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GAB provides self-care kits to help students manage stress

As the semester comes to a close at Pitt State, many students are dealing with the stress of deadlines, finals, and returning home during a pandemic. Groups throughout campus have begun holding events to help students destress.  

The Gorilla Activities Board (GAB) held a Relaxation Station, Wednesday Nov. 18 in the Overman Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Axe Library from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in order to provide students with self-care boxes and gifts at a booth. 

“We wanted to do one again because we weren’t going to get fall break, so we decided to take what we usually do for our in-person relaxation station and turn it into a make-and-take event,” said GAB president Cale Chapman, sophomore in communication. “I think it’s even more important now because of COVID because everybody’s stressed out about something. On a regular day, everybody’s stressed out about something but any more there seems to be more and more things to be stressed out about.” 

The Relaxation Station event is an event that GAB holds every semester towards finals but has been adjusted this semester from an in-person larger event to putting together a box of self-care items, in order to adhere to COVID-19 response regulations. 

“Over the summer, we had to do a lot of rescheduling with our semester and our schedule of events,” Chapman said. “It’s been downstairs in the U-Club and we’ve had in the library before. That’s where we got the ideas for this, that’s how we decided what we wanted in our boxes- stuff we’ve done in the past for different relaxation events.” 

The boxes were put together by members of GAB and there were two different options of boxes students could choose from. The boxes contained self-care activities like coloring pages and beauty facial masks. They also included hand sanitizer, a GAB face mask, small games, stress balls, and one box had a bamboo shoot to go with it. 

“I really wanted a bamboo plant because I’ve been very stressed this week and plants make me happy when I’m stressed,” said Jillian Kirkpatrick, sophomore in nursing. “I think having this box will help me manage my stress.” 

Students who received a box thought that the self-care box and visiting the booth helped to alleviate some stress.   

“It gives students something to do,” said Cierra Hamlin, sophomore in nursing. “It’s a nice break from studying and you also get free stuff. I think it’s better for your mental health to be able to get these cute little things… and you’re able to walk across campus to go to an event and take your mind off studying or whatever you’re doing.” 

Alyssa Freeman, sophomore in psychology, heard about the event from the GAB Instagram and thinks having events like these are especially important to have during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I love events like these because they add a little extra joy in these trying times we’re going through,” Freeman said. “…I thought it sounded really cute and fun, so I decided to stop by.” 

Overall, Chapman said he hopes the event and the boxes will help students destress leading up to finals. 

“I hope they can take away something to do,” Chapman said. “Finals are already stressful and in a virtual format they’re probably going to be even more so for most people, so if the people take away something fun (and) something to spend some time with to destress.”  

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