Every brain needs down time and many students were able to put their minds at ease this Thursday at Humber Lakeshore’s “Bounce Forward” event.
The one day event, which was also held on Wednesday at the North campus, was designed to help students think about their mental health at what is often a very busy time of the school year.
“Being in school is probably one of the most stressful times in your life,” said Dana Nunes, a registered nurse at Humber’s Lakeshore campus.
“Transitioning from high school to college is a lot to manage – school work, social life, regular work perhaps – there’s a lot going on,” she said.
Working with the school’s Student Wellness Centre, Nunes helped brainstorm a handful of stress-relieving techniques that she hoped students would find helpful.
There were meditation and fitness features to promote wellness through physical health, a Zen room where seemingly innocuous items were used to “activate” students’ senses, as well as a stress screening test administered by school guidance counselors.
The Zen Room seemed to attract the highest turnout, as students lined up to touch, smell, hear and taste what organizers called key elements of relaxation.
Running their fingers through warm sand, smelling incensed Q-tips and drinking flavoured teas, students were welcomed by the hum of ambient music as they browsed the booth.
Jason Gool, a 20-year-old Police Foundations student, said he found the various textures the most calming.
“They have this little booth that identifies with all your senses,” said Gool. “There was really thick sand, smooth rocks and domesticated cacti.”
Students were also encouraged to complete a Depression, Anxiety and Stress test which asked them how often in the past week they had experienced feelings of stress and discomfort. Participants ticked the boxes, tallied the scores and submitted their results to school guidance counselors for a helpful analysis.
Those who completed the screening were rewarded with a modest gift bag, containing a stress ball, some lip balm and other items.