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East Sussex College to host stress busting days during #StressAwarenessMonth

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According to the World Health Organization, stress is one of the most significant problems of our time and affects people both physically and mentally.

As April is Stress Awareness Month, the Student Union at East Sussex College will be hosting a stress busting day at each of its three campuses for students and staff. The idea is to raise awareness of stress and help all students combat the up and coming stresses of exams and revision.

The day will give students the opportunity to drop-in and try a number of interesting and alternative stress relieving activities including sitting with therapy dogs, holding rabbits, trying yoga, enjoying healthy ‘brain’ foods and smoothies, relaxing during a massage, taking some time out to read, and even taking a nap.

When we feel stressed the hormone cortisol is released by the body. If this happens too often our body can no longer respond to stress and we start to feel enormously fatigued.

A study conducted by the Prince’s Trust in April 2018 found that three out of five young people regularly feel stressed about jobs and money, while one in four felt “hopeless”, and half had experienced a mental health problem.

UK Youth, a charity for young people, also reported that youngsters spend more than six hours a day feeling stressed or worried. 42% also said that social media added to their worries and stresses.

College deadlines, exams, and student debt also featured in the top things that young people worry about nationally.

Olivia Godden, Student Sabbatical Officer at the Eastbourne and Lewes campus, said: “As April is Stress Awareness Month and a key time for our students in the revision schedule, we wanted put on a number of free activities to help them relax and focus.

“Research has shown that animal-assisted therapy is a therapeutic intervention for stress and they can provide a sense of calm, comfort, and safety to divert attention away from a stressful situation.”

Josh Colgan, Student Sabbatical Officer at the Hastings campus, said: “Mind-body exercises such as yoga and Tai-Chi, as well as reading, can lower your stress levels. Research carried out by the University of Sussex suggests that reading for just six minutes can slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.

“Taking a nap can also lower blood pressure. So we will have a designated nap area and hand out eye masks and ear plugs so students can power-nap for 20 minutes to give them a much needed boost for the afternoon.”

The stress busting days will take place from 10am-3pm on Wednesday 24th April at the Eastbourne campus, on Thursday 25th April at the Lewes campus, and on Friday 26th April at the Station Plaza campus in Hastings.

Former student, Nicole Allen, will be coming back to the college to host yoga and mindfulness sessions after spending time in the Far East learning the ancient practice. Lewes-based animal charity, Raystede, will be bringing in their pet dogs and telling students about voluteering opportunities, while Pet Pals Therapy will kindly be bringing animals for the students to cuddle and relax with.

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