Being mindful helps reduce stress of school


Detroit Mercy’s Wellness Center held a virtual event intended to give students tips for dealing with stress during the pandemic.

Students living on campus in attendance had the luxury of getting free pizza delivered to their rooms.

Detroit Mercy Wellness Center counselor Rachel Radjewski, who is also a licensed master social worker (LMSW), led the event via zoom Jan. 29.

Radjewski offered a bit of information about the Wellness Center.

First and foremost, she said, counseling is free for any student enrolled in classes at Detroit Mercy.

The center does not ask for or take down any insurance information, she said.

All sessions are guaranteed to be confidential.

Currently, because of the pandemic, all sessions are done virtually.

The Wellness Center also offers other programs that can help with managing stress, such as art therapy, mindfulness training and yoga.

“One of the best ways to manage your stress is to acknowledge that it’s there,” said Radjewski.

She explained that the more we as humans try to tell ourselves that we are not stressed and anxious, the more stressed and anxious we become.

She said that instead of trying to suppress these feelings, we should welcome them regardless of how counterproductive it sounds.

The reason we should practice this method is because it allows us to start being mindful of how we are mentally, she explained.

Radjewski asked participants what was happening in their bodies.

The chat erupted with numerous answers.

Some students reported headaches or said they felt their stomachs growling because they had not eaten all day.

She asked what was happening outside of their bodies, what they noticed about their environments.

What could they hear, feel or smell?

Doing these exercises gave student an easy opportunity to ground themselves as humans living busy and sometimes stressful lives.

Radjewski also encouraged students to get up from their desks and get fresh air and exercise.

She mentioned that because she has been working from home during the pandemic she takes a ten-minute break every hour.

“Human beings are not meant to sit around looking at a computer screen all day long,” she said.

She said everyone needs breaks, especially during this unconventional time.

During breaks, get water, get a snack or go for a quick walk, she said.

Breaks offer the chance to check in physically and mentally.

She added that people are getting good at ignoring the signs that their bodies send when hungry or thirsty or when needing a break.

Radjewski also stressed the benefits of deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness as a whole.

Practicing these things activate parasympathetic body responses, she said.

She led the group through a breathing exercise.

Students shared their experiences with the group about how relaxed they felt and how they would begin to incorporate these exercises in the daily routines.

Radjewski ended the event with information, such as meditation apps like Headspace and Insight Timer, as well as her contact information and Wellness Center information.

Students can set up appointments online or by calling the Wellness Center at 313-993-1185 or 313-993-1459.