Counseling center groups help students stress less


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Meditation is an activity that can help students reduce stress. Students who participate in the Mindfulness and Meditation counseling group practice meditate each meeting, which helps them take a break from a stressful day. “The more unique thing about the Mindfulness and Meditation group is that it’s just the practice of actually learning how to do [meditation],” said counseling center intern Zach Myers, who led the group during first semester.

There is one thing most students agree is a major aspect of high school: stress.  Counseling center groups can help.

On Mon., Jan. 14, sign-ups will be emailed out to all students for the second-semester counseling center groups. There are many options of groups students can join such as Brain Health, Career Exploration, Mindfulness and Meditation, Stress Less, Empowerment, Fernside (grief support services), LGBTQ+, and Friends/Relationships.

All of these groups will run this semester as long as there are enough students interested and there is a counselor/counseling intern who is available to run it.

While all of these groups are beneficial, the counseling groups that could help nearly every high school student are the ones that work to reduce stress. Three of this semester’s groups will be focused on decreasing stress–Mindfulness and Meditation, Stress Less, and Brain Health.

Last semester, the mindfulness group met during aviator bell. The other groups meet during class bells and are on a rotated bell schedule to ensure students don’t miss the same class each meeting. Each group meets every week.

A typical meeting for every counseling group begins with the members saying their name and an introduction. Then, there will be an activity related to the group topic.

For the stress less group, these activities include learning about coping strategies and how to manage daily stress, as well as the group talking about their experiences.

In the mindfulness group, there are activities such as meditation, mindful coloring, and videos on how to use mindfulness.

The counselors and counseling center interns who led the counseling center groups last semester saw many benefits of the groups for the students.

“[I think the stress less group helps students by teaching] different strategies on how to relieve stress and how to empower yourself, and also sharing with other peers how they cope and how they deal with stress, and just having that feeling of cohesiveness and being together and knowing you’re not alone,” said Haley Harris, counseling center intern, who led the Stress Less group.

The groups are helpful in being a stress-relieving break during the students’ busy day.

“I think students have found that [the mindfulness group is] a nice way to kind of take a deep breath, and take a break during their day, and kind of center themselves,” said Zach Myers, counseling center intern and leader of the mindfulness group.

The counseling center groups will begin around the first or second week of February and meet until around the third or fourth week of April.