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Brookdale Newsroom

Students Take a Break During Anti-Stress Week

Students from all Brookdale institutes and higher education centers took time away from their studies and focused on the more relaxing things in life during Fall 2015 Anti-Stress Week.

From Dec. 7 -12, Brookdale’s Office of Student Life and Activities partnered with the Counseling Department, the Bankier Library and staff from all six Brookdale locations to offer stress-free activities and free services to all current students.

Student could sit down for a massage and some relaxing, live harp music, catch a free screening of “The Intern,” or participate in a free stress-relief workshop in between their final papers and cramming for final exams.

Two students get massages on Dec. 8 during Fall 2015 Anti-Stress Week.

Two students get massages on Dec. 8 during Fall 2015 Anti-Stress Week.

Other offerings included the first ever “PJ Day” at the Freehold campus, multiple “study breaks” featuring healthy snacks and refreshments, and a relaxing coloring station set up outside of the Lincroft testing center. And, as part of everyone’s favorite anti-stress week event, the Bankier Library was taken over by eight certified therapy dogs during college hour on Dec. 10.

Dozens of students – and more than a few employees – sat down to pet, snuggle and play with the four-legged volunteers during the biannual “Paws and Relax” program.

The calm, naturally affectionate dogs, each of whom work with the nonprofit Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs program in Monmouth County, were more than happy to help the students forget about their stresses for a couple hours.

“This is a great day for her,” said therapy dog handler and Brookdale senior office assistant Katherine Wiegers, referring to her golden retriever Tamela. “She loves people, and she obviously doesn’t mind being the center of attention.”

Also on hand to enjoy the event were Nelly, a lab/hound mix; Molly, a mini schnauzer; Misty, a chocolate lab; Tally, a black lab/chow mix; Wilson, a Newfoundland/retriever mix; Kenzie, a wire fox terrier; and Natasha, a Doberman pinscher.

Anti-Stress Week was equally well received by students like Tim Vogel, a first-year student in Brookdale’s nursing program who was preparing for a chemistry final while working nearly 50 hours a work as a certified nurse assistant.

“The holidays are stressful enough by themselves. When you add in exams and work and schoolwork on top of that, it kind of feels like a mountain,” said Vogel, who also has a young daughter at home. “At this time of year, it’s definitely important to take some time to relax and reflect a little.

“I just had the first massage of my life, actually. It was great,” Vogel added. “In the end, stress is what you make of it. If you let things stress you out, they will. But you don’t have to.”

Check out more photos from Fall 2015 Anti-Stress Week here.

Check out more upcoming Student Life events by visiting the Student Life and Activities calendar.

Featured photos by Mark DeYoung, College Relations intern.