By Courtney Hibler
The Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center offered a Stress Free Week from Feb. 4-8 filled with different stress-reducing activities for Youngstown State University students.
Students were taught how to meditate and reach mindfulness, balance a diet with healthy stress eating and improve their organization skills.
Pat Bornemiss, a student facility supervisor at the rec, said the purpose of Stress Free Week was to teach students and faculty how to better manage and reduce their stress.
“Stress is commonly encountered throughout the semester,” he said. “I’ve personally seen these activities contribute to an individual’s well-being.”
Bornemiss said the activities for Stress Free Week were focused around the Nine Pillars of Wellness: emotional, career, spiritual, physical, financial, aesthetic, environmental, social and intellectual wellness.
Briana Cerneka, a senior psychology major, attended Stress Free Week and enjoyed learning about meditation.
“Meditation relaxes your body and mind,” she said. “I become stressed extremely easily and learning how to do something as simple as relax my breathing can do wonders.”
Cerneka said she thinks Stress Free Week was the best thing the rec could do to help the YSU community battle growing stress and anxiety levels.
“Students can react negatively to different types of stress and it isn’t healthy,” she said. “They will slowly start to see a decline in grades, social interaction, family communication and health.”
Bornemiss said people combat stress differently depending on their unique stressors and some stress-relieving activities or coping mechanisms may not work for everyone.
“For example, if someone has multiple jobs they can benefit from becoming educated on time management and organizational skills,” he said. “If someone is independently combating stress, they may seek a session on meditation and mindfulness.”
Marlaina Ruby, a senior early childhood associate major, said it’s easy to become stressed and anxious with school work.
“Attending these sessions can be extremely beneficial,” she said. “I see a lot of students and faculty members strengthening their mental health from just a few simple tips and tricks.”
In Ruby’s opinion, more Stress Free Weeks should be added to YSU’s rec center schedule.
For more information and a schedule on future events the rec will be holding, students can visit:
“We encourage students to check our website out and stop by with any questions they may have,” Bornemiss said. “The beginning of stronger wellness starts with the initiative to attend a session.”