UND plays host to annual DeStress Fest


Kate Menzies

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UND plays host to annual DeStress Fest

Students sought more than warmth on Wednesday, Dec. 11, when they flocked to the Memorial Union. They came to find some relief from the stress of the upcoming finals week.

In an effort to get students' minds off of their approaching tests, the Health & Wellness Hub, Student Government, UND Financial Wellness, Multicultural Student Services, SWAC, the University Counseling Center, Therapy Dogs Inc., Grand Forks Dog Training Club, the UND Women's Center and Mortar Board teamed up to put for the FroZEN-DeStress Fest.

The event was held at the Memorial Union and students were able to participate in free massages, making trail mix, enjoying the coffee and ice cream sundae bars, aromatherapy and petting therapy dogs. There were also information displays set up that showed the effects of stress and how using stimulants like caffeine can harm your body.

The most recent addition to the annual event has been the therapy dogs.

"Research shows that interaction with therapy dogs is not only fun, but also lowers one's blood pressure, lowers levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, reduces anxiety and increases levels of endorphins and oxytocin," said Multicultural Student Services Coordinator Terri Eide.

The dogs proved to be a big hit with the students. The furry friends allowed students to stop stressing about their tests and focus on having fun.

"As the week before finals is typically a high-stress time for students, faculty and staff, interacting with therapy dogs and other pets has been shown to reduce such stress," Eide said. "Many campuses throughout the U.S. now hold therapy dog interaction sessions on their campus as a weekly event."

Students also can reduce stress by eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, making lists of obligations and checking them off, laughing, listening to music and talking to friends and family.

Kate Menzies University & Public Affairs student writer

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