Club provides stress management

Senior restarts club to help school stress levels


Lucy Zumbrunnen

When senior Bella Birkeland heard the Nest was looking for ways to connect with the community in different ways, she  sought the opportunity to restart a once active club: the Destress Club.

“We thought it would be nice to have a fun activity and a low-commitment club for everyone who can join in when they can to have fun and relax,” Birkeland said.

Birkeland said she and her friend worked on starting the club over the last summer, but it wasn’t brought to full motion until the school year.

“It officially started last summer when we were still planning for it, but it really didn’t take off until the beginning of the year,” Birkeland said.

The Destress Club is currently held at the Nest, allowing for a calm and collected environment in which club members can take part in. With a meeting every Monday, Birkeland outlines the club’s flexible time frame.

“Meetings typically last from 3:30-5 p.m. but you can stay however long or short.  Whatever works for your schedule,” Birkeland said.

Birkeland said Destress Club takes part in calming exercises, and tries to keep a variety with what the group is open to participating in. Sometimes the activity can change depending on what the group needs for that day.

“We do things from meditation to yoga to board games with one another or simply have conversations about our day. This helps so we can just process everything and relax,” Birkeland said.

The club is specifically targeted toward those harder days anyone may be having and allows for students to disconnect from their busy school day or extracurricular activities, according to Birkeland.

“Through the club, it’s a good way to walk away from everything. Especially on Monday, which was specifically chosen for when we meet because Monday is the day where you start learning your workload. And what you’re going to do throughout the week becomes a bit overwhelming,” Birkeland said.

Adviser Kara Cisco said she’s proud of Birkeland’s achievements and the group’s success.

“(Birkeland) is the one who coordinated everything, like the Nest, and she forged that partnership and get funding for everything. So I’m very proud of how much she’s taken on,” Cisco said.

With such a big student role Cisco said there isn’t much she does to help the group succeed.

“My job is to occasionally provide guidance here and there. But to be honest, with the resources (Birkeland) has formed through her connections, I don’t have to help with much,” Cisco said.

Sophomore Evelyn Gutzke says the Destress Club is a great idea, as mental health isn’t a very addressed topic.

“I think it’s a really cool club because I feel like our community and our culture as a whole doesn’t out enough light on mental health,” Gutzke said.