We welcome everybody to attend and share their story!
      Sign up here!
    • 15.30 - 17.00
      GVD/BYOB (Groot Vooroordelen Diner/Bring Your Own Bias)
      We all have images and ideas of other students the moment we just see them, or think we know ‘them’: (wo)men, Muslims, vegans, metalheads, transgenders, Jews, anti-vaxxers.) Preconceptions help us to understand the world around us. Where do these biases actually come from? Would you be willing or able to change them if necessary? Meet other students in this workshop and challenge your and others preconceptions. During this NEWConnective workshop pizza’s will be available (also for vegetarians) pizza's.
      Sign up here!
    • 15.30 - 17.00
      Networking
      Learn how to network and use your own network.
      Sign up here!
    • 17.00 - 20.00
      Screening of the documentary 'The Wisdom of Trauma' with discussion after the screening
      Sign up here!
      Community and diversity
      The core values of the VU are Responsible, Open and Personally Engaged. For this event we invite community members to mingle with our students and staff.
      Movie Screening - 'The Wisdom of Trauma' featuring Dr. Gabor Maté
      Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our deepest wounds. Dr. Maté gives us a new vision: a trauma-informed society in which parents, teachers, physicians, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviours, making diagnoses, suppressing symptoms and judging, but seek instead to understand the sources from which troubling behaviours and diseases spring in the wounded human soul.
      After the movie - After talk
      After the movie we will host a safe space for an after talk and reflect on: How can insights from the movie help us address collective healing in our communities better?

Do you have a question or remark?

Contact the Student Wellbeing Point & Panel

Student Wellbeing Point: studentwellbeingpoint@vu.nl
Mail the Student Wellbeing Point to talk to a Peer, ask questions and/or be referred.

Student Wellbeing Panel: studentwellbeingpanel@vu.nl
Mail the Student Wellbeing Panel if you have ideas or recommendations for (new) student wellbeing initiatives at VU Amsterdam.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 10.00 – 16.00

VU Main Building
Ground floor (next to the Student Desk)