by Lvov Mhyana
The most stressful time of the semester is coming right up. We all know it’s difficult to take care of yourself during this time, but there are a few things you can easily do to keep yourself healthy to improve your performance during tests, and improve your memory while studying. Here are some on-campus resources to calm your mind and get yourself more prepared for finals.
Melissa Manzi, the on-campus College Counsellor/LICSW at the Mount, said, “Focusing on using your body to help manage stress is [an] area I emphasize with students. What you put in your body including food and substances and how you move your body will make a difference in handling stress. … Any type of relaxation exercise such as slow breathing, meditation, [or] listening to music, can provide moments of relief and again the energy you need to keep going.”
Manzi explained the risks of missing sleep: “Lack of sleep is the number one unreported health concern to primary care physicians. [It] not only affects your physical/emotional health but your brain function as well,” She offers students assistance in putting together sleeping schedules that work for them. She welcomes walk-ins while she’s in her office. Manzi’s office is room 140 on the Gardner campus.
Nancy Regan, the on-campus Hiking Club Director suggests hiking. “The benefits of hiking are not only for the obvious physical reasons, but also for your mental health as well. The Hiking Club is a great way to meet friends, relieve stress, anxiety and let go of your worries and enjoy the natural scenery. The great outdoors has a calming effect on the mind and body,” Regan said.
She started the hiking club in 2014, saying, “I realized how many students needed a way to relieve stress and anxiety.” How to join?
The Hiking Club can be found on iConnect under “Clubs and Organizations.” On this page there are the times the club will be meeting (usually twice a month), and Regan’s email address.
Anne Goewey is the Yoga I Professor on the Gardner campus, and she also gives yoga classes at the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center. Goewey said, “Taking a yoga class at the Fitness Center is a great way to relieve stress–there are a variety of teachers and styles and times to choose from.” The class schedules and descriptions are on the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center’s website.
“If taking time to go to a class causes stress in this busy time,” Goewey offers, “students always have available the greatest tool for stress relief–their breath. Here are some ways to use the breath to calm down: Bring your awareness away from your stressor to your breath as it is, feel it wherever it shows up in your body, begin to gently lengthen each exhale until your breath has slowed to a more normal pace, return awareness to your breath any time your breathing begins to race and regulate it through lengthening the exhale.
Jared Swerzenski, Director of the MWCC Fitness & Wellness Center announced, “In support of all MWCC students during final exams, the MWCC Fitness and Wellness Center will offer all students with a valid college I.D. free admittance to the Fitness Center during the week of final exams.”
“Students can choose from a variety of activities with over 70 group fitness classes a week, a six-lane Olympic sized swimming pool, three full-sized indoor basketball courts, two regulation size racquetball courts, as well as state-of-the-art weight training and cardiovascular equipment,” said Swerzenski.
*Correction from Print Version: The photo included with this article features Gretchen Gonzalez studying in the library. The photo was taken by Ben Richard.*