Emotional rescue

Stress and anxiety can take a toll on a student’s mental state when there are Canvas notifications knocking on the virtual door.

Michelle Reyes, a member of Pierce’s Center of Academic Success, will present three seminars regarding stress management, coping with depression and the importance of self-love, self-care and compassion.

“I’ve definitely had to manage work, internship, school, family so I definitely understand where stress comes from,” Reyes said. “I didn’t know too much about these things when I was an undergrad, so I want to make sure people know about it.”

Reyes explained to workshop participants that she is working on a masters in social work to help them relate to her better.

“When I’m feeling stressed my first initial thought is to go google and see what stress management techniques I can get,” Reyes said. “Making it more accessible to people and letting them know that it’s a lot easier than they think to find ways to destress.”

Reyes focused this workshop around techniques she had already personally used so she could speak from experience.

“It can be difficult with Google,” Reyes said. “There’s a lot of information but arguably sometimes it can be too much information because you don’t really know what works.”

When getting information in relation to managing stress Reyes recommends only going to reliable sources. No one wants to end up on a spiraling scrolling spree.

“Oftentimes, we overlook mental health,” Reyes said.

Kimberly Castillo, lead of Pierces Dream Resource Center, has offered to host the three seminars being presented by Michelle-Reyes.

“There’s a lot more stress going on, students have expressed they’re a lot more anxious due to different reasons so I felt that it was important to incorporate different workshops,” Castillo said.

The Dream Resource Center opened up in Sept. 2019 to support undocumented students.

“I feel that it’s really important to share this type of information with students,” Castillo said. “It’s something that helped me out a lot so why not share it.”

Castillo puts caring for the needs of her students at the top of her to-do list.

“In terms of the Dream Resource Center, I was afraid not a lot of students would be reaching out, but there is a lot,” Castillo said. “I try to make myself a lot more accessible so they have my phone number to text or call, email me, I’m also available on Cranium Cafe.”

Pierce student Emely Arceo attended the workshop hosted by Castillo and presented by Reyes.

“Lately I have been having a hard time managing both work and school,” Arceo wrote. “I found myself more stressed than usual so as soon as I heard about the workshop I signed up in hopes of finding ways to cope and manage with stress.”

Arceo said stress management is important to student success. Whenever she finds herself feeling overwhelmed she uses strategies to manage her time.

“As a student, I tend to take many breaks between assignments so that I don’t burn myself out,” Arceo wrote. “I also create a schedule for myself so that I don’t get stuck doing a lot of assignments at once and stress myself even more.”

Michelle mentioned a stress management strategy that stood out to Arceo, the Pomodoro technique.

The Pomodoro time management technique consists of studying for 25, taking a five minute break, studying again for 25 minutes, another five minute break, and then taking 30 minutes to yourself.

“I have found myself having to do 4 assignments in one day because the deadlines coincide,” Arceo said. “It was much easier managing classwork back when school was in person because we didn’t get as many assignments since most of the work was done in class.”

“The more we talk about it and normalize it the better it will be for our mental health,” Reyes said. “Once you know it’s normal it doesn’t become as scary anymore.”