For students, May is the month to pull all-nighters and write papers or cram for exams.  For faculty and staff, the tension to meet deadlines and students’ needs become more challenging as the student interactions increase.   It is that final push to the end of the Spring semester’s finish line before one can finally take a breath.  With increasing tension to meet deadlines and prepare for exams, this type of prolonged stress can increase anxiety and other negative affects to the mind and body.  Participating in activities that allow one to ease those anxieties and rest the mind helps improve one’s mental well-being.  Lowering stress helps students to retain information and perform better during exams.  While for faculty and staff, the work morale increases.  In collaboration with Active Minds Club, the Skyline College Library provided activities and hosted events to encourage our Skyline College community to take a break. 

Active Minds Club hosted the “Slime Decorating & Spin Art!” event on May 2nd and “Making Sensory Bottles!” event on May 3rd.  These activities in the library helped students take a break and enjoy creating different types of slime art and sensory bottles. 

In celebrating De-stress Week during the week of May 15, games, puzzles, and Legos were provided for students to take a break from their studies.  On May 16, the Library partnered again with the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) Volunteer Program.  Therapy dogs Jethro the black lab mix, Buddy the Great Pyrenees mix, and Gracie the Australian Shepherd visited from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. and gave students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to pat and cuddle their stress away.  On May 18, PAT cat Pumpkin the Ragamuffin also helped the Skyline College community take a break and de-stress around 1:00 p.m. until 2:15 p.m.  Since de-stressing with furry friends has been clinically proven to make one feel better, these two events helped over 100 participants to smile and relax.  Right after the Therapy Dogs visit, students and faculty joined Adjunct Librarian Jessica Silver-Sharp in the classroom to “Take a Tea Break” and practiced mindful meditation while taking in their Jasmine tea and learning the history behind such practices.  Visitors were also encouraged to participate in the interactive activity, which included writing the word “tea” in one’s own language and learning about the history of tea and Boba.

These activities and events would not be possible without the collective efforts of Library Director Gabriela Nocito and Librarian – Outreach and Equity Coordinator Pia Walawalkar, Skyline College Personal Counselor and Active Minds Club advisor Perry Chen and Active Minds club members, PHS Volunteer Program, Adjunct Librarian Jessica Silver-Sharp, ASLT Instructional Aide II Sherri Wyatt, TLC Retention Specialist Raymon Gutierrez, Learning Commons Instructional Aide II Monique Ubungen, and student assistants Harry Tun and Jonathan Zhang.  Also, thank you to all of the Skyline College community for supporting holistic approaches for developing a healthier campus environment.

Article by Sherri Wyatt | Photos by Sherri Wyatt

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