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Stress-Less Week helps with end of year pressure

Cuddling dogs, smashing plates, and getting a shoulder massage were a few of the ways students could deal with end of year stress during UCOL’s Stress-Less Week.

With final exams and assignment due dates approaching, UCOL’s Manawatū and Whanganui campuses each held a Stress-Less Week (from 21 October) full of activities to help students de-stress and relax.

Dogs from Canine Friends Pet Therapy visited both campuses, which proved popular with students and staff wanting to pet and cuddle their new furry friends.

At the Manawatū campus, students learned meditation techniques to help them relax, and were treated to free sweets and a healthy breakfast.

UCOL Whanganui students had a day of pampering with shoulder massages, hand baths, herbal tea, and aromatherapy. They also took part in a competition where they could throw blocks to smash plates.

UCOL Student Success Senior Manager Victoria Blockley-Powell says her team generally sees an increase in counselling appointments near the end of the year, so Stress-Less Week is a way to help students cope and know that there is support there if they need it.

“This can be a stressful time of the year for students, not only with exams and assignments, but also thinking about what they are going to do once they finish studying.”

“Stress-Less Week was designed to give students a chance to unwind, but also remind them that it’s normal to feel stressed at times and it is good to talk about it.

Stress-Less Week is part of UCOL’s wider efforts to improve students’ mental health. This also includes UCOL’s monthly Connect! events which bring students together for free food and activities in order to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.


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