In many ways, college is a balancing act. Students have to go to class and do their homework. Some people have jobs, some play sports, and some manage to do both. While college is a time for hard work, it is also a time for fun. Everyone wants to enjoy themselves and be with friends. Students even have to try to squeeze sleep into the mix on top of everything else. Trying to manage all of these demands can understandably make someone feel overwhelmed, like they never have time to just sit down and take a breath.
This is a clear recipe for a lot of stress. When people are stressed out, their cognition becomes impaired. They have trouble concentrating and remembering things. People can feel anxious, which can lead to clouded judgment and unwanted thoughts. In a survey conducted by the American College Health Association, 31.7% of student participants claimed stress negatively affected their academic performance in the past 12 months. That is almost one-third of the students surveyed. A further 41.5% of respondents reported they have experienced “more than average” levels of stress.
Stress is an unavoidable part of college, especially for freshmen, who are going through it for the first time. Fortunately, it does not have to weigh you down. Our very own Health and Wellness Center here at Le Moyne has a space dedicated to helping students relax and take a break. It is called the Zen Zone and it is located on the 2nd floor of Romero Hall.
The Zen Zone is open to all students during the day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You do not have to be receiving services with the Counseling Center to use the space. It is open as a form of self-help and features a wide array of materials and equipment to use. This is all designed to help students learn and practice a variety of valuable skills to improve stress management and foster relaxation. Students can leave with these skills and continue to utilize them in the future, not just in the Zen Zone.
Students are asked not to bring any work or use outside technology to the Zen Zone, so that they may unwind and have a momentary escape from the pressures of the outside world. The room is decorated with comfortable leather furniture and inspirational messages. Peaceful images and sounds are provided by a large television, while essential oils give the space a calming and enchanting aroma. Arts and crafts supplies promote de-stressing through the exploration of creativity. Reading materials, puzzles, and games are supplied, as well as zen sand gardens. The Zone even features a desktop computer fully equipped with a variety of breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other activities designed to achieve mindfulness. The Zen Zone has everything you need to loosen up and relax!