Stress-relief events offered at Oregon State University

Hannah Agnew-Svoboda and Roco, a pitbull, at the Native American Longhouse event. The event included bringing in two dogs from the humane society, a relaxation fort, bean bags, coloring and a CAPS representative giving a stress-relieving workshop. 

Jaya Lazo, News Contributor

Several groups, organizations host self-care programs on campus

A cover of “No Diggity” played softly in the background as a small group of Oregon State University students and professors gathered to paint with watercolors on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. Watercolor Wellness Wednesday is just one example of the many activities available to people on Oregon State campus aimed at relieving stress.

Groups and organizations are hosting events on campus to allow anyone to come and destress. There are plenty of de-stress events hosted weekly or a few times a term for anyone to take advantage of on campus. From creativity to relaxation, these events provide students with several methods of destressing.

One of the weekly events includes free art functions hosted by the Craft Center, located in the basement of the Student Experience Center. Every Monday between 1-3 p.m. is Mandala Monday, where students can color in mandalas, charts or geometric patterns that repeat themselves and are traditionally Hindu and Buddhist spiritual representation of the universe.

According to Sage Zahorodni, a member of the desk staff at the Craft Center, Watercolor Wellness Wednesdays has been successful in de-stressing people in the past.

“It seems that across the board that people who come leave less stressed than when they came in and it’s not just for artists either, it’s really for anyone who wants to come have a relaxing time,” Zahorodni said.

In addition to Watercolor Wellness Wednesdays, the Craft Center hosts Thoughtful Thursdays, in which people can come paint on rocks. These events are open to the public, according to Zahorodni.

“But these aren’t just for students, they are just the ones that tend to be on campus at the correct times,” Zahorodini said. “It’s a great break from their day.”

Kari-Lyn Sakuma, professor of health promotion, attended Watercolor Wellness Wednesday, and enjoyed the event.

“I think it’s great for students,” Sakuma said.

The Craft Center is not the only place on campus that offers weekly stress-release events. The Native American Longhouse has hosted similar de-stress occasions, which included bringing in two dogs from the humane society, a relaxation fort, bean bags, coloring and a CAPS representative giving a stress-relieving workshop.

Other cultural centers host their own events. For example, the César Chávez Cultural Center occasionally offers free dance classes for relaxation.

More classes are offered by Counseling and Psychological Services, located on the fifth floor of Snell Hall, providing students with drop-in mindfulness classes.

These included a variety of classes from group counseling to meditation. CAPS partners with many groups on campus to put on events, according to Bonnie Hemrick, mental health promotion coordinator at CAPS.

“The events we do are usually called ‘De-stress Recess,’ Hemrick said.

CAPS has made a conscious effort to try to lessen the stress levels at OSU, according to Hemrick. They began these events in McNary Hall because the Health and Well-being Living Learning Community is located there.

“Since it worked out pretty well with McNary Hall, it has expanded to more locations. Even this term we got five requests to do similar events,” Hemrick said.

Hemrick looks forward to expanding the activities CAPS offers in partnerships with residence halls and other organizations, including an off-campus housing organization for OSU students, called the GEM.

“Just this term Wilson Hall had a request, and the SEC and the GEM,” Hemrick said.

Some upcoming activities that CAPS is involved in include the “DeStress Recess”, which is an event that will be in McNary Dining on March 15 from 8-10 p.m. This will include coloring, movies and massages.

In addition to “Destress Recess,” CAPS also hosts “Paws.” According to Hemrick, CAPS brings therapy dogs to the library during this event.

“Yeah, the students seem to really like that one,” Hemrick said.

This is one popular event CAPS is working on expanding as well.

“CAPS is trying to do it [‘Paws’] twice per term,” Hemrick said.

Paws is happening again on March 16, 12:30-2 p.m., on the second floor of the Valley Library, and on March 21 at the same time.

More information about future campus de-stress events can be found on the CAPS, Craft Center and cultural centers’ webpages.

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