Throughout each semester, students will likely find themselves in stressful circumstances, whether academically or personally. When these moments arise, Student Counseling and Psychological Services offers a haven for students to take a break and relax their mind, body and spirit at the Zen Den.
Jan Miller, licensed psychologist and eating concerns treatment team coordinator for Student Counseling and Psychological Services, said the Zen Den is a place for people to “zen out.”
The Zen Den is available to one person at a time and consists of two rooms. Across both rooms, there is a full-body massage chair, a sleep pod, mats for stretching, meditation and yoga, and computer access for yoga videos, and biofeedback equipment.
According to Miller, biofeedback is a way to see physiological indicators of stress, such as heart rate or temperature, on a computer screen.
“Students connect to the system using leads that clip to an earlobe, and then a game provides the information about the physiological indicators of stress,” Miller said. “If the system detects higher stress, the game may slow down, and the music soften. Students then use stress management techniques like deep breathing to lower stress, which the game then detects, and the game resumes a normal speed and music will become louder.”
Through biofeedback, students can learn and practice stress management techniques in a fun and rewarding environment that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
With finals quickly approaching, the Zen Den is an ideal location for students to decompress and recharge.
“It’s important to take time for self and reduce stress consistently, and it is vital during times of high stress, such as during final exams,” Miller said. “It’s not uncommon for people to put self-care on the backburner during high stress, but this is when we need self-care the most.”
Miller stated even the busiest person can take 15 minutes to do something for themselves and the Zen Den can be part of that routine.
“The Zen Den allows students to recharge, relax and refresh,” Miller said.
All Auburn students have access to the Zen Den, free of charge, and do not have be a client of Student Counseling and Psychological Services.
Additional self-care services provided by Student Counseling and Psychological Services include Mindful Monday, Get Movin’ with Moose and Nessie, and skill-building online workshops for anxiety, depression, working through difficult times and problems with other people. The services are free to all students and can be accessed at any time.
To reserve the Zen Den, students can visit 0326 Haley Center or call Student Counseling & Psychological Services at 334-844-5123.
For more information on the Zen Den, click here.