UF’s Office of Off Campus Life is encouraging students to take advantage of free massages, yoga and board games to take their minds off looming exams.
This week and next, the office is promoting stress management during the nerve-wracking time before exams with 50-minute “stress breaks.”
Although final exams don’t start until Dec. 11, the stress breaks will start Wednesday and continue Thursday and Monday at 11:45 a.m.
“We wanted to do something that was pertinent to student life this semester,” said Leah Villanueva, the graduate assistant for Off Campus Life.
The breaks combine stress-management information with free snacks and activities. They will be located at Peabody Hall room 411, according to Off Campus Life Director Nora Kilroy.
“It’s a high-stress time of year for most students,” Kilroy said. “It’s something new we tried this year.”
On Wednesday, a yoga instructor from Gainesville Health and Fitness Center will put on a demonstration for students. On Thursday, there will be five-minute massages by a therapist from the Southwest Recreation Center.
On the last day of the stress breaks, there will be board games and other activities for stressed out students to play. Jenga, Candyland, Apples to Apples and Taboo are among the games that will be available.
“I definitely think they’re going to be successful,” Villanueva said. “They’re activities to get students’ minds off the constant stress of school.”
The activities promote learning about stress management in a practical way with a lecture-styled format, Villanueva said.
“Not only does it feel good, but a massage is actually good for you,” said Villanueva, who cited muscle tension relief and circulation as the health benefits.
In addition to the stress breaks, other facilities at UF will be offering special programs during exam week.
The Student Recreation & Fitness Center will be offering eight hours of non-stop yoga Dec. 14. For those hitting the books, Library West and Marston Science Library will have extended hours before and during exams, remaining open until 4 a.m.