ISU Wellness Center strives to alleviate student stress

Laura Boskelly

As the end of the semester quickly approaches, many students get so caught up in finishing projects and preparing for finals that they forget to stop and catch their collective breath.

The Wellness Center is offering free stress management workshops throughout the remainder of the semester to help students handle the different range of emotions they might experience during crunch time.

Denise Allumbaugh, stress management counselor at the Wellness Center, said the seminars will offer ways for students to get through these last few weeks stress-free.

The first workshop, “Creative Stress Management,” will be held today from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 244 of the Memorial Union.

Today’s session will concentrate on aromatherapy, music relaxation and imagery exercises, said Allumbaugh, graduate student in psychology.

“We will bring music that we believe relaxes people, and we are going to teach students how to pick out music that will relax them,” she said.

Aromatherapy is another aspect of the workshop students will get to experience.

“We are going to teach [students] which oils work best for what and how to incorporate aromatherapy into everyday life,” Allumbaugh said.

She said the workshop will end with relaxation exercises.

Another workshop, titled “Eating Habits Bringing You Down?” will be offered at the same time and place on Nov. 30.

The second session will teach students how to balance their diets while managing stress, Allumbaugh said.

“Many students have overeating or restrictive-eating problems, which occur while trying to manage stress,” she said.

Karena Cruse, an intern at the Wellness Center, will be leading the Nov. 30 workshop with Allumbaugh.

“Nutrition affects daily activities and can contribute to stress,” said Cruse, senior in psychology.

The Wellness Center also will offer two more stress management workshops on Dec. 1 from 3:10 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 from 3:10 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both seminars will be in Room 2305 of the Wellness Center.

Allumbaugh said the two sessions will address time management and test anxiety, both of which are timely issues due to the upcoming finals.

“We will do a lot of relaxation techniques,” she said. “One way is progressive muscle relaxation — a more physical way of relaxing. And deep-breathing exercises will also be taught.”

She said the workshops also will address irrational thoughts, many of which come into play during finals.

“Irrational thoughts are negative things we tell ourselves,” she said. “We will show students how to deal with them and help them realize how influential they can actually be.”