Greg Hlavaty features hammocking and mental health at Elon in essay for ENO

Hlavaty, a senior lecturer in English, focused on post-pandemic teaching and using hammocks to address mental health in the piece for the blog of the popular hammock-maker.

Greg Hlavaty, Senior Lecturer in English, discusses the stresses of post-pandemic teaching and the use of hammock stations positioned around Elon’s campus to preserve mental health in an essay recently featured on the blog of Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO), the maker of a popular hammock.

Titled “Campus Hammocking: A Tool to Relax in Stressful Seasons,” the essay draws from Hlavaty’s experience teaching during the pandemic and the challenges he and others face in connecting with students. The essay delves into how “hammocking” — taking the time to slow down, appreciate the surroundings and focus on relaxing — can benefit both students and professors. To help encourage this, Elon in 2020 erected hammock stations around campus.

“It’s an intentional way to get outside becuase you have to set (the hammock) up,” and you have to pay attention to your surroundings, Elon student Genevieve Emerson told Hlavaty.

From the essay:

Sure, clipping into the hammocking station was simple, but as I committed to the activity, I looked–really looked–at surroundings I once took for granted. Where was the best view? Would the wind be in my face? Would the oaks provide enough shade?

Wherever we set up, hammocking forces us to slow down and rewards attention. For me, I discovered a more relaxed mindset, one that I had forgotten could exist on campus, and I began to wonder about intention. How important our attitudes can be when facing challenge. How we define what matters.

The essay appears on the blog for Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO).