By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
We are about a month into the semester, where countless hours go into studying, working, and attending classes, so what is better than sitting back, resting in a chair message or making arts and crafts? Stress Less Days are ready to roll this semester.
The series of events taken place throughout the semester, serviced by the UMass Dartmouth Peer Health Educators, work together to provide students with a series of activities to help reduce stress levels and excel in their studies.
College students usually begin stressing now over tests, midterms, final exams, and need some “me” time. Stress Less Days can give you the fix you need. “The Stress Less Day was established a few years ago,” said Assistant Director Health Services, Health Education Program, Beth-Anne Guthrie. “The Stress Less events are intended to serve as a break and opportunity to unwind.”
Students can enjoy messages, coloring, furry animal friends and more completely free of charge. “Chair messages are offered by licensed massage therapists from the Wellness Resource Center in Dartmouth. We offer a variety of board and card games, coloring and craft activities,” said Guthrie.
With the new semester comes new editions. This fall the educators have added exercise activities such as hula hooping, jump roping and hopper balls. A wide variety of campus wide services have also been invited to attend, to talk about what their office offers to students. This includes “academic advising” and “intramural sports,” according to Guthrie. Also, usually during the last stress less day of the semester therapy dogs will pay a visit.
It is said that all of this totals in the main goal and mission of trying to help students reduce their stress and learn ways in which they can cope with it.
Students who are interested in attending these events can plan on several throughout this semester. The event is a great way to get a group of friends together to just unwind. The semesters schedule will go as follows: Monthly from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the library’s Living Room on Wednesday October 24, Tuesday November 14 and Wednesday December 6.
Ideas are formed in collaboration with other universities and institutions. “(We gather our ideas from) input from students and colleagues at other colleges and universities,” said Guthrie.
Senior English major Morgan Banville raves about the days she can sit back and relax at events such as these. “The Stress Less Days undoubtedly put a smile on everyone’s face. Who doesn’t like baby animals or a message?” said Banville proudly. “Statistically wise, 86% of college students are stressed with their work load and I believe we should have more days of relaxation and animals not just during midterms and finals.”
The university puts on these series of events to help cope with the peak seasons of student stress. “As expected, student’s stress levels tend to increase at certain points during the semester,” said Guthrie.
It has been said that students stress levels can rise around the mid-terms season and during the final days of the semester according to Guthrie.
College students must remember to take care of both their physical and emotional state. “Your emotional state is just as important to a successful academic path as your physical and mental states,” said Banville. “Stress can really take a toll on your body and life if not handled properly.”
If you are looking to find out more about Stress Less Days or other methods in which you can do to unwind feel free to contact Beth-Anne Guthrie. According to their Facebook background picture always remember to “Do something that brings you joy every day,” this will help you deal with the in-between stress that you face and remind you to keep smiling and take a step back and breathe. You can do this!