While BYU might be strong enough to power through the year, often times its students are not. Mid-semester often comes with vast amounts of stress and, with no future holidays to look forward to, it can begin to feel overwhelming.
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) along with Student Wellness and Women’s Services recognize a need to help students manage stress during this last push to the end of the school year and are hosting a Spring Break Room this Friday, March 8th, which will house a variety of stress reducing activities as well as free smoothies.
Tom Golightly, assistant clinical professor and psychologist, believes that the Spring Break Room will help students learn to counteract the build up of stress over the year and prevent it from impacting students‘ ability to effectively stay engaged in school work.
“The Spring Break Room offers people a chance to unwind, decompress and allow for a little relaxation in order to better manage stress,” Golightly said.
Often times, this stress relief function is aided by a spring break, however, on a campus where spring break is not an option, students must find other ways to manage stress.
“While none of us at BYU can leave for spring break, we thought, ‘Why can’t we bring Spring Break to BYU for a couple of hours?’” Golightly said. “So, it’s a place to come and unwind and learn a bit about resources available to students at BYU, which help with stress management on a regular basis.”
Golightly believes the concept of break taking is very important, yet often overlooked by busy college students.
“We often delay self-care in the name of productivity, and this is giving a little permission, in a good environment, to let go of some of that pent-up energy,” Golightly said. “Regular self-care is important, and we feel like we need to get that message out – it’s okay to take breaks – you’ll actually be more productive and healthier in the long run.”
Doug Weaver, an outreach member involved in planning, said while the Spring Break Room is meant to help prevent mid-semester burnouts, the primary purpose is to provide awareness of the services BYU offers in it’s counseling centers.
“Oftentimes there’s a very negative stigma surrounding therapy and counseling so we are trying to get rid of that and bridge the gap between CAPS and the student body,” Weaver said.
Spring Break Room games
While the Spring Break Room will have free Jamba Juice, popcorn, meditation, informational booths and speakers, one of the most exciting elements is the opportunity to try a new stress management video game from the Biofeedback lab.
“You just get hooked up to sensors that detect stress and relaxation levels, the more relaxed you are the faster the car on the video game goes. When you start to get stressed or worried, the car slows down and veers off the road.”
Andrea McCall, an outreach member, said that often many counselors see a drop off in their patients after spring break because they had the time to relax and de-stress.
“Since we don’t have the power to institute an actual spring break, we came up with the idea of the Spring Break Room where students can just come and relax,” McCall said.
McCall said some of the benefits for students who come include snacks, games and people to talk to for help.
“Not to mention the fact that BYU might see the need for a spring break and finally give it to us,” McCall said.