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Healthy Hint: Combating Stress in-and-out of the classroom

Healthy Hint: Combating Stress in-and-out of the classroom

Illinois State University Students and Faculty gather on the quad to relieve stress. (Photo Courtesy wellness.illinoisstate.edu)

NORMAL – The Lifestyle Enhancement Program at Illinois State University offers a variety of activities to help cope with stress management. From yoga to therapy dogs, there is many activities across the ISU campus to reduce stress levels. Health Promotion and Wellness’ Communications and Marketing Coordinator Erin Link shares her thoughts on the programs and its benefits:

What is the Lifestyle Enhancement Program and what are its goals?

The Lifestyle Enhancement Program has a variety of classes that people can take that enhance their live in a variety of ways. They are mostly geared toward faculty and staff but students can participate in our Thai Chi, which is really good for stress management, as well as some of the other classes. They tend to focus on back health as well as stress reduction.

How important is stress management for college students especially with Finals week coming up in a few weeks?

Stress management is hugely important. Students at ISU report stress as one of their top barriers to academic success, and it’s really the foundation for everything else for our well being. If you are stressed, you don’t sleep, you make poor food choices, you probably don’t have time to work out, so it really just snowballs so if you can help manage your stress, and even just little things that you can do throughout the day as well as the programs that are on campus like PAW-sitively stress free that our office has in our lifestyle enhancement program. Anything big or small to help manage that stress will just benefit your life in so many ways.

Where can students go to participate in these types of programs?

We have a lot of information on our website: wellness.illinoisstate.edu under health resources there is a whole section on stress, and there are some resources that are right there available on the website a guided meditation audio as well as a yoga on your desk video that people can do, and then there’s information on other programs that we have like we bring massage to campus and it’s only a dollar a minute, so that’s a great way to take a nice quick and cheap break. We have workshops on mindfulness that will teach people actual skills that they can implement in their life. So there’s kind of a menu, a variety of whatever people are looking for and whatever works for their time and the only thing that costs money is the massage, so almost everything is free that we offer.

Anything else you would like to add?

Stress is important at any time of the year. I know we tend to think about it at finals when projects and tests start to pile up, but really stress management is important throughout the year just taking care of yourself if you can work on those skills outside of those high stress times you’ll end up being less stressed when there are less things on your plate.

Anthony Ferretti contributed to this story 

Anthony Ferretti

November 9th, 2017

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