Breaking Out of the Stress Cycle

Breaking Out of the Stress Cycle

By La Monica Everett-HaynesUniversity Communications
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Free massages are among the features during "Stress Buster Days" at the Student Recreation Center.
Free massages are among the features during "Stress Buster Days" at the Student Recreation Center.
Numerous partners on campus are working together to promote fitness, wellness and healthy choices.
Numerous partners on campus are working together to promote fitness, wellness and healthy choices.

What do people do when the economy is in flux, gas and food prices are rising and the holiday season is just around the corner?

Most of them stress out, according to a nationwide survey the American Psychological Association commissioned this year.

And when those Americans are also employees of The University of Arizona, which is facing belt-tightening and organizational restructuring, some opportunities for de-stressing are certainly in order.

"We are in stressful times and we're in a state of change," said Juliette Moore, Campus Recreation director.

The American Psychological Association survey found that concerns about money and the economy were at the top of the list of reasons why people are stressed. Also on the list were work, health problems in the family and the cost of housing, among other things. Some of the best ways to deal with stress, the association reported, are to minimize extreme burdens and unhealthy habits and to meditate and exercise.

Moore agrees on the importance of exercise. Her department and several other UA units, including Well University and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, are offering employees a chance to make exercise part of their lives with "Stress Buster Days" and a number of other events promoting health, fitness and wellness.

"We are looking at this as our small part in combating the stress people are going through in their lives," Moore said. "It's our hope that for at least one day a month, people can release some stress."

But more than that, Moore and the others hope the events will give employees an exercise "jump start." "If people continually exercise, it becomes a way to relive the stress over time," she explained.

"Stress Buster Days" will be held Nov. 13 and Dec. 4 at the Student Recreation Center, 1400 E. Sixth St. On those days, members of the campus are invited to visit the center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to exercise. A CatCard is required to check in and card carriers are allowed to bring a visitor. From 4-6 p.m. on those days, visitors can stop at information booths and enjoy free massages. The center also will offer special pricing on annual memberships and hold a drawing for a free membership.

If you think regular exercise is your best defense against tension, consider joining the Pac-10 Fitness Challenge, which runs Oct. 27 through Oct. 31. The challenge is a competition involving all of the Pac-10 institutions. At the UA, on- and off-campus affiliates are urged to participate in the program by logging minutes spent doing any form of exercise, including walking to and from work and school.

Or maybe you're the type who needs to get your brain involved when the wheels in your head are spinning. For you, there's a new Human Resources workshop titled "Career Resilience: Adapting to Work Changes." The workshop will be held Nov. 7 at noon in the Pima Room of the Student Union Memorial Center and will cover topics related to ways to make career decisions, particularly during difficult times. 

Another session, "Developing a Personal Marketing Strategy," will be held Oct. 24 and Nov. 21, both at 11:30 a.m. During the sessions, presenters will talk about job hunting and career moves inside and outside of the University. The workshops will be held in rooms 214 and 216 of the University Services Building, 888 N. Euclid Ave.

Numerous other classes, including those offered by Life & Work Connections, are planned through the end of the year on resume building, networking strategies, job interviewing and other career-related topics.

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