SCWIST Brown Bag Series Event Summary

 “Stress: Bring it on!”

After a bright sunny summer, fall is finally here! So are the monthly Brownbag sessions! On October 2nd, 2013; we had our first Brownbag session of the fall season. This time we had a fun interactive workshop on stress management and mindfulness. At the beginning of the semester, students face various challenges. New class schedules, assignment submissions, getting along with the new classmates can all make a student’s life very stressful. Instead of trying to avoid these stressors, we say “STRESS: BRING IT ON!”

SCWIST – Brown Bag Series Event “Stress: Bring it on!”

This month’s Brownbag session was co-facilitated by Cathy Wang and Chris Kim. Both Cathy and Chris are volunteers at the UBC Wellness Centre. Cathy is a 4th year dietetics student who is passionate about cooking and yoga. She has presented wellness workshops to UBC residents, sororities, and clubs. Chris is a 4th year kinesiology student who has worked at UBC REC and the UBC Healthy Minds Blog. With a peer-to-peer approach, Cathy and Chris helped the attendees to identify the causes of their stress and what techniques they can use to manage it.

There are different ways to manage stress, and different people use different combinations of techniques. While some might find it useful to use escapism technique to avoid stress temporarily; it might not be an ideal one for someone who has a tendency of procrastination. Some of the other techniques of managing stress that were discussed in the session are proactive coping and alternative task method. Most of the attendees found that the combination of these two techniques is the best way to manage stress in their lives. In proactive coping technique, we can set our goals ahead of time and can get ready to face the challenges with probable solutions to the problems that might arise in future. Whereas, in alternative task method, we can keep our mind busy with doing something else and later can get back to face the stressor with a fresh view and energy.

At the end of the session, our facilitators asked us to complete a “Personal Time Survey” to give us an idea of where our time goes. We had to answer ten questions and at the end, it showed how much free time was left for ourselves. This is a good way to point out the specific aspects of our lives where we spend the most time and also to target the areas which need some more attention. The results were really eye opening for some of the attendees as they had never noticed how busy their lives were and how little amount of time was left for them.

It was a fun interactive session and we hope attendees went home with confidence knowing that they now know some tools and techniques to cope up with stress. There is no need of avoiding stressors anymore, as now we know how to fight them. So, we say “Stress: Bring It On!!” We are ready to face you.

–      By Lisa Parvin, SCWIST BrownBag Series Coordinator