Campus-turned-Spa: Students Encouraged to Take a Breather

Published: April 13, 2010 | Read Time: 4 minutes

As the final weeks of spring semester speed by, it is little surprise that students are anxiously preparing for finals week – the last-minute projects and cram sessions seem a rite of passage to the true college experience, and stress mounts for many students who report feeling overburdened or just burned out.

With finals looming, one may wonder if it is even possible to enjoy these last few weeks of the 2009-10 school year. But thanks to the help of SUU’s second annual De-Stress Week, the quest for tranquility amidst a storm of procrastination may prove more attainable than many students think.

Over the next week a variety of events will be held to help students prepare for the upcoming weeks of late nights and test preparation during the R.E.A.L Peers-sponsored De-Stress Week, which aims to provide both the tools and the opportunity for students to unwind and relax.

According to Susan Garner, a counselor in SUU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, the work-play balance is important to a student’s emotional and physical well-being. “The body and mind can only take so much.”

Garner, who has served as an advisor over the development of De-Stress Week, encourages all students – no matter how busy they are – to “come relax and enjoy the week as another way to prepare for exams and projects.”

With massages and mocktails as just a few of the highlights on the week’s agenda, Garner explains that De-Stress week will provide the mind and the body a much-needed respite from the pressure that accompanies this time of year, with the aim of helping students return to their studies more relaxed, more focused and more able to handle the finals crunch.

All De-Stress Week events are free of charge and open to the campus community.
Prize drawings will also be held at each of the week’s events, followed by larger drawing for an iPod during the Off the Cuff performance on Thursday evening. All prize winners must be present to claim their prize.

A collaboration of many campus organizations, De-Stress Week is a chance for students to prepare mentally and physically for the demands that will be placed upon them in the upcoming weeks:

While students may need to pull that occasional all-nighter, overall, Garner says, they are much better served by getting a restful night’s sleep. To this end, the week’s festivities will open on Tuesday, April 13, with a discussion about sleep habits and its restorative powers, with tips for getting the most out of however many hours a student can devote to much-needed shuteye. This discussion will be led by the SUU Department of Nursing at Noon in the Living Room of the Student Center.

The sleep clinic will be followed on Wednesday, April 14, by a discussion on Stress and Pain, aims at helping students learn now coping strategies and relaxation methods to better manage their anxieties. This discussion will be led by psychology teacher Marsha Garber at Noon in the Starlight Room of the Student Center.

Both instructional clinics will culminate on Thursday, April 15, with a full line-up of relaxation activities that will, in essence, turn the Sharwan Smith Center Living Room into a full-service spa.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., De-Stress Week will host a relaxation zone where students can, in essence, take a break with hand and back massages, computer relaxation stations, mocktails, therapy dogs, yoga, coloring activities and outdoor sports on the multipurpose quad.

The day’s events will be followed by a Rock Band Tournament at 5 p.m. in the Living Room and Off the Cuff at 8 p.m. in the Starlight Room. In addition to winding down, opportunities to laugh and cut loose are also successful in managing even the highest levels of stress.

To end the week, the Rock and Roll Forever Club will host a Battle of the Bands performance on Friday, April 16, at 6 p.m. in the Living Room.

Looking forward to the weeks to come, Garner feels De-Stress Week should prove a fun break. More importantly, she emphasizes, the tools students gain from the week’s activities can be carried into the rest of their lives, well beyond the spring 2010 semester. Says Garner, “Life can get overwhelming very quickly; it is important to know how to deal with those stresses.”

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