In the challenging bubble of extremely colorful Google calendars and late night dining hall studying, various campus resources help students recognize the importance of relaxation and mindfulness.
Very recently, Princeton Relax emerged as a new student-run resource that provides massages for students on Princeton campus. Inspired by the success of massage study breaks before and during midterm week in residential colleges and at Frist Campus Center, the organization is now offering affordable massage services to Princeton students in the long term.
According to Princeton Relax’s website, the massages are “low-cost” and “time-efficient.” Catering to students’ busy schedule and small wallets, massage services run at all times of the day with prices starting from $10. Massages range from a quick 20-minute shake out to a 70-minute deep tissue
Princeton Relax belongs to a long tradition of campus resources that promote physical and mental health to counter the sometimes-overwhelming stress culture. As perhaps the biggest resource for relaxation and mindfulness available on campus, Counseling and Psychological Services offers individual counseling that allows for more personal and in-depth conversations and care as well as group counseling that allows members to gain support, share experiences, and hear new perspectives.
This spring, the CPS counseling groups are addressing a wide range of needs and concerns and many are based on mindfulness, giving students opportunities to learn about its many applications and benefits. Groups include “Emotion Management Skills,” “Adult Children Empowerment” for students who have grown up in dysfunctional families, “Back at Princeton” for students back on campus from a leave of absence, “Tea and Talks” for international students, and “Cupcakes and Connections” for first-generation students, among many others.
Apart from these diverse resources that address the different needs and worries of Princeton’s student body, CPS is looking to make its counseling resources more directly accessible and sustainable for students. According to Dr. Joseph Cooper, a psychologist at CPS, it is looking to shorten the wait times for initial counseling appointments, augment its resources, and increase its staff. “For next year, we are also planning on developing a new way for students to enter into our system so that students can have at least a brief contact with a counselor within a few days of their initial contact with us,” he commented.
For students simply looking to de-stress after a long day, yoga sessions at Rocky and Wilson residential colleges are another great option. On Wednesdays, Vinyasa yoga takes place in the Rocky classroom from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. In the hour before that, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Wilson Dance Studio, instructor Alisa Rose offers a Yoga and Meditation Class.
From the residential communities to CPS, there are many resources on campus that a Princeton student can resort to when things get a little too intense. Inside the big orange bubble and squeezed between the smaller time slot bubbles on our calendars, Princeton students can and should utilize these resources to retain a bubble of relaxation and mindfulness for themselves. We all need that space where we can reflect on what is happening at the present moment and gauge how we feel, where we remember to take a deep breath and smile.