To help relieve stress from the midterm season, students gathered at the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center on Wednesday for a mini oasis of activities and blow-up palm trees.
The Longhorn Wellness Center, the Center for Students in Recovery, SHIFT, University Unions and TeXercise organized the “Spring Break Oasis” to promote mental and physical health before break, SHIFT director Kate Lower said. SHIFT is a campus initiative meant to change the culture of substance use. Attending students participated in craft booths and received free care packets and prizes.
“This oasis is our hope to prompt students to pull back, reflect and think about how to use their break as a break,” Lower said. “I think it’s really important for students to think about and identify some of the ways they are going to take care of themselves.”
Students could make sugar scrubs, trail mix and popsicles. Attendees could also relax with foam rollers, get a free sleep kit and pick up a gratitude journal.
UT President Gregory Fenves said he was in attendance to check in on the University’s efforts to promote good health, particularly with tensions over the novel coronavirus.
“It’s a tense time with the coronavirus in the news, society and here at the University, so I want to get a sense of what students are thinking,” said Fenves.
Fenves said community-building events are important to creating a united campus.
“Any time we have student organizations and groups that put together events for students to build community and get to know other students, that’s part of the education here besides just doing well in classes,” Fenves said.
Laura Natchev, a TeXercise group fitness instructor, said the group emphasizes getting fit together and the holistic version of exercise.
“It’s exciting to be part of an event that is really (promoting) good mental health practice,” chemical engineering junior Natchev said.
Business freshman Britney Trieu had just taken a midterm when she stopped by the event. Trieu said it was the perfect way to help her de-stress.
“I think especially during midterms it’s important that students feel like they can decompress, so having yoga or games or just giving free stuff out like popsicles or snack bags to help students get through the week is good for our mental health,” Trieu said.