Stressing is so 2009


Helen Tracey

Though only a few weeks have passed since the start of school, midterms are already starting to rear their ugly heads, and with them comes an onslaught of stress. Here are a few tips on how UCSB students can utilize free, on-campus resources to get their stress under control.

Got something on your mind?

Counseling Services, located between HSSB and the old Women’s Center, offers a wide array of services for all UCSB students. If you need advice and want to talk to someone about an issue that is stressing you out, Counseling Services offers Stress Management Peers if you want someone your own age, group counseling for issues that you want to solve with the help of others, and individual counseling with certified psychologists.

“Just having staff psychologists on campus, I think, is really important for students so they can deal with any stress issues,” says Jenny-Rae Foreman, an administrative assistant at UCSB’s Counseling Services. “We also have an on call psychologist in case a student has a crisis. We offer 24-hour counseling, so when our office closes at 4:30 p.m., if you call our number, it will transfer you to psychologist.”

They also have Relaxation Rooms where students can get a half hour, full-body massage in one of the two massage chairs, each in a private room. In another room, Counseling Services offers their famous Alpha Wave Egg Chair that imitates the waves going through your head during REM sleep. Students are even encouraged to take a 30 minute nap while they are in the chair.

Concerns about depression, anxiety, inappropriate behavior, eating disorders, and academic- or career-related thoughts can also be brought to Counseling Services for a solution.

Their Relaxation Media can offer guidance on stress management, relationships, study skills, and performance. Counseling Services’ collection of over 200 DVDs, VHS cassettes, and CDs are sure to give you the direction you need.

Worried about spending money?

Ever been in a situation where you’ve been stuck in your apartment for days and just need to get out, but your wallet is lacking green? Don’t stress.The Associated Students Board hosts free movies and concerts for UCSB students. Films like “(500) Days of Summer” or “Whip It” can be seen on the big screen for the price of showing your Access Card.

Also, the Adventure Program allows students to participate in outdoor activities at little or no cost. Kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking are just a few of the services that the Adventure Program offers. Another activity option is going to the gym and getting in a good work out. Working out releases endorphins, which act as natural pain relievers and produce a feeling of well-being.

“Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain that reduce pain,” says Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago. “They have also been known to induce euphoria.”

Using the gym on campus is also free for UCSB students. At Rob Gym, students can use the cardio equipment, pool, and weights at no cost. Exercise and Sports Studies also offers yoga and leisure review classes to center your body and get your mind off of what’s stressing you out. They also offer intramural sports for students to participate in.

Counseling Services offers a test anxiety program to help reduce some of the pressure and stress students often feel while taking tests. Some students may have trouble keeping up because of a learning disability. These students can go to Student Health to get tested for ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and other disabilities. Disabled Students Program (DSP) may be able to help by offering alternative locations for students to take tests in and notes for students who qualify for the program.

CLAS is another great academic resource that is free for students. Giving students that extra boost of help that they need for their classes can act as a safety net. Students can study with their peers from the same or similar classes to ensure that they understand all of the material. Both of these resources are located in the Student Resource Building (SRB) near the Pardall Road tunnel

Next time you feel like stress is getting the best of you, stop by Counseling Services, the SRB, or simply get out of your study tunnel for a while. With free movies, concerts, and numerous other ways to manage stress, you will be able to feel relaxed in no time!