Share Tweet Share Email

More ‘stress-free’ study zones open as final exams approach

April 28, 2014

Photo of a stack of Play-Doh cansAs final exams week approaches, students often find their stress levels rising.

To help students relax as they complete end-of-semester projects and prepare for final exams, NIU Health Enhancement & Victim Advocacy Services will open the “Stress-Free Zone” through Thursday, May 1.

Daytime hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in the Glass Gallery of the Holmes Student Center.  Wednesday’s zone is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cole Hall.

Evening hours are scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in four locations:

  • Monday, April 28: Neptune NE/SE
  • Tuesday April 29: Stevenson Fishbowl
  • Wednesday, April 30: New Hall Swing Space
  • Thursday, May 1: Grant C Formal Lounge

Health Enhancement & Victim Advocacy Services will provide an area for students to take stress assessments so they have a better understanding about what is causing them stress. The goal is for students to take time out form themselves and de-stress in a fun, stress-free environment.

Stress management information will be provided in addition to the following planned activities to help students unwind:

Card and Board Games

These activities help to decrease stress by provided a positive outlet to nervous energy. Additionally, it can help take your mind off of finals and other things stressing you out for a little while, and is a great way to socialize with friends.


Similar to coloring, Play-Doh is nostalgic; it can trigger a happy childhood memory. Playing with Play-Doh allows people to be distracted from whatever is the cause of stress. Molding the clay exerts physical energy which helps to calm and remove stress.

A photo of crayonsColoring

Engaging in creative activities is another great way of managing stress. The person is focused on something fun from their childhood rather than on their stress. It allows the mind to clear, and the body to have a way to release some anxiety.

Guided Meditation

This technique usually employs light music or nature sounds. Practicing meditation every day for as little as 10 minutes can help people clear their minds and relax their bodies.


Stress-related muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and back occur because of poor blood flow and lack of movement in those areas. A massage will help to loosen and relax muscles as well as increase blood flow to those areas.

Therapy Dogs

Contact with animals has been known to have a positive effect on people who are dealing with large volumes of stress. Students can pet and enjoy the company of trained therapy dogs.

For more information, call (815) 753-9755 or email [email protected].

University Honors Program plans ‘Don’t Stress the Test’ event for its students

Photo of a bowl of yogurt with fruitWith the end of the semester quickly approaching many students are starting to feel the pressures of finals week weighing down on them.

Papers are due, final presentations are being given and, with every second that passes, the exams inch closer and closer.

Luckily for University Honors students, the end of the semester does not just mean that finals week is coming. It also means that the University Honors Program will be hosting the annual finals week social event, “Don’t Stress the Test.”

The purpose of “Don’t Stress the Test” is to give University Honors students a healthy break from the books to clear their minds and refocus on the end goal. This semester’s highlights for the event include free massages as well as free Aspen Leaf frozen yogurt.

All University Honors students are invited to join the fun from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in Room 100 of the Campus Life Building Room 100. Students are welcome to come and go .

For more information, call (815) 753-0694 or email [email protected].