Slow down, break is almost here

Finals week is here and students need a distraction now more than ever. College students are constantly stressed by deadlines, relationships and work. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), students are most likely to seek counseling for depression, stress, family issues, academic performance and relationship issues.

According to the APA, chronic stress is related to the six leading causes of death. Making small lifestyle changes can help reduce the problem. Everyday Health.com recommends deep breathing, getting adequate sleep and exercise as ways to beat stress.

According to the website, college students should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Since a majority of college students are working as well as taking classes, they tend to deprive themselves of sleep. Taking a 30-minute to one-hour power nap between classes or before work can rejuvenate the body and the mind.

Every semester, Richland hosts the “Stress Busters” event during finals. It’s a chance for students, faculty and staff to enjoy chair massages and color therapy to counter end-of-the-semester stress. The Office of Student Life (OSL) partners with the Counselling Center on the event.

Uche Iwotor, sophomore, has participated in several stress relief efforts on campus and believes it’s essential for mental stability.

“I think mental health is something that isn’t really focused on. Especially for college students a lot of people are stressed out. I think the school is showing that it cares about not only the student’s grades but their health. It shows that Richland isn’t just worried about the reputation of the school as far as grades go but also as far as the happiness of the students,” said Iwotor.

A flurry of activities are scheduled to help students alleviate stress including pizza and games night and activities during the day that include chair massages, coloring books and team bonding opportunities for students.

“It’s relaxing. It kind of takes you out of the mundane, looking at writing papers and whatnot. So stuff like that that separates your mind from all the work you have to do,” Iwotor said reflecting on previous semesters.

“There may be some occasional treats to hand out,” said Kristi Battles, OSL coordinator.

The “Stress Busters” event takes place 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10 to 13 in El Paso Lounge.