This morning, the Muscarelle Museum interns took a field trip to the Office of Health Promotion in the W&M Campus Center to talk to Ms. Sarah Menefee about Public Health, stress, and a well balanced lifestyle here at the College. As one of our weekly “Campus Enrichment Programs,” it was a perfect moment to step back and look at the ways that I, as well as the Tribe community, view public health. The health office on campus is here for us to provide educational, referral, and outreach services about wellness, disease prevention, and other health-related issues. They can help with anything from sexual assault and alcoholEDU to nutrition and stress.
And let me tell you: William & Mary can be a stressful environment! The work & students are very competitive. For me, stress comes not always from the work alone—but I tend to stress about stress! I see all the work others are doing, and think to myself, “Do I need to do more? Am I not working hard enough?” Isn’t your automatic response when someone says, “these are all the things I have to do…” to think of- or reply with- all of your own tasks for the week? Stress snowballs, and when one midterm leads to another, it is hard to know when it is OK to stop, take a break, and relax.
Ms. Menefee was right this morning, though, in explaining that stress affects everyone differently. Every individual combats stress in a different way. As a group we talked about some ways to relax or have fun away from the rigorous workload and academics. I wanted to share with you all some ideas and opportunities to relieve stress around campus and Williamsburg. So when you, a friend, or a classmate is stressed, remember that your time at W&M should be balanced. Take some time for fun and relaxation!
- Jamestown & Yorktown beach. Nothing relieves stress like a beach day!
- The Massage Chairs. The new chairs on the first floor of Swem are awesome, but I really can’t pass up the free massages in the Read & Relax area. Though somehow I am ALWAYS there when a tour group goes by, and I look totally crazy.
- The Sunken Garden & Barksdale field. Great for impromptu games of Ultimate Frisbee, Picnics, and laying in the sun with friends on a beautiful day.
- The Gym & the Department of Campus Recreation: Whether you make use of the Rec Center’s climbing wall, Semester Fitwell passes for Body Pump and Zumba Classes, many exercise machines, or MAC court for intramural sports – the gym is a convenient and great break from class. There are so many opportunities for outdoor trips through the Dept. of Campus Rec, as well as massage sessions, a massive pool, and Racquetball courts where I love to take out all my aggression and look absolutely ridiculous.
- Netflix – need I say more?
- Running (or a nice walk/hike). Another great stress reliever, I love to jog down DOG street and through the Matoaka Fitness Trails behind the Gym. Just make sure to run with a buddy!
- Busch Gardens – what better way to forget work then to ride front row on the Griffin or by rocketing through the Black Forest on Verbolten? Summer & Season Passes = the best. Just like W&M Student Day each fall.
- This summer I went back to Waller Mill Park – off Richmond and Airport Road, 10 min from campus – and like Lake Matoaka, there are hiking trails and you can rent canoes & kayaks every day of the week. I feel like I am so far away from the real world. It’s the ultimate Williamsburg getaway.
- Call home! For me personally, calling my family to talk about my day helps me to calm down and put everything in perspective. My family always makes me feel so much better. So be it friends, family, a counselor, or member of your religious organization: talk it out!
- Campus activities! I am sure you all have clubs and groups that you are involved in and which are great distractions from stressful school! Also, organizations like AMP (Alma Mater Productions) are here for you – bringing fun activities & events to campus throughout the week.
If you have any questions about public health, staying healthy at W&M, or individual lifestyle and stress management, the Office of Health Promotion (it is changing names from Health Education) is a great resource for students. They are always open to students, or you can contact them through their website or by calling (757) 221-2195!
What are some ways that you relieve stress or relax around campus?
Sofia. – Cant wait to see you all in the fall! Continue to have an amazing summer!