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Davis, California

Monday, September 20, 2021

Banish stress from finals

Yes, folks, it’s that time again: that dreaded week of all-nighters, Cup-o-Noodles and sudden desires to catch a doctor’s note-worthy illness is nearly upon us.

Finals week is the most stressful time of the quarter for most students. But guess what: It really doesn’t have to be. There are hundreds of easy yet effective methods to de-stress here at UC Davis that will leave you the sanest person in the lecture hall.

Start the quest for relaxation by attending one of the free Wellness Wednesday workshops, offered by the Stress and Wellness Clinic of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Held every Wednesday in Activities and Recreation Meeting Room number three from five to six p.m., the clinics provide students with the strategies necessary for overcoming anxiety, said Dr. Dorje Jennette, Stress and Wellness Clinic coordinator.

Workshops are led by CAPS staff members in a small-group setting. Past topics include “Relax Your Body” and “The Art of Sleeping”.

The next discussion, “Get Pumped Up For Finals”, will be held on Dec. 2. It will focus on applying performance-enhancing strategies used by athletes to the equally strenuous task of test-taking.

Head over to the Student Health Center for a relaxing, rejuvenating massage for some needed tender love and care after writing all those papers.

The Physical Therapy Department of the Student Health Center offers either 30 or 45-minute massages for students year-round. Massages cost $30 or $40 depending on length and are performed by licensed physical therapists.

“Massages give you time to appreciate yourself and your own body instead of stressing about deadlines and all your midterms,” said Henrietta Bruun, Student Health Center physical therapist.

A good massage has lasting benefits for your entire body, she said.

“It relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow. It also improves nerve function in your body and opens the energy flow to promote healing,” said Bruun.

If you’ve been indoors studying and forgotten what the sun looks like – much like the folks down at The California Aggie – you know you’re overdue for some fresh air.

It is typical for many students to visit the Arboretum in order to relax on campus. But an alternative outdoor escape that is beyond the boundaries of campus and the very lecture halls you will be taking those dreaded exams in, check out the Davis Greenbelt.

The Greenbelt is a nature-lover’s haven, offering miles of grassy lawns, trees and bike paths. Its locations in North, South, East and West Davis are far enough from campus to make you feel pleasantly removed from the daily grind of exams and papers.

The Greenbelt’s expansive network of trails and paths is also the perfect place to get your daily exercise – another natural stress-reliever, said Chris Connell, a senior animal science major and Greenbelt enthusiast.

“Running in the Greenbelt gives me time to think and sort things over,” Connell said. “It lets me concentrate on the running instead of tests.”

Even if a student is swamped with papers and exams and is chained to his desk, it is important to take a short time-out every few hours. Some Davis students said that they find simple, quick ways to relieve their stress.

Myles Taylor, junior political science major, said he likes to go online and read his favorite forums and blogs. While Leslie Flores, a junior community and regional development major said she prefers to tune out the world with her favorite music.

Tara Lenehan, junior communication major, said she is adamant that running at the gym is the best way to de-stress.

“It’s the best, cheapest way to expel extra energy. You feel good and relaxed, and it releases endorphins,” she said.

One last way that many find relaxing, is taking a yoga class. The ARC offers classes throughout the quarter, with quarter passes for $45 and monthly passes for $25. The group exercise pass includes access to not only yoga classes, but cycling, cardio, kickboxing, step classes and more.

To schedule a massage with the Student Health Center, call (530) 752-2318 or visit healthcenter.ucdavis.edu/services/massage.html.

ERIN MIGDOL can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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