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Campus plans study day stress relievers

Claire Heininger | Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Review sessions. All-nighters. Hungry Hungry Hippos? With finals looming just an extended weekend away, the Student Union Board and the University Counseling Center have planned their own creative additions to the standard study day schedule to remind students to relax, slow down and take some time to take care of their bodies.”When students get really busy, they tend to feel guilty about ‘being productive,'” said Helen Bowden, a counselor at the Center. “They start to ignore their bodies and not take care of themselves when they really need it the most. But by taking little breaks, they’re actually helping themselves more in the long run.”To encourage students to take these healthy breaks, both the Counseling Center and SUB scheduled stress-relieving activities for today and Friday. The SUB activities will take place in the LaFortune Ballroom tonight from 9 p.m. to midnight, and will include a few new features, said SUB representative Ashley Sinnott.”Every semester we’ve offered pizza and free massage, and this year we’ve added games like Guess Who, Scrabble and Hungry Hungry Hippos,” she said. “We think it’s a cute way to relax and spend time with your friends, because study days can be really hectic.”The Counseling Center will offer more formal stress relief, hosting relaxation-training classes on Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. “It teaches several stress-relief techniques, such as breathing exercises, muscle relaxation and scanning techniques,” Bowden said. Brochures will also be handed out to provide details about the relationship between stress levels and students’ bodies.”We just want to educate them a little more about the mind-body connection” that students often ignore during this time of year, she said. “We hope this will help them discover more self-care activities.”The study day sessions are open to all students and will be a condensed version of the three-part relaxation courses that the Counseling Center offers twice a semester, Bowden said. The Center and SUB said their activities aim to offer some relief from academic pressures and to end the semester on a positive note.”[SUB does] this every year on study days,” Sinnott said. “It’s one of our last activities of the semester, and we think it’s a good way to end the year.”