At PLNU, students are encouraged to de-stress, especially during a trying finals week. The second annual “Paws Awhile Study Break,” on Dec. 13 from 12 – 2 p.m. on the Ryan Library Plaza Deck, gives students the opportunity to spend time with guide dogs in training and certified therapy assistant dogs.
The event, sponsored by the Wellness Center and the Peer Educators, is supported by research demonstrating the significant benefits of having contact with pets in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. One particular study found in the May/June 2009 issue of the American Journal of College Health noted “a pet therapy program could temporarily fill the absence of previous support systems and be a catalyst for establishing new social relationships.”
Judith Eisenberg, pet-assisted therapy coordinator with the San Diego Humane Society, will provide seven dogs for the innovative event, in addition to two other dogs who are certified through another therapy network.
On Dec. 12, students can also take advantage of Relax Awhile Study Break to enjoy free five-minute massages, guided relaxation sessions, Yoma (Loma yoga), prayer, as well as coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider. The event will take place in the Rec Room from 12 – 2 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by the Wellness Center, Peer Educators, ResLife, the Martial Arts Club, and Spiritual Development.
Last semester, an estimated 90 students attended Relax Awhile and approximately 160 attended Paws Awhile.