Get in the zone with Break Zone

The last week of classes are looming upon us and before you know it we get a taste of sweet freedom (aka Holiday break). But before we can take that breath of fresh air, we have to endure the stress and anxiety of final exams. Sometimes it makes you question: "Is it really the most wonderful time of the year?" I'm sure at some point we've been there before. You lose sleep, forget to eat and stock up on energy drinks and caffeine. For some, exam time becomes a high pressure stress fest where BYOB means bring your own books and Robarts library is filled to its thirteen floor brim. Lunch time is forgotten because your mind knows it's crunch time and every minute spent snoozing is a minute taken away from precious study hours. Although we can't fully set our minds on vacation mode just yet, who says you can't take a breather right now? Taking study breaks allow you to reduce stress, focus better and make your study time more effective. Have you ever forced yourself to read for hours and hours on end and come out not retaining a single thing? I know I've been there and most of the time it's because my mind is too distracted thinking about either of the following: a) how I am unprepared and therefore doomed for the upcoming exam b) how stressed I am about my other classes or c) what I could be doing instead of studying. If your mind is racing about these things (among other problems), it's difficult to concentrate and maybe a study break is exactly what you need! I don't want you taking that as permission to use this time to go on Facebook* and aimlessly stalk your friends list, or whatever internet getaway you frequent in favour of studying because there are better ways to rejuvenate your mind and reduce stress from exams. U of T's faculty of Phys Ed and Health have partnered with an organization called The Youth Wellness Network (YWN) to bring a new program to campus called Break Zone, that will be based around Exam Stress Reduction. The first execution of the program will take place every day at Hart House on December 7-9 from 12pm - 4pm.

So how exactly will it work? There will be 4 stations running at a time with 6 themes on rotation. Each station will be offering 20 minute sessions on the hour and half hour, so students can use the station as their study break and return to their studies refreshed and rejuvenated. The themes of the program will be Physical Activity, Body Work, Meditation, Laughter, Sound Therapy, and Anger Release. Along with these six stations, there are additional resources available including the Exam Stress Survival Kit, filled with sponsor samples, coupons, and helpful information, a Healthy Exam Meal Guide, and prizes/giveaways. For more info, you can check out their website, Facebook event and fan page *(okay I know I told you not to use Facebook as a study break, but you can at least redeem yourself by checking it out!) Lastly, don't forget that you're not alone! Listen to what students have to say in the following promo video and check out Break Zone! - Danielle

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