2 K.U. students give a dog named Shatki a belly rub in Anschutz Library

University students give Shakti a belly rub during a stress-busting study break at Anschutz Library in spring 2019. Watkins Health Center will continue hosting study breaks during finals week this semester. 

With finals just a little over a week away, University of Kansas students are beginning to increase their study hours and all-nighters at the library. To help them reboot and boost their productivity during those hours, Watkins Health Services will continue to host its yearly “Stress Busting Study Breaks” throughout the next two weeks. 

At the breaks, there will be therapy animals, snacks and water, two massage therapists and “stress busting study kits” that contain sleep masks, stress balls and more. The breaks all share partnerships with KU Dining Services and Loving Paws Animal Therapy, according to their flier.

The breaks will take place:

  • Monday, Dec. 9, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Anschutz Library from 7 to 8 p.m. 

  • Tuesday, Dec. 10, at LEEP 2 from noon to 1 p.m. 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 11, and Tuesday, Dec. 16, at Watson Library from 7 to 8 p.m.

All services will be free of charge. Health educator Zach Newby said research shows taking study breaks help improve both mental health and productivity, and the purpose of the events is to reinforce the benefits of making time for these breaks.

“This is an opportunity that our peer health educators and our educators here are passionate about — making students realize that this break is beneficial — so providing it in a location that’s close to them and accessible and then offering them free things that they don’t have to buy,” Newby said.

Watkins’ peer health educators will attend the events to chat with students and inform them of the different stress management and mental health resources on campus.

“So many people don’t have any clue about the resources that there are at Watkins and that there are on campus in general about stress management or about self management and self care,” said Sydney Ward, a senior peer health educator and community health major. “If anything, [students] can learn what exists, and they could get some free food. And that can make them happier for the night.”