Matadors learn how to relax through meditation

Sigournee Grondin

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Students learned about relaxation methods and how to handle stress at Beat the Blues Week’s Finals Prep: Relaxation Workshop on Nov. 28 with Paulette Theresa, Erica Ide and Sara Mack, who work at the University Counseling Services.

While sitting in a circle, students discussed what stresses them out and how they relax on their own, including things like nature walks, massages, working out, being productive and meditation.

“I take 30-minute to one hour naps. I also walk my dog. I know you are supposed to walk your dog but I don’t view it as a chore. It allows me to take a break from school or work,” said Erika Martinez, 24, double major in deaf studies and Chicano/a studies.

Sara Mack, a post doctoral intern, led the meditation part of the workshop. Students were told to breathe in through their noses and out from their mouth while tranquil music played. Some were encouraged to uncross their legs and to let their hands fall comfortably, while others closed their eyes.

While students relaxed and did breathing exercises, Mack told everyone to think about a “beautiful place in nature” that they feel safe in.

After 30 minutes of breathing exercises and meditation, students opened their eyes and shared how relaxed they felt.

Mack closed the workshop by urging students to do these exercises whenever they feel stressed or panicked.

“It takes practice to get these techniques down but once you do, you can always use them,” said Mack.