Meditate end of semester stress away

Haley Gustafson

As the end of the semester approaches, the stress levels of college students rises. Cramming for exams, writing endless amounts of papers and doing last minute things before leaving for the end of the semester can cause a lot of students to pull their hair out and pull all-nighters.

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At 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4,  Health Promotions Office is putting on a stress management skill builder workshop on using meditation and other techniques as a stress relievers before final exam week.

Relieving this stress can benefit students and prepare their minds to be stable and focused. Management of health and fitness major and  HPO employee Alex Kerlin said stress release is critical to maintain balance within daily life. “When students learn how to effectively manage stressors in their lives, it helps for all other areas to be balanced and healthy,” Kerlin said.

Not only is stress release important for college, but also in the future, and can have many positive outcomes.

“Positive stress coping techniques are essential in all areas of daily life, and are critical to learn now because it will benefit for them for the rest of their lives in all that they do,” Kerlin added.

The Skill Builder workshop will be held in the University Center Back Room and will last approximately one hour. Students will learn many different stress relieving techniques such as meditation, coloring therapy and will encourage exercise, balanced diet, getting fresh air, yoga, interaction with animals as therapy, writing, laughing, hugging and many others.

During the last 20 minutes of the session, the participants will engage in a relaxing meditation. This will teach students to find their center of relaxation and to take deep breaths as a way of letting the stress out.

“If you are new to the practice, it is as simple as taking five minutes out of the day to find a quiet spot to sit, close your eyes and breathe deeply,” Kerlin said. The event is free to NMU students. Anyone who wants to participate just has to sign up for the Skill Builder workshop on NMU’s Web page.

The Health Promotion office offers a lot of other support, referrals and resources both inside and outside of the office. They provide advice for exercise, stress, nutrition and body image.

They do class presentations on sexual and alcohol abuse, as well as events in the dorms and off campus that relate to social health related topics and health promotion. For more information about HPO, visit their office in Room 1205 of the University Center.

Junior speech, language and hearing sciences major Shannon Wolf said she manages her stress by planning out her schedule and taking it one step at a time.

“I manage my stress by planning my day/week out,” Wolf said. “If I break down my schedule one day at a time, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming.” Wolf said getting support from friends and family is also important in stress management.

“If I’m feeling too overwhelmed, I will take a break by either getting something to eat or hanging out with my friends,” Wolf said.

Making sure to eat balanced meals, getting enough rest, exercising and learning how to manage stress are some tactics the workshop will focus on. Junior hospitality management major Gina Strom said she agrees finals week can be a real hair-puller.

“During finals, there is so much to do all at once and there is a lot of pressure nowadays to do well,” Strom said.

Strom said working out and taking a step back from the books can also helps her from feeling overwhelmed. “Also, getting a good night’s rest instead of pulling an all-nighter benefits my exam results,” Strom said. “Being well rested is so important for success.”

Students can learn to manage stress with the techniques that are taught at the Skill Builder workshop.

The workshop teaches students to take deep breaths and let the stress melt away.