Counseling services help students relax with Wind Down Wednesday

The Office of Counseling Services hosts "Wind Down Wednesdays" to help students de-stress
Photo submitted by Precious J. Tankard

College is a time where every student is expected to be physically and mentally fit to handle all life and academic journeys ahead of them.  Being mentally strong is a health necessity and Florida A&M University is here for support.

The Office of Counseling Services and Veteran Affairs have dedicated 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays to FAMU students interested in destressing throughout their midweek.  Wind Down Wednesday is a safe and relaxed environment for any FAMU student looking to ease their mind after days of stress.

Counselor and founder of Wind Down Wednesday, Chika Hooper Ph.D., hopes students gain healthy coping skills to use in the future.

“The biggest thing about Wind Down Wednesday is bringing awareness to the importance of needing to relax, and how relaxation and being in control of your ability to relax can improve your overall functioning,” Hooper said.

Every Wednesday, Hooper welcomes all students in hopes that they will gain a skill that they can utilize in different areas of their life. Every week a new skill, and form of mediation will be taught.

The technique used at Wind Down Wednesday is the progressive muscle relaxation exercise. This exercise is supposed to reduce anxiety through alternating tension and relaxation throughout all of the body’s major muscle groups.

Raquel Daniels, theatre performance student, believes that utilizing meditation has the power to change a person’s mindset.

“Meditation is the key to keeping yourself from letting your obstacles overcome your sanity,” Daniels said. “Our use of things like counseling services at Sunshine Manor gives us the opportunity to relieve ourselves from overthinking all of our problems and gifts us counselors and tools to deal with stress in a healthy manner.”

Wind Down Wednesday involves active learning strategies and learning guidance with encouragements to engage students while improving learning within the space of meditation.

Naomi Preston, music education student, has used meditation as an outlet for the past two years. Being both a musician and student, Preston believes meditation brings calm into her life.

“Now more than ever, adolescents are openly dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and more often times than not, physicians tend to pull out their prescription pad before fully evaluating a client or situation,” Preston said. “I am an advocate for meditation because sometimes all it takes is a moment of peace and quiet to put things into perspective for me.”

There are things in life that are out of our control, academics can get overwhelming, finances are few, and sometimes taking a breather and having a listening ear makes all the difference. While school and life can be hectic, it is important to remember that balancing and taking care of the mental state is a priority.