Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tips for Stress

Published March 30, 2011 in the TRU Omega

Here we are again, approaching the end of yet another semester. This is not normally my writing style but I thought we needed a mental break. It’s that time of year when we are overwhelmed with numerous assignments, looming deadlines and the pressure to achieve a certain grade point average. I know that it is a busy time for all of us.

During this time of year when I feel overwhelmed and pressured from school I use specific techniques that help me relieve my stress. I have found I enjoy spending time reading my favorite novel. When my mind is scattered, listening to my favorite music helps me to stay grounded.

I find going for a leisurely walk and enjoying the scenery around me clears my mind and gives me a fresh outlook when I’m stuck on something I’m working on.

After my walk, I can continue where I left off with a new perspective. I had the opportunity to do this last week. I took a break from my studies and got out and went for a walk. I am glad that winter is over and spring has finally arrived. Sunshine was beating down on me and I saw some of my classmates playing football. It was nice to see people enjoying the sun and absorbing the warmth.

Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed I find it helpful to write down whatever is going on in my mind no matter what it sounds like or how I’m feeling. The very act of putting my feelings into words helps me feel better. For me, my writing usually comes in the form of a poem.

I attempt to get the same amount of sleep every night and have three healthy meals a day. It doesn’t always happen but I find that I function best when I’m consistent.

When I feel overwhelmed I plan an exciting event with my family or my friends. This gives me something to look forward to during a long week.

Time management seems to help me get through the semester when I have many assignments and deadlines. I write all my assignments into my calendar at the beginning of the year and I allow enough time for each assignment. When I look at my calendar I see what’s due first and do them in order.

Humour is another great stress reliever. When I’m in an uncomfortable or difficult situation, I try to see the funny side of it. Sometimes not taking things so seriously is difficult but it is important. I have to remember that school is just a stepping stone to where I want to be.

These are some avenues that I found have proven to work for me. I know that some of these will not work for everyone but I hope that I have given you a jumpstart in finding your own ways to relieve your own stress. Remember to breathe….inhale…exhale.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Article on "Beneath the Surface"

Published on March 2, 2011 in the TRU Omega

“Beneath the Surface,” a theatrical drama addressing suicide in First Nations communities, will be coming to TRU’s clock tower stage on March 4th and 5th, 2011.

Our Imagi’Nation, the production company for “Beneath the Surface” is a non-profit agency that was founded by Jenifer Brousseau and Laura Coriale. The company works with Aboriginal people, bringing hope, change and revolution through the arts. Their goal is to reach Aboriginal children and youth through dance, drama and other forms of art.

The concept for the play was created from the true and compelling story of a 14 year old Aboriginal girl, Chasity Smith who chose to take her own life because of shame, resulting from abuse that she suffered. Her story brings reality to the importance of suicide prevention.

Brousseau, the director of “Beneath the Surface,” learned about Chasity’s tragedy which then gave her inspiration for the production. When asked about her thought process in producing the play, Brousseau responded “The process of writing it was a VERY emotional one. There wasn't a rehearsal that went by without tears. It is a real subject about a real person we all knew, and it was felt, and continues to be felt every time the play is done.”

“Beneath the Surface” was inspired by a real person whose story will impact those who are affected by suicide. According to Coriale, “Chasity’s story was close, raw and real.”

When asked what she hopes the audience will take away from this production, Brousseau said, “I hope that the audience walks away with a sense of their own personal value, that they begin talking, and opportunities to heal begin to take place within communities.”

Awareness needs to be brought to the public regarding suicide in order for it to be more openly discussed and therefore possibly prevented. “Beneath the Surface” not only examines the serious issue of suicide, but the underlying factors that contribute such as violence, bullying, abuse, alcoholism, choices in friendships and the effects of residential schools on the present and future generations.

Through their workshops and their company, Brousseau and Coriale attempt to prevent suicide by helping kids achieve their goals and dreams. For the last four years, Brousseau and Coriale have been spreading their message of hope and healing by teaching dance and drama workshops in reserves and inner city areas.

So far, “Beneath the Surface” has been showcased in major venues in Vancouver, as well as a fully-funded tour through Northern BC.

The play will be hitting TRU clock tower Friday March 4th at 5:30 pm and Saturday March 5th at 10:30 am. Tickets are available through White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society and Resource Center. This is a free event sponsored by White Buffalo and it is also part of a week they are hosting on prevention.

Hope to see you all at this emotional drama. You might want to bring some Kleenex.