Spring De-Stress Fest Kicks Off



Christie Margaris

Staff Writer

Photo by Christie Margaris

Let’s face it: everyone has at least a little bit of stress in their lives. Whether it stems from an overbearing homework load, anxiety about the future or troubles at home, we could use a relief every now and then. The Stress Management Peers of De-Stress Fest 2012 have made it their mission to do just that.

These students put their recent efforts into making the third week of school as relaxing as possible in cooperation with Finance Board, Counseling Services, Health and Wellness and the Educational Opportunity Program. The week comprised of four various back-to-back events, including a Crafts Day, Healthy Eating Day, Yoga and Mindfulness and Massage Therapy Day.

The entire week’s activities were completely free, which is essentially the best part for college students.

“It’s so awesome; I went and got a 10 minute massage the other day,” said first-year Spanish major Rachel Huffman. “Everyone in charge seems so nice and genuinely concerned with my well-being. It’s such a great feeling knowing our student body is being looked after.”

According to Stress Management Peer Callia Hansen, the events were selected to give students a chance to find new ways to reduce stress levels, all while enhancing tranquil and creative behavior.

“We wanted to give students a chance to see that maybe they could discover new ways to ‘de-stress’ themselves,” said Hansen. “Perhaps they never thought about doing crafts to get rid of extra tension. Our plan to make each day as diverse as possible was a great way to include anyone who had an interest in what we aimed to do.”

By promoting four unique activities, the event catered to students with different types of hobbies.

“We’ve had a great turnout all week,” said Counseling Services Psychologist Kirsten Olson, who hosted Wednesday’s yoga class on Manzanita Lawn. “I think when you take into account how many students suffer from some sort of anxiety due to schoolwork, finances and issues with family and friends, it becomes really important to give students a chance to escape all that stress.”

Olson, who works as a counselor for the University, caters to the needs of students suffering from anxiety and depression, among other disorders. Her duties involve meeting with these patients, in addition to hosting weekly yoga classes to help them overcome internal struggles by providing a calm, meditative environment.

Each event was held by an energetic and knowledgeable group of staff and students. Additionally, they took place in various locations, including Manzanita Lawn and outside the Student Resource Building, offering several convenient locations for students to join in on the fun.

But for those who missed the action last week, no need to ‘stress.’ Olson says the event will be back in the near future.

“We were certain De-Stress Fest would be a hit,” said Olsen. “There will definitely be more opportunities for students to take advantage of these services during the 2012-2013 academic year.”