“Stress Less Week” is a collaboration of several organizations and offices coordinated by Peers Advocating Wellness for Students helps students cope with the stresses associated with finals week.
The goal of Stress Less Week is to help students find strategies to manage their stress during a particularly stressful time of year, said Sarah Barnes Diaz, Office of Health Education coordinator and Outreach Programs advisor.
The different events are sponsored by the Department of Recreation, Learning Resource Center, Dining Services, and Counseling and Consultation Services, according to the Health Education page on Butler’s website.
PAWS has been working since the beginning of the semester to be able to finalize all of the week’s events to make them a success.
Stress Less Week has held on Butler’s campus for many years. Diaz said she remembers the activity each semester of the seven years she has been at Butler.
“(Stress Less Week) is something students look forward to each year,” said Elizabeth Davis, co-president of PAWS. “They know some great programming is going to be happening, and that they’ve got some fun study breaks to plan for.”
Diaz said she is excited that offices and departments are reaching out to PAWS for ideas in Stress Less Week.
Davis said she thinks the week of events has hit the “sweet spot” of programming.
“We’ve really listened to students and found out what they like, and that’s what we’re planning to put on,” Davis said.
Both Diaz and Davis said they believe Stress Less Week is beneficial for the students on Butler’s campus.
“From a student perspective, all you hear about finals is that they are terrible, you’re not going to sleep, you’re not going to shower, and good luck wearing anything but sweatpants,” Davis said. “(What) Stress Less Week says is that, yeah, finals are tough, but here’s what you can do. Here is your plan to make it through the week.”
Butler students have a variety of resources to utilize if they are feeling stressed about their exams, papers and projects. The Learning Resource Center provides academic support for students during the school year. The Health and Recreation Complex uses its social media to provide wellness tips and tricks throughout the year.
“On campus, we always have our Counseling and Consultation Services for students who are having a tough time,” Diaz said. “Students can get the help they need in a more private manner.”
The Learning Resource Center, the Resident Assistants on Life Skills Committee, and Counseling and Consultation Services hosted an event called “Finals…Have a Plan” on Dec. 4.
Noelle Rich, a resident assistant in Ross Hall, was on a panel that answered questions about finals week and preparation.
“We had an R.A. panel of experienced R.A.’s from different colleges of the university speak about their best finals tips and answer questions about finals, or any other common questions first-year students have before taking their first set of finals,” Rich said.
Everybody has a different way to de-stress, which is the reason there are a variety of activities and events planned and coordinated by PAWS during Stress Less Week, Diaz said. Everyone has a favorite event.
Davis said Brain Food Breakfast is her favorite event, where a table is set up with healthy snacks in Jordan Hall before morning classes begin.
“I’m like a zombie at that time normally, so I love this event,” Davis said. “It’s so fun to see tired grumpy students come by and grab a healthy snack, and you can just see them perk up with this act of kindness and healthy food.”
Rich said she liked Doodle at Dinner because of the convenience and distraction it offers.
“You’re already going to dinner,” Rich said. “You might as well color and have fun. Last year, I wasn’t talking about how stressed I was about finals. I was having fun at dinner.”
Diaz said she enjoys seeing students before and after the massage and aromatherapy event, but she is also looking forward to a new event. Freshly Brewed, a women’s a cappella group, will provide live music during a yoga class.
Diaz also said the puppies from the Indiana Canine Assistance Network will be back for the spring semester.