Finals week to feature stress-free zone

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In a desert of papers, projects and finals, The Wellness Center and The Huffington Post have come together to create an OASIS for students.

OASIS is a stress-free zone that will feature relaxing activities in hopes of alleviating some of the tensions that affect students during finals week. Students who visit OASIS will be able to take a break to “unplug and recharge.”

“We’re constantly pushed to produce and strive for more and in our efforts,” said Ashley Falcon, assistant director of the Wellness Center. “We lose the fact that wellness and taking care of ourselves is an integral part of being successful.”

The University of Miami is one of three schools in the country to have a program like this planned with The Huffington Post. The idea came about after editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington visited the university in April.

This type of event, however, is not exclusive to college campuses. The Huffington Post had previously put together a stress-free zone during a national convention, but then expanded to include other locations.

“Given that [UM President Donna E. Shalala] has a background in health, it was sort of a perfect match,” Falcon said. “Shalala would be an advocate in knowing that we should take care of ourselves.”

Falcon is planning the event with help from a Huffington Post staff member. She has also worked with on-campus organizations like the Counseling Center and the Student Health Service to put this event together.

“We always look to offer students with the opportunity to recharge during the last week of the semester, and this partnership with our Herbert Wellness Center and the Huffington Post allows us to do that,” said Vice President for Student Affairs, Patricia Whitely.

OASIS will be up and running from 12 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 on the Green and will feature activities such as animal petting, arts and crafts, breathing and guided imagery exercises, chair massages and more.

Junior Nicole Garcia believes that there should be more initiatives like OASIS throughout the semester instead of just during finals.

“We should have that kind of stuff 24/7,” she said.

Falcon said that this event is about more than just stress relief, it’s about acquiring the skills to alleviate one’s own stresses at any time.

“The more we take care better of ourselves, the more resilient we are to handling stress in our lives so that when it kind of springs up on us, we’re prepared to deal with it in the best way that we can,” Falcon said.

OASIS zone

Where: The Green

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday

4 OASIS will feature activities such as animal petting, arts and crafts, breathing and guided imagery exercises, chair massages and more. The Wellness Center along with The Huffington Post created the event.

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