Gratitude Graffiti Stops Across Kent State's Campuses
The Division of Human Resources Employee Wellness Team provided kits to departments across Kent State University’s eight campuses to set up “gratitude graffiti” stops. The stops are designed to give employees an opportunity to reflect and express gratitude through interactive art.
More than 100 kits were requested across all eight Kent State campuses plus the New York City Studio. There are more than 80 stops located on the Kent Campus alone.
“One of the things we hear, whether you are a student or employee, is that everyone is so busy and feels overwhelmed,” says Kim Hauge, director of employee wellness at Kent State. “We often get caught up in what didn’t get done or the five other things we have yet to do. By creating the gratitude stop, we want to help individuals to be ‘in the moment,’ take a break and think about what they have done and who might have helped them along the way.”
Offices had the option to choose from three different gratitude graffiti kits. The first kit option came with a tri-fold poster board and markers so members of the department could write or draw directly on the board. The second kit came with a tri-fold poster board and colorful sticky-notes on which employees can write or draw. The final kit included window markers and was designed for buildings with ample window space. Each kit was provided free of charge by the Office of Employee Wellness.
“We don’t get to the here and now alone, so let’s take a pause and think about the things we do have, how we got here and who has supported us along the way,” Hauge says. “When you do take that moment to stop and be in the moment and reflect, there is much to be grateful for. This is a learned behavior, and it is something you have to teach yourself to do. If you do, you will find yourself more fulfilled and you are providing yourself a gift and those you recognize as well.”
The Office of Employee Wellness has recognized various health benefits to expressing gratitude, including increased happiness, forgiveness, reduced anxiety and depression, better sleep and more.
“There is extensive research around the practice of gratitude and what it can do for you and those around you,” Hauge says.
“Departments and employees are so excited about this initiative," Hauge says. "We’ve also had some employees talk about continuing with their gratitude stop long after the month is up. We think it’s a great initiative for all we are trying to do at Kent State to build community and promote wellbeing.”
Find a full list of gratitude graffiti stops here. The Employee Wellness Team hopes if you “see a stop, take a pause, and share your gratitude.”