Students can let off some steam during finals week by attending PAWSitively Stress Free from 2 to 6 p.m. today and Tuesday at Milner Library.
Therapy dogs will be available for students to spend time with at the library as a way to take a study break.
“We partner with Town and Country Kennel Club, who works with Therapy Dog International for a certification process, to bring certified therapy dogs to campus,” Erin Link, communication and marketing coordinator for Health Promotion & Wellness, said.
“Research studies have shown for people that enjoy animals, petting a dog can reduce your blood pressure and reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol found in the body.”
These therapy dogs create a physiological response in the body allowing people to not only feel better but also focus better on whatever they need to work on.
Aside from the therapy dogs, massage chairs, coloring stations and other stress-relieving activities will be available. Students will have plenty of opportunities to de-stress themselves and become better prepared for finals week.
PAWSitively Stress Free first began during finals week of the spring 2013 semester. It then expanded this semester, offering sessions once a month starting in September. Health Promotion & Wellness is offering two sessions this month for finals week.
“Everyone benefits from taking a break,” Link said. “Our brains are not wired to focus intently for long periods of time, and by taking a break you’ll be able to focus better and be more productive.”
Link explained that stress is one of the top barriers to academic success, according to the National College Health Assessment. A good balance of mind and body health is important for accomplishing tasks.
“The dogs are very friendly and they bring brightness to my day whenever they come,” Megan Dowling, junior apparel design major said.
“I’m glad they decided to start this program because it gives students something extra to look forward to during the school year when things aren’t going too great.”
PAWSitively Stress Free offers a different type of stress relief with the therapy dogs and these sessions will aim towards helping students have a successful week.