By Allyson Sloway
USC's Campus Wellness office has created a program called Wind Down Wednesday. It's a day meant to remind USC students and staff that there are holistic ways to deal with stress.
The day includes free drop-in yoga and meditation classes held around campus. Campus Wellness Director Marguerite O'Brien believes that incorporating these practices once a week is essential to coping with stress.
"Its a break in the day. First and foremost it's a way to put everything aside and sit and be present because we're so busy. We're connected to our apps and phones and we need to turn everything off. But we need practice turning it off," she says.
A 7 a.m. class every Wednesday at the Green Quad learning center is taught by a licensed yoga instructor. It includes 45 minutes of yoga flow exercise and 15 minutes of meditation.
Retired USC education professor Wanda Gale Breedlove plans to attend the class every Wednesday. She says it brings a softness and clarity to her day that she doesn't otherwise have. A meditation class taught by O'Brien one Wednesday a month from 12:15-1:00 p.m. The class is in Russell House room 315 and focuses on learning mindfulness techniques meant to cultivate a positive attitude and improved productivity.
USC sophomore Crystal Speats thinks more students should attend because being a college student is stressful. She says it's a great way to deal with that stress.
If you are not able to attend any classes on Wednesday, O'Brien suggests buying a pass to the Strom Thurmond health center. The pass is $20 per semester and offers a wide range of classes including yoga, throughout the week. She also suggests utilizing free meditation apps on most smart phones.
Wind Down Wednesday is a great reminder that USC's students and staff don't need to deal with stress alone.