Dec 092008
 
Authors: Jessica Cline

With finals just around the corner and students’ stress levels peaking at some of the highest levels of the semester, The Wellness Zone is offering stress-reliving amenities to students including tips, food, massages and insights into a less stressful existence.

Throughout the annual “Stress Buster” week, the Wellness Zone, located on the main floor of the Lory Student Center, is offering students a myriad of free goodies and information to combat rising stress levels. The center is distributing snacks, soothing teas, and hot chocolate as well as candles, incense, paraffin hand-dips, stress packs and information on yoga breathing.

Officials said the program was developed to help students survive the buildup of final exams and assignments coupled with a semester’s worth of exhaustion.

“Stress affects every aspect of our life. It affects our health and our relationships, and has been found to be the number one factor affecting academic performance,” said Jenifer Thomas, coordinator of the Stress Management Program in the University Counseling Center at CSU.

“Everyone encounters stress in life, but the tools we have to deal with it make the difference in how it affects us,” Thomas said. “The best way to reduce the negative effects of stress is to learn and practice effective coping strategies. Sometimes, we have to seek help to learn these skills.”

Additional services offered include: mind clearing exercises, extended chair massage times and interactions with dogs from the Human-Animal Bond in Colorado Program — animals raised to interact with people in therapeutic settings. Several experts are available to discuss the nature of stress — study habits and offer positive diet and nutrition solutions throughout the week.

“This is a good time of year to do something special because everyone is really burnt out, stressed and tired, as well as the weather being depressing,” said Sagarika Sarma, a graduate assistant at the Wellness Center. “So everyone needs a little pampering and relaxation.”

She said the Wellness Center’s goal for “Stress Buster” was to provide students with necessary resources to improve mental and physical health, ultimately improving academic success.

While the Wellness Zone is a year-round campus resource where students can go to relax or get information on nutrition, health and stress, officials said they go the extra mile to help students endure the semester’s end.

“There is a good attendance at this time of year anyways, but we want to help students out however we can,” Sarma said.

Thomas said there are many ways to manage stress but one of the best methods to prevent and lower stress is to implement stress management strategies including regular exercise, spending time with friends and family and breathing techniques to calm the body.

In tandem with the Wellness Zone, several university departments have collaborated on providing resources to foster student success over the next two weeks.

The Morgan Library and the university’s dining halls have extended operating hours, the IT department at Hartshorn Health Service is offering relaxations CDs and the counseling center has podcasts to help students deal with stress.

“We encourage all students to learn to relax!” Thomas said.

The Wellness Zone will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday and is open to all students. Additional stress relief tips can be found at https//secure.colostate.edu/mental-health/stress-management.

Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Extended Library Hours:

Monday, Dec. 8 to Thursday, Dec. 11

7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 12

7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 13

9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 14

10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 15 to Thursday, Dec. 18

6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Other library services are available and a list of extended times can be found at http://lib.colostate.edu/about/hours/.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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