Students learn to stress less

It’s the week before finals.  Most students call it cram week, but a student organization on campus wants students to think of it in a more relaxing way.

Peers Advocating Wellness for Students, along with the Department of Recreation and Butler Counseling and Consultation Services, is bringing a plethora of stress-relieving events to campus and calling it Stress Less Week.

Events began Monday and will continue until Friday.

Sarah Barnes, coordinator for health education and outreach programs, said they chose this week because stress levels are at their highest.

“We’re leading up to finals and the holidays are coming up and that always makes for a stressful time for students,” Barnes said.

Ashley DiGiorgi, senior marketing chair for PAWS, said the atmosphere on campus changes drastically during finals.

“Suddenly every study space, library room and computer lab is bustling with busy students,” DiGiorgi said.  “The whole university feels the effects of an increased workload.”

DiGiorgi said PAWS wanted to do something to change that atmosphere.

“It’s easy to get buried under work and forget to breathe,” she said, “but if you know a program is coming up that you might like, then you can schedule your study break instead of letting it slip away from you.”

On Monday, students stressed less while enjoying massages, a yoga session and a candlelight swim.

Sophomore Ali Arends went to yoga at the HRC.

“I really enjoyed the soothing music and meditation,” Arends said.  “It was really relaxing.”

Freshman Mary Allgier attends the yoga class weekly.

“I like the workout,” she said.  “Plus, it releases back and neck tension and really helps to relieve stress.”

On Tuesday, PAWS provided a free breakfast to students passing through Jordan Hall.

Also on Tuesday, Ned Vizzini, author of “Its Kind of a Funny Story,” spoke on “how not to go crazy in college.”

DiGiorgi said she knows that finals week stress is inevitable, but she hopes Stress Less Week can help.

“Let’s be honest, most of us could have started working on our final projects a long time ago, but we never do,” she said. “We want to provide healthy ways to get people out of the libraries and study spaces for just a few minutes to vent and recharge.”

Today, De-stress with Doggies starts at 11 a.m. in the Health and Recreation Center lobby. Free massages are available in Resco lobby from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, stop in to the Reilly Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free spa snacks and massages.

Check out a 7 p.m. yoga class at the HRC studio or enjoy a relaxing candlelight swim at 8 p.m. in the HRC pool.

Friday wraps up the week with Zumba in the University Terrace lounge at 4:30 p.m.  Shake it like Shakira to dance your stress away.