Lifestyle Medicine Society Hosts Tabling Event to Help Students Manage Stress During Finals

Lifestyle Medicine Society hosts tabling event on caf lane. Photos credit to Madison Lasus.

It’s a sunny afternoon at Point Loma Nazarene University, and Caf Lane is bustling with students, creating a lively atmosphere. A variety of tables are set up along Caf Lane, but one stands out among the rest – the Lifestyle Medicine Society. Therapy dogs happily greet students with their wagging tails and fluffy fur, eager for attention and play. Their owners flashing a welcoming smile, joyfully praising their beloved pets. Students rush to pet these adorable dogs, a smile spreading across their faces as they pet them softly, soaking up the moment of tranquility. Colorful posters are displayed, catching the attention of those passing by. Stickers and stress balls scattered across the table for students to enjoy. 

This table was put up on Caf Lane among several other stands created in honor of Preview Day for prospective Point Loma Nazarene University students. The table featured three therapy support dogs, Wellness Center stickers, stress balls and infographics relating to stress management. PLNU’s Lifestyle Medicine Society board leaders were also available at the table to greet students and answer questions they had. 

The Lifestyle Medicine Society club collaborated with the Wellness Center to host a de-stress table on April 19 on Caf Lane from 1:30-4 p.m. According to the event poster, it was designed to help students “manage [their] stress” during finals.

Sarah Talia, the club’s president and a graduate kinesiology student, said the club was created to advocate for healthy lifestyles, emphasizing the “six pillars of lifestyle medicine” which include physical activity, nutrition, sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and social connectedness. The club’s goal is to approach the topic of health holistically to help students succeed. 

 Lifestyle Medicine Society hosts tabling event on caf lane. Photos credit to Madison Lasus.

“We aim to support students in maintaining both their physical and mental well-being through various activities and educational initiatives,” Talia said. 

As finals are approaching, Talia said that this tabling event held importance because it is a critical time to provide support for students. She said therapy dogs were present to give students relaxation and a fun distraction during a stressful time.

“It’s important to take time out of your day to engage in activities you love,” Talia said. “Whether it’s a hobby, exercise or spending time with friends, doing something you enjoy can significantly reduce stress levels and improve your overall mental health. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury, but a necessity, especially during such demanding times.”

According to Talia, students can implement several practices to relieve stress during finals week. Praying, walking, taking breaks, journaling, coloring and meditation can reduce the anxiety and stress students face during final exams. 

Madisson Solis, a Lifestyle Medicine Society board member and second-year biology-chemistry major, said that the club focuses on prioritizing the health and well-being of students, and it acts as a resource for stress relief and administers education on the topic of healthy living. 

“It’s very impactful for the students that come to our events because they find [relief from] the stressful lives they’re living here, and it gives them time to focus on themselves while also doing something beneficial,” Solis said. 

Solis said that the event’s purpose was to show that stress relief and self-care are crucial to health, and by incorporating therapy dogs, the club can engagingly demonstrate this concept for students. 

Yvonne Perez, a Lifestyle Medicine Society board member and second-year biology major, said that the club is important not only because it highlights a variety of stress management techniques, but also because it extends aid to nearby communities by volunteering at soup kitchens to help the homeless. She said that it is a good opportunity for students to work in the San Diego community as well as be more active on campus. 

“[Our events] are a great way to take a break in the day and connect with people and talk about wellness and health,” Perez said. 

For their de-stress event, Perez hopes that students will learn to care for themselves during exams. She says that, while it is very natural for students to spend all of their time studying, this event serves as a reminder to take breaks and prioritize well-being.