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Melissa Koe's picture

How UMN can contribute to your self-care

Our self-care is extremely important and should not be neglected when we begin our studies in college. Unfortunately, this is usually the case as students cannot find enough time to destress with piling exams and assignments. At UMN, we have various programs that can promote your self-care and wellbeing. The best part about these programs is that they are all on campus, which means you do not have to sacrifice time, distance, (and in most cases, even money) to participate!


Did you know that Boynton Services at UMN provides a therapy animal service for students and staff? PAWS stands for “Pet Away Worry and Stress” and it is held at Boynton on a weekly basis. You can de-stress with various therapy animals like cats, dogs, rabbits, a pony, and even Tilly the therapy chicken! Petting animals has been proven to reduce stress. These animals are therapy animals which means that they are trained to provide comfort.


2. Appleby Hall - The Aurora Center and Student Counseling Services

The moment you enter Appleby Hall, you will definitely feel very welcomed! It is a progressive and safe space that houses many similar programs. Notably, they provide a safe space for the LGBTQ+ youth of the campus community. They also house The Aurora Center and Student Counseling Services. The Aurora Center provides services for victims of relationship violence, sexual assault, and stalking. They even have a 24-hour helpline for emergencies. Staying in an abusive relationship definitely impacts your well being in a very bad way, so do seek help if you need it. On the other hand, the Student Counseling Services is one of the counseling services available to UMN students. They specialize in academic counseling and stress management. Besides that, they also hold workshops. The SCS is the place to be if you find yourself struggling with your studies or if you feel very stressed out.


3. Boynton’s Mental Health Services

Boynton’s Mental Health Services provides excellent counseling and therapy for UMN’s students. If you are enrolled in the Student Health Plan, the costs are covered in your insurance. Many people have the misconception that there is something wrong with you if you seek mental help and that is false! Boynton’s Mental Health Services extends beyond treatment for mental health disorders like depression or anxiety. They also provide counseling, which is especially useful if you are feeling homesick or if a misfortune happened in your family back home. It is also worth checking them out even if you only need someone to talk to!

4. Check out some live dance performances

If you’re in your first year, whether you are a transfer, freshman, or an international student, Northrop Theater is offering free tickets to several dance performances you can choose from for the 2016/2017 Dance Season. Even though I have not used my ticket yet, I did manage to snag a free ticket in another one of their programs. Northrop is also offering free/discounted tickets to selected performances that relate to certain classes. As I was enrolled in Social Psychology, Northrop offered me a free ticket to Dracula, performed by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. This is because Dracula contained a few elements of what we studied in Social Psychology! The performance was simply amazing; I highly recommend going for the free first-year program at Northrop.

5. Boynton’s de-stress program

The peer de-stress program is one of the Health Promotion groups in Boynton. They differ from the SCS above as they are led by students. PAWS is one of the programs affiliated with the de-stress program! Apart from weekly activites like de-stress colouring, the de-stress program also offers free Stress Check-Ins where trained peers can help identify stressors in your life and connect you with various solutions to de-stress.


6. And last but not least, sit back and enjoy the view!

Over here at UMN, we have fantastic views overlooking the Mississippi River with drastic changes in scenery every season!

Sunset overlooking the metropolis from the Washington Ave. bridge

Folwell Hall in the winter