The start of May brings with it many things: (usually) it means some sunshine has returned to New England, classes are wrapping up, and summer is fast approaching. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, something that coincides perfectly with final exams and end-of-the-semester preparation. The Libraries are here to provide support through what can be a time of high stress for many students and MIT community members.
- Om Under the Dome
To help you stay grounded and mentally balanced, join us for Om Under the Dome, held every Monday for 30 minutes in the Barker Reading Room. It’s a time of quiet reflecting and peace, things that can be easily pushed aside when you’ve got exams and papers to think about. Whether you join us for five minutes or the full half hour, try and take some time to attend one of these scheduled meditation sessions to clear your mind before getting back to your work.
- Study Breaks
The Libraries will also be hosting study breaks at locations across campus during finals week. Come join us for snacks, drinks, and maybe even a welcoming four-legged friend! For more information regarding time and location of our study breaks, check out the events calendar.
- Therapy Dogs
You can also join the Libraries for a fan-favorite way to de-stress: Furry First Fridays! On the first Friday of each Month during the semester, a group of therapy dogs from Dog BONES: Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts hang out outside of Hayden Library. They provide an escape from the realities of a busy MIT schedule, so stop by and pet a dog or two for a few minutes and be sure to bring your friends as well! To continue with our four-legged friend theme, the MIT Puppy Lab has some upcoming events that you don’t want to miss. Their events take place in Lobby 10 and are open to everyone, so stop on by during one of their events and de-stress with a puppy!
- Library Spaces
Even when it’s not finals or midterms, the Libraries are here for you! We’ve got brand new furniture in Hayden, which includes a variety of desks and comfortable seating to get you through that study cram session or to give you a break from that intense project you’re working on. As an escape from academic books and study materials, Hayden has a Browsery section on the first floor, as well as graphic novels, DVDs, and audio books. Barker has the quiet and visually pleasing dome to take refuge in. Rotch is close to La Verde’s and has nice space in the main reading room area. Dewey has great quiet space in the basement and on the second floor, and the Lewis Music Library has some comfortable seating that looks out onto a courtyard. Whatever your need is, the Libraries can serve as a quiet retreat from the rest of the world, even just for a little bit.
- MindHandHeart Book Collection
With help from a MindHandHeart Innovation Grant, the MIT Libraries has curated a collection of wellness books for the MIT community. Visit Hayden Library to check out books on mental health, meditation and mindfulness, relationships and sexual health, and stress management.
There are also other great resources across campus that you can turn to for mental wellness support. Active Minds is a nationwide student-led initiative on campus that strives for “better health and wellness, stress relief, and health education.” They have a multitude of resources and information listed on their website, so be sure to check them out. The MindHandHeart coalition also has some great resources, as does MIT Medical.
For a more comprehensive list of groups and services available to you on campus, take a look at these personal support and wellness resources. Self-care is important and the Libraries, and so many other people and organizations across campus, are here to support you. Good luck with finals and in the midst of all of your hard work, remember to take a few minutes for yourself each day!