The Best Stress Relievers on Campus

Finals are approaching. (Cue frenzied screaming.) In between frantically studying, working on final projects and presentations, and packing up your dorm, it can be hard to stop and sleep, much less relax. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up some easy, convenient and inexpensive ways to relax on campus.

Hammocks and benches around Bear Lake. When Michigan weather plays nice, loitering around Bear Lake can be invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Enjoy the fresh air and ducks and geese swimming.

Get a cup of tea in one of the many cafes. Try peppermint, chamomile or green tea.

Exercise at the Rec Center. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Elle Woods was right! Whether going to a slow flow yoga class or running on the treadmill, the Rec Center is the place to release some endorphins.

Or walk around campus. Nature is great for stress relief, and OU has a whole lot of it. Summon your inner Disney princess (or prince) to see if any friendly woodland creatures will help you out with cleaning your house.

Indulge in a sweet treat. Stop by one of the many cafes to reward yourself for surviving that extra rough final.

Take advantage of the many stress relief programs. They’re all free and you can see them all here.The Wellness Suite in the Rec is also offering free stress kits (including crayons and coloring pages) throughout the month of April.  

Employee Spotlight: Kayla Andreski

Employee-Spotlight-(Kayla-Andreski)Kayla has worked at the Rec since September 2014. She is currently a member services assistant. She is a senior nursing major.

 

Why did you want to work at the Rec?
I already was using the Rec and wanted an on campus job so it seemed like a perfect fit.

What is your favorite part about working here?
I really enjoy my co-workers and the work.

What are your favorite Rec activities? (IM sports, GroupX, Street Teams, RLC, etc.)
I’m a big fan of GroupX classes.

When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?
When I’m not at the Rec I like to sleep, watch Netflix, and do things with friends.

What fuels your shift? (music, food, people, etc.)
My great co-workers and patrons fuel my shift.

What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to graduating this year.

What are your plans for the future?
I would love to be a family practice nurse practitioner.

Name your top 3 workout songs
I usually listen to Pandora while working out but I like the Today’s Hits, Vance Joy, and Sam Smith stations.

What is your best tip for health and wellness?
Try to balance school and social life as well as you can.

Fun Fact:
My younger brother also works member services at the Rec.

GroupX Spotlight: Yoga for Relaxation with Paula

What is the class? A slow-flow yoga class that encourages stretching and creating stillness.

When and where:

Days: Wednesday

Where: Studio 919

Duration: 1 hour

 

How does this class improve your body? Practicing yoga is great to gain strength and flexibility, however, my practice and in many of my classes we practice balance. Balance of the body, and balance of the mind as well.  Yoga encourages quieting the mind and developing stillness, which in this sometimes chaotic or over stimulated world of always being “on” or “plugged in”, it’s nice to learn how to create that balance and stillness to carry off your mat and into your daily life.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes? The students, their energy and the amazing transformation in their expressions and energy from the beginning to the end of class.   

What made you want to teach GroupX in the first place?  I was working with a trainer that taught spin classes and we weaved the spin class and my training sessions together, after the first class, I was hooked. Shortly after, I received a G.E.A.R Indoor Cycling certification to be able to teach as well.  Spin/Cycling and yoga are completely different and I enjoy both of them so much, that it’s an absolute joy to share them with our students.   

6 Ways to be Financially Healthy

What does it mean to be financially well? According to Consumer Finance, there are four elements of financial well-being. These include control over your day-to-day and monthly finances, the capacity to absorb financial shock, financial freedom to make choices to enjoy life, and being on track to meet your financial goals.

College students are at a tumultuous point in their lives where they may be managing their own money independently for the first time. According to a study done by the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, “Young adults age 18–25 are in a distinct life-cycle stage. This period, known as emerging adulthood, is characterized by major life-changing experiences, including college. In the midst of these transitional life events, money, and, in particular, the credit system they have gained access to, unarguably plays a central role in shaping the attitudes they form and behaviors they adopt, not only toward financial management but also toward life in general.”

Here are 5 ways college students can make themselves financially well now and maintain that well-being in the future:

  1. First of all, check your spending habits and cut out mindless spending. Are you dropping $50 a month on McDonald’s? Try meal planning, which is far less expensive (and healthier) than the drive-thru.
  2. If your bank has an app, download it on your smartphone. It’s easier to track your spending and saving when it’s right in the palm of your hand.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it. There are many free budgeting apps out there to help you, like Good Budget, Level Money, or Mint.  
  4. Start creating an emergency fund. If something unexpected happens, then you always have a cushion. According to The Vanguard Group, an emergency fund is between three and six months of living expenses. Even putting aside as little as $10 a month helps!
  5. Take advantage of financial help on campus, like Student Financial Services or the OU Credit Union.They have financial literacy programs aimed directly at students to build credit and create financial success.
  6. Be patient and stick with the budgeting system that works best for you. Soon, saving will become second nature.

