UWF organizations help ‘paws’ student stress

Wellness

Photo courtesy of Wellness Center webpage.

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

Playful pups, pizza and snacks were the attraction on Cannon Green on Thursday for students looking for relief from stress overload. The annual fall fundraiser, Paws ’N’ Pastries, is hosted by the University of West Florida Pre-Veterinary Society.

Pre-Veterinary Society Public Relations officer Elba De La Torre said the fundraiser helps raise money for future events and trips. It is held each fall semester the week before exam week.

“The purpose of this event is to help students relieve stress from studying for their finals by spending time with the therapy dogs that are brought in,” De La Torre said.

A $5 entry fee allows students to play with the dogs and partake in the refreshments supplied by the club.

Paws ’N’ Pastries is just one of the many outlets in which UWF students can participate to help cope with stresses occurring at the end of a semester.

UWF Wellness Services also is an avid supporter of using four-legged, furry friends to help students stay calm.

Each semester, Wellness holds Paws and Play. At this event, therapy dogs are brought to campus for students to play with, and the Wellness staff also provides other methods of stress relief. Activities such as Play-Doh, tea making, and coloring stations are just a few of the activities available during the event to allow students to take a break.

Wellness works to ensure UWF students have open access to information on how to maintain healthy lifestyles.

“It is important for students to stay in the know with what Wellness Services has to offer, because we care about students’ well-being,” UWF Peer Educator Lauren McCurdy said. “We want all UWF students to be in the happiest state, whether that be during finals or not.”

Playing with dogs is not the only way UWF students can find a moment of relaxation and ease of mind.

The Student Health and Wellness Center, Building 960, is located between the Center for Fine and Performing Arts and the tennis courts. To help relieve stress, the center provides massage chairs that can be used for 30 minutes at a time. A weekly meditation hour also is open and free to students, faculty and staff as a method to manage stress. To learn more, see the website.

Free aromatherapy take-home items also are made available to students. Students are encouraged to use these items for quick study-break relaxation.

Stress can create nervous habits, decrease your immune system, ruin your eating habits and more.

Learn how to take care of stress and feel strong in mind and body all year long. Students can survive finals-week stress by learning methods on how to cope, and even by just pausing to play with a dog or two.