Stress overwhelms students in April
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April can be a particularly stressful time of the year for students, especially with finals right around the corner. But the Student Wellness Center is ready to help remedy that. It offers a free biofeedback program for students to learn how to cope with stress and anxiety.
“There is something about this time of year that can really stress people out,” said Donna Drake, coordinator of the ESU Alcohol and Drug Prevention program. “April can be very stressful month for students especially.”
Bonnie Starr, biofeedback counselor, said the biofeedback program in the Wellness Center is offered for free for students by appointment. However, there is a $10 “no-show” fee for missed appointments.
“Our biofeedback program is awesome,” said Sally Crawford-Fowler, biofeedback counselor. “You have the opportunity to learn relaxation through different techniques such as mindfulness, visual imagery, muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises.”
Crawford-Fowler said students can benefit from doing biofeedback the day before an exam. She said biofeedback is also very helpful for athletes to learn how to regulate their breathing.
“De-stressing before a test can help so much,” Crawford-Fowler said. “If you have stress because of a test, that can cause forgetfulness. Stress can be a major cause for your mind going blank during a test.”
Crawford-Fowler said the techniques learned through the biofeedback program can also improve quality of sleep and help students who suffer from disturbances in sleep patterns.
Starr said students can access the biofeedback program online through the student health center webpage. Students also learn stress management techniques beyond learning how to relax the body, such as time management and maintaining physical health.
Time management is an important part of learning how to manage stress, Crawford-Fowler said.
“Finding the right balance between ‘you’ time, social time, work time and school time is a key part of managing stress,” Crawford-Fowler said. “Making sure you eat healthy, get the right amount of sleep and plenty of physical activity is also very important.”
Mylo Clinton, sophomore sociology major, said his favorite way of de-stressing is playing disc golf in Peter Pan Park. Austin Schopper, senior secondary English education major, said his favorite way to de-stress is through exercise.
Students have also found relaxing YouTube videos that promote ASMR can help reduce anxiety and stress. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and is a phenomenon characterized as a pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, neck and back and feelings of relaxation. Videos such as episodes of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross are commonly reported to promote this effect.
Crawford-Fowler said students who find that time management and maintaining a healthy lifestyle do not help manage stress can come into the Student Wellness Center in Southeast Morse Hall, room 250, or call 620-341-5222 to schedule a biofeedback appointment.