GroupX Spotlight: Yin Yoga with Mia

What is the class? Yin Yoga is a style that focuses on holding postures, or asanas, for an extended period of time.

When and where:

Days: Sunday

Where: Studio 919

Duration: 1 hour

How does this class improve your body? It challenges both the body, and mind to help maintain a peaceful and balanced state. The constant deep breathing in Yin Yoga helps to strengthen the body from the inside out.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes? My favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes is the sense of community. I have a few regulars at my classes now who are helping to create an awesome environment and a different experience each week. I love talking with my students after classes and getting to know them! It is one hour out of all of our weeks that it filled with nothing but peace, mindfulness, and great energy!

What made you want to teach GroupX in the first place? Yoga became a huge part of my life very quickly. It has helped me in so many ways and I continue to learn more about myself through my personal yoga practice each time I step onto my mat. I decided to teach GroupX with the hope that more people will try yoga and fall in love with it! I want to show everyone who takes one of my classes that yoga truly is for everyone and can benefit us in so many amazing ways!!

Club Sport Spotlight: Ultimate Frisbee

 

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Every team has some sort of goal that they work towards in order to keep moving forward for the better. It is up to the officers of our Club Sports teams at Oakland University to keep the goals alive and motivate the members to strive to reach what they desire.

For those who do not know, Ultimate Frisbee is a sport where soccer meets handball on a football field with a disc instead of a ball. This type of sport is self refed, so a lot of mutual respect comes from the players which is important to have on the field. With this amount of sportsmanship, there is the phrase “spirit of the game” given to the fair play each player helps represent.

The Ultimate Frisbee Club and the President Tom Baranski embody the “spirit of the game” and have the current goal to grow the team in order to get to regionals. This would push the team so they can be a staple for the Ultimate Community in Metro-Detroit. Growing their team would also allow them into the USA Ultimate Association, which as Baranski states, “Is the governing body for Ultimate Frisbee and other disc sports in the United States.”

They are looking for individuals who are committed to the sport and are able to hold their balance, have strong hand-eye coordination as well as speed and other athletic abilities. The team holds tryouts at the beginning of Fall and Winter semester and the practice times vary based on the season and the weather.

Ultimate Frisbee is extremely excited to grow their team and continue to compete against teams in tournaments and scrimmages within the region to represent Oakland University.

Member Appreciation Month and Its Importance

MamTVEvery year Oakland University’s Recreation Center has Member Appreciation Month in February. This is a month filled with contests, prizes, freebies, and fun activities for members of the Recreation Center to participate in.

Many campus activities are limited to students, but this fun filled month is not limited to students. Any and all members of the Recreation Center are able to participate.

“During Member Appreciation Month, more than ever, our students are saying “thank you” to our members because we do truly value that they are coming in to use our facility and that in itself is something to appreciate,” said Charlotte, the Graduate Assistant for Member Services.

Many employees at the Rec get daily “thank yous” for helping members with questions or equipment, but member appreciation month is our time to thank those who make our work fun and uplifting.

“My favorite part about Member Appreciation Month is the social media contests,” says Elizabeth, Marketing Intern at the Rec, “The responses to our ‘Caption This’ photo were hilarious!”

Each day as members swiped into the Rec they were entered for a chance to win a weekly prize drawing. This year’s weekly prize give aways included adventure park tickets, movie tickets, horizon league tournament tickets and more. The members are usually pretty shocked when they win because there are so many people who come to the Rec each week.

“Being able to make someone’s week or day and knowing that have something to look forward to is always something I love in life… it’s the little things, Member Appreciation Month truly shows our members that we appreciate them and that we do the little things for them,” said Charlotte.

Member Appreciation Month is the Rec’s way of showing our patrons that we truly value them. Without our members we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be able to help improve their lives through health, wellness, and recreation.

The staff at the Rec thinks February is a great time of the year for Member Appreciation Month because it keeps patrons coming back after the excitement of New Year’s resolutions wears off and it keeps their moral up. Although Member Appreciation Month is only for one month, we want our patrons to know that we appreciate them all year long!