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Stress Less Week aims to improve student mental health before exams

By Fabian Mayer, November 24 2015 —

As students work on final papers and prepare for exams, the Students’ Union is hosting its bi-annual Stress Less Week from Nov. 30–Dec. 4.

The week will feature puppy rooms, yoga and a carnival. New additions to this year’s event include nap rooms and a pyjama day on Dec. 1.

Vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan is responsible for coordinating the event.

“We felt it’s important to make sure students know [mental health] is a priority and that they should be taking care of themselves, especially in a super stressful time such as exam time,” McGowan said.

McGowan believes stress isn’t necessarily bad as long as it’s managed appropriately. She hopes Stress Less Week will help achieve that goal.

“Although it may seem like they’re small things, it’s actually extremely helpful in the long term because it’s reducing the stress in small loads to make sure that your mental health isn’t impacted,” McGowan said.

McGowan is most excited about the nap rooms, an idea she campaigned on during the SU election last March.

“We’ve never put an emphasis on healthy sleep habits during Stress Less Week so that’s one of the reasons I wanted to put nap rooms in there,” McGowan said.

The nap rooms are hosted by the SU from 2:00–4:00pm in That Empty Space every day of the week except Wednesday.

The SU will also be handing out de-stress kits that include herbal tea, lip balm and a guide to on- and off-campus mental health resources. McGowan said the SU wanted to centre the kits — which mostly featured items like chocolate in previous years — around mental health.

“We wanted to make sure this year that we definitely had items that are really focused on students getting help if they needed it,” McGowan said.

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