People practicing yoga at the calm oasis space at the health center

Find your inner peace

With midterms swiftly approaching, it’s important to remember to take moments to reset and destress. The C.A.L.M. (Carolinians Actively Living Mindfully) Oasis space, located in the Center for Health and Well-Being, is the perfect place to take a break from your busy schedule.

The space is dedicated for mindfulness, meditation, reflection and prayer. Last Monday, when I was needing a little bit of calm, I attended a free yoga class at the space. 

For the next hour, I enjoyed some restorative yoga that was good for the body and mind. It was nice to make time in my day to just slow down and practice self care. 

Along with guided yoga, Student Health Services offers mindfulness and meditation sessions. Student Health Services recommends practicing mindfulness, because greater awareness of the ways the body and mind work together can reveal how your unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviors can undermine your overall health.

“Mindfulness teaches us to be present and aware of our present moment experience, which includes our emotions, thoughts and the physical sensations,” says Justina Siuba, stress management program coordinator. “Mindfulness teaches us to hold those things in our awareness, without passing any judgment. We often think we shouldn’t feel or think a particular thing in a given moment and mindfulness teaches us to just be aware that this is just our present moment.” 

Mindfulness and meditation can be helpful for managing some symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, sleep disturbance and other health concerns.

“It also teaches us to be more intentional with how we respond to stress rather than allowing ourselves to simply react in that moment. We can put in an intentional pause to stop, take a breath, observe a situation and then proceed forward. It helps to manage the response our body is experiencing when faced with a stressful situation,” says Siuba. 

Mindfulness can be as simple as being present during activities when you may usually be distracted. This could include taking a mindful walk from class to class, enjoying a meal without technology or distractions, being fully present during a face-to-face conversation with a friend or even something as simple as brushing your teeth. 

“When we are more mindful, we’re aware of our present moment and spend less time rehashing the past or worrying about what’s to come in the future,” says Siuba. 

If you’re interested in learning more or improving your mindfulness, there will be a student Mindful 101 series in April. Students can register for it through their MyHealthSpace  account. 

For more information and to view the weekly calendar for the C.A.L.M. Oasis space, visit the Student Health Services website.

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