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Take a break with therapy dogs at Milner Library throughout this semester

Students and therapy dog Bessie

Students are all smiles while hanging out with therapy dog Bessie

Illinois State’s favorite furry friends will be back on the third floor of Milner Library this semester, spreading smiles and reducing stress.

PAWSitively Stress Free is a free recurring event co-sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness and Milner Library that brings therapy dogs to campus. The dogs are certified through Therapy Dogs International and are provided by Town and Country Kennel Club in Bloomington.

Illinois State students report stress as one of their top barriers to academic success. While stress is a necessary and unavoidable part of life, too much of it can be harmful.

Research shows that for some, just a few minutes of petting a dog can lower the body’s level of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Reducing cortisol levels lowers your blood pressure and overall helps you feel relaxed. Lessening your stress will allow you to be able to focus better on studying and projects as well as improve your overall well-being.

What: certified therapy dogs, coloring, and other stress-relieving activities and information
When: spring 2018 semester dates are

  • Wednesday, February 7, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 7, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 21, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 4, from 2-4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 7, from 2-4 p.m. (finals week with free chair massage by certified massage therapists from Aches Away)
  • Tuesday, May 8, from 2-4 p.m. (finals week with free chair massage by certified massage therapists from Aches Away)

Where: Third floor, Milner Library
Cost: Free
Registration: not needed

Additional stress management resources are available through Health Promotion and Wellness, such as mindfulness classes, a free guided meditationmassage offered on campus twice a week, and interactive workshops.