The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

De-stress Week event helps students meditate into the present

The conference room at the new Student Health Services building where the meditation workshop was held as seen on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (Joshua Flores | The Union)

Finals week.

Perfect time to de-stress.

El Camino College’s Health and Student Services hosted a de-stress meditation workshop for students to alleviate stress, promote relaxation and enhance their overall well-being on Monday, Dec. 4.

The event is part of “De-stress Week,” designed to help students gain access to mental health resources.

The de-stress meditation workshop is one of several events that aim to help students during finals by giving them methods or activities that help reduce any stress or anxiety they may be facing.

“It’s finals week and I’m stressed and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pass my math course,” nursing major Rikyla Pangilinan said. “I just wanted to come here so I can learn how to meditate… I just want to be in the present moment instead of worrying about it.”

Dr. Maria Nazarian, clinical psychologist at El Camino’s Student Health Services, spoke about how in the U.S. and other Western countries, practices like meditation have been more recently introduced.

“In the West, we dwell in the past and are anxious about the future,” Nazarian said. “We miss what is happening now… meditation allows us to spend time with what is here.”

These practices can help keep oneself grounded and in the present rather than worrying about what was or could be, Nazarian said.

The workshop started with a meditation where each individual focused on their feet planted on the ground and the feeling it produced.

This was followed by an exercise where each person would use all five senses to assess their environment to achieve focus when distracted.

One of the three participants at the event was general education major Ajale Bleujonich.

“I just came here to do a midday reset and just breathe and get my mind in the right place for the rest of my day,” Bleujonich said. “I think it’s a very necessary addition to have on campus because our mental health is such a big thing in everyone’s daily lives, especially in an educational environment.”

The session, which lasted just under an hour, concluded with a breathing exercise that began with the ringing of a singing bell.

This was followed by 20 minutes of participants closing their eyes, taking deep breaths, and exhaling slowly to calm and focus themselves.

Three rings from the singing bell ended the exercise.

Mental health resources provide students with new ways to get through stressful times associated with college. Student Health Services plans on continuing to host more events like these going into the 2024 spring semester and beyond.

“I really appreciate that El Camino takes measures to make sure people have a healthy mental state,” Bleujonich said.

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