Psi Chi Hosts Stress Relief Week at MC


Stress Relief Week was hosted on campus during midterm season by the Manhattan College Chapter of the International Honor Society in Psychology, Psi Chi. The goal of Stress Relief Week was to bring awareness on campus to the symptoms and dangers of stress among college students, as well as to give students the opportunity to engage in healthy stress reduction activities.

The organized events ranged from a Yoga Stress Relief Class led by RikkiLynn Shields, a presentation on stress given by psychology professor Robert Rivera and Nicole Zambrano from the Counseling Center, and a Stress Relief Hang Out Session with stress balls and coloring mandalas.

Psi Chi President Stephanie Riggi positively described the turnout for these events and how they effectively relieved the stress of all participants.

“The turnout was surprisingly well for all events, especially the yoga class. As for myself, having to attend each event significantly aided in lowering my stress. I believe the yoga class was extremely effective in all the participants. The instructor RikkiLynn was amazing and did our stress relief yoga complete justice. Our hope is that these practices start to carry over into the personal lives of individuals to continuously relieve stress,” said Riggi.

In college, it is nearly impossible to avoid being plagued with stress. While stress is somewhat subjective and freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors may have different stressors, there are common effects of stress on a college student’s mental and physical health.

Dr. Martha Mendez-Baldwin, psychology professor and Psi Chi faculty adviser, identified the common effects of stress on your body as headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, upset stomach, and sleep problems. Common effects of stress on your emotions include anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, feeling overwhelmed, irritability or anger, and sadness or depression. Common effects of stress on your behavior are overeating, under-eating, angry outbursts, and drug, tobacco or alcohol abuse.

Mendez-Baldwin emphasized the importance of having a week dedicated to stress relief on campus.

“Stress is common among college students, especially during midterms and finals. It is important for students to learn healthy ways to alleviate stress and to learn about the impact of stress. Sometimes people engage in unhealthy activities when they are stressed or they neglect their health by not sleeping or eating well during periods of stress; so it is important to remind college students, not only of the dangers of stress, but of healthy ways to handle stress,” said Mendez-Baldwin.

Both Riggi and Mendez-Baldwin identified the Counseling Center as a major asset to MC’s campus and one of the best places for students to seek help of any kind.  

“The MC Counseling Center is available to help students with stress and any other issues a student may have. I highly recommend stopping in to see someone for a chat if you are feeling stressed, anxious, or have any other difficulties or issues. If you are uncomfortable going on your own, ask a friend or one of your professors to walk with you,” said Mendez-Baldwin.

When asked about her opinion on Stress Relief Week, freshman biology major Giselle Molina had supportive feedback.

 “Stress Relief Week was definitely something I needed, especially as a Bio major and with midterm season in full effect. It gave me a whole new perspective for the week and I hope to keep these stress relief practices in mind for the future,” said Molina.  

Editor’s Note: RikkiLynn Shields is the social media editor for The Quadrangle.