Truman in a lotus position.

M-I-Z! Z-E-N!

10 things Mizzou provides to help you de-stress.

We get it, Tigers. You’re under a lot of pressure. You’re studying for exams. You’re grading papers. You’re readying the campus for an onslaught of commencement guests. But Mizzou wants you to relax. We want you to stay clear-headed and unruffled as you tackle these end-of-the-semester tasks.

So take a little break. Check out the veritable Zen garden of chill sessions and tension-reducing oases Mizzou offers:

1. An actual botanic garden.
Tulips in front of Memorial Union.

Tulips bloom in front of Memorial Union. Photo by Shane Epping.

Literally stop and smell the roses. Or the tulips. Designated an official botanic garden in 1999, the University of Missouri campus holds 11 thematic gardens, three tree trails, seven special plant collections and thousands upon thousands of really, really pretty flowers. And it’s all around us! Use this map to find your favorite plants, or schedule a guided tour.

2. An aquatic wonderland.
Tiger Grotto

Tiger Grotto. Photo from MizzouRec.

Mizzou has one of the swankiest university recreation complexes in United States, and the resort-like Tiger Grotto is its crown jewel. Palm trees. Hot tub. Sauna. Steam room. Zero-depth pool entry with a high-powered vortex, lazy river and waterfall. Instant vacation.

3. Serenity now!
Students lying on the floor, meditating.

Students practice a form of meditative yoga nidra known as iRest. Photo from Student Health.

Mizzou is so dedicated to the big om that we offer an interdisciplinary Contemplative Studies program. But you don't have to enroll in an academic course to find peace. Check out Student Health's classes in yoga, meditation, qigong, iRest and biofeedback, or explore Healthy for Life's offerings in yoga, meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Namaste, Tigers.

4. The magic touch.

Tigers can get massages on campus at the MU Student Center and MizzouRec. Photo by Nick Webb.

There’s so much free and low-cost massage happening at Mizzou that there’s really no excuse for carrying all that tension in your shoulders. Get a five-minute midday back rub during Take 5 Tuesdays and Wind Down Wednesdays or a 15-minute chair massage at the Relaxation Station (every day!) — all in the MU Student Center. For even deeper relaxation, invest (about $1 a minute) in a specialized full massage session at MizzouRec.

5. Comfort food.
Chicken with waffle fries.

Lunch at Mort's. Photo from Campus Dining Services.

Back away from the vending machine! Mizzou is here to take care of you with fresh, hot meals. In addition to its usual fantastic fare, Campus Dining Services offers a '70s Disco Diner menu at dinner May 7. Meanwhile, get a burger at The Shack. Grab a snack (or coffee!) at either student union. Have dessert at Buck's Ice Cream Place. You can even track down a food truck on campus or downtown for tacos, biscuits, waffles and Rasta Lemonade. Behold the deliciousness.

6. Dancing in the streets.
Students dance at a party on Rolla Street.

Students dance at a party on Rollins Street. Photo by Jake Hamilton.

Blow off some steam at a raucous soiree! Mizzou is closing down Rollins Street outside the Student Center 7-10 p.m. Thursday, May 8, for a block party, complete with food, games and live music by Smallpools.

7. Puppies.
Girl and puppy in the park.

Mizzou student Megan Warhover plays with Daisy, a service dog in training, in Peace Park. Photo by Connor Bjornnes.

Studies show that playing with puppies can lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress. Check out the Columbia organization Puppies with Purpose, which matches Mizzou students with puppies to be raised as service dogs with CHAMP Assistance Dogs. Students get the benefits of frolicking with canine friends, and the puppies grow up to help people with disabilities. Win-win!

8. Cinematic escape.
Empty illuminated theater

The theater awaits. Photo from Mizzou Advantage.

Lose yourself in the silver screen. Watch second-run films for only $1 in Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union, sponsored by the the MSA/GPC Films Committee. On Reading Day, May 9, admission to any of the four showings of The Lego Movie comes with free pizza and soda. Red carpet not included.

9. America's pastime.
Mizzou baseball team.

Mizzou baseball. Photo from MU Athletics.

Take yourself out to the ball game! What's more relaxing than an afternoon at Taylor Stadium? Watch the Tigers baseball team play Arkansas May 15-17, or see the softball team take on Alabama May 1-3.

10. Craftiness.
Tie-dying a T-shirt.

Tigers can unwind while making art at Craft Studio in Memorial Union. Photo from Craft Studio.

Find your inner Martha Stewart. Stop by the Craft Studio in Memorial Union N12 for a relaxing crafternoon. During a free session 12-4 p.m. Friday, May 2, you can learn how to upcycle T-shirts. If you prefer retail therapy to DIY, come to the Craft Studio Sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 8, to shop for pottery, jewelry and other handmade goodies. Art heals all.

Bonus Tip:

Remember to breathe. Inhale … and exhale. Better?

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