Attending Academic Success’ “Express Your Stress Workshop”

In the frenzy and anxiety of starting a new semester, I started to feel stressed out about the stress that I may experience when the workload of the semester picks up again. I know I should have been living in the present and trying to focus on what I needed to do in that time but I couldn't and I realized I needed a quick breather to keep my mental health in check.

What many students don't know about, or have not tried, are the various academic success workshops offered by U of T on the CLNx portal. In the process of watching YouTube videos titled "How to stop worrying", I realized that I had access to people who may be of help, and I found the Express Your Stress Workshop on CLNx!

I'm usually uncomfortable expressing my worries to a group of people I do not know but upon logging onto the call, the instructor made it clear that we do not have to share if we are not comfortable sharing and we can express ourselves in a way or form that we feel like. The instructor established that the space was a respectful space, free from any expectations.

ground rules
1. This is a jusdgement free zone
2. Don't think
3.Don't censor yourself
4. You're free of expectation
5. You don't have to share
6. Whatever is shared, stays in the space
How can we make this space safer together?
Ground rules of the session

The aim of the workshop was to find comfort, feel our emotions and acknowledge that I may be hurting or going through some discomfort that I haven't addressed from within.

The session started off with a grounding exercise which immediately helped me feel more relaxed and focused to get the best out of the session. It felt good doing the exercises alone in my room because it may have been a little awkward to do in person. I believe holding workshops like these in an online setting really helps with finding comfort and releasing emotions a lot quicker!

My favorite part of the session was a prompt that asked the class to write a letter to someone I missed. This was really fun exercise for me because I often do not pay attention enough to my inner feelings to fully recognize that I may miss someone (or people) and I did not even realize. I quickly realized that I may have pushed away some feelings that need to be addressed and until I do that I may continue to feel stressed without knowing why, and this is usually the case for a lot of people!

Take a breath. Feel the gound beneath your feet, feel the floor, the chairs, the bed, wherever your body is resting. How do you feel? How does your body feel? What is it tryin to tell you?
One of the exercises!

Throughout the session, participants got to share their answers with the class if they felt comfortable doing so, and it was nice being let in to see a glimpse of someone else's life and what they may be feeling. Overall, I encourage everyone to attend workshops like these as I believe it was a time well spent!

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