Breathe to relax

Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

The University Health Center has partnered with Sims Memorial Library to offer a space for students who cannot find the time in their day to breathe.

Mindfulness Breaks occur each Tuesday on the third floor of the library at 5 p.m.

Kuldip Grest, a registered nurse at the University Health Center, explained the evolution of this event.

“We were doing it just during finals week,” said Grest. “Then, suggestions were made that we could do it every week. So last semester, we did it every week. The week before the finals, we actually had a tent event.”

Since that tent event last semester, the location migrated to the library where students can participate in breathing exercises and muscle relaxation.

Angie Balius, a reference, outreach and instructional media librarian, assists Grest with the break. As a coordinator and participant, Balius said that she likes to hear students’ experiences after a session.

“Many start their first session like I did, with equal amounts of doubt and curiosity,” said Balius. “Afterward, they feel like they escaped the frenzy for a few minutes, and they leave relaxed and ready to focus again on their work.”

Grest shared that students who are stressed tend to breathe more shallow, and as a result, not enough oxygen fills the lungs or enters the brain for proper function. When this happens, students usually do not study as efficiently.

Grest said that by relaxing and taking deep breaths, students can focus on the problems they currently face.

“They could care less right now about what is waiting for them when they are 40, 50, 60,” said Grest. “They have a term paper due now, or they have exams to study for or homework to do.”

Students can regain focus through guided meditation any Tuesday this semester.