Feeling Stressed? Tis the Season


April is National Stress Awareness Month! College can be a trying time because of classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and jobs falling on top of all the day-to-day tasks, so it makes sense that it often is a stressful time in your life. Although stress is natural, it is important to not let it consume you. So, what can you do here on campus and around Harrisonburg to find healthy outlets?

  1. Attend the 8th annual Walk for Hope!

Walk for Hope is an event that raises mental health awareness, decreases stigma, and encourages hope to its participants and the wider community at large. This is a great way to get active while taking a break to do something social. This year on Saturday, April 6th at 9 AM, Walk for Hope will be held on JMU’s campus behind the Festival Conference Center. If you are interested in attending, please make sure to register!

  1. Come to Therapy Dog Office Hours!

Do you ever find that spending time with your furry friend seems to make you instantly calmer? That’s because spending time with animals has been shown to slow down an individual’s heart rate, which helps them relax during stressful situations. Every month we have Therapy Dog Office Hours from 11 AM – 12 PM on the first Friday and third Thursday. The dates for the remainder of the semester include Friday (4/5) and Thursday (4/18). Anyone is welcomed to attend, just stop by the Counseling Center anytime between 11 AM and 12 PM! Follow the Counseling Center dogs on Instagram to see when and where they’ll be on campus for Therapy Dog office hours and other events!

  1. Exercise at Urec or Outside!

Exercise is known to be a great outlet for maintaining good physical and mental health. People are meant to move, and sadly, many of us spend too much time being static. Exercise can take form in a variety of ways but what’s important is that your body is able to release the tension it has been carrying in a safe way. This might be like rock climbing, hiking, attending a class, lifting weights, or playing a pick-up game with friends. No matter what activity you choose, it is important to find something you like and can keep carved into in your schedule.

  1. Relax!

This sounds too good to be true, but often this can be achieved through small acts that add up to have a powerful result. Gathering your thoughts in a journal, taking time away from technology, being mindful through meditation and breathing exercises, or even spending time in The Oasis are all things you can do for free here on campus.. The Oasis is open from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday and offers massage chairs, a yoga corner, biofeedback, and meditation apps.

  1. Create something!

Getting your mind to shift from the weight of the things you are carrying can help you clear your mind and come back to them with a more direct way to achieve what you need to do. A great way to do this is to take time to be creative. At the Counseling Center, The Studio is free and open to all students from 10 AM – 2 PM, Monday through Friday. There you can paint, draw, and color with the complimentary art supplies provided by the Counseling Center. Another great space to take a minute to breath is at the libraries. As we approach the end of the semester, be on the lookout for coloring stations at the libraries. These are a great space to stop what you are doing and make time to express yourself.  

  1. Attend a relaxation workshop!

The Counseling Center opens a number of relaxation workshops as the semester comes to an end to help students find a break from the stress of doing well on finals. To attend a workshop, get in contact with your current clinician to see if they think it would be a beneficial experience for you. After being referred, you will be added to a date and time that works with your schedule. If you are interested in attending a relaxation workshop but have never been to the Counseling Center, come in during walk-in hours for a free, confidential appointment and mention your interest in attending.

Although these are just a few things going on around campus that can help with managing stress, you should get involved and follow a variety of student organizations and offices around campus on social media to stay up to date on the latest activities that are often free to attend!

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2019

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Back to Top

Related Articles