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 grow near Jesse Hall. 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. The Department of Student Activities hosts a Splash Bash Study Break 2-5 p.m. May 8., with food from Zaxby's and Hot Box.

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 interdisciplinary contemplative studies. But you don't have to enroll in an academic course to find peace. Check out the MU Student Health Center’s Weekday Noon Meditation 12:15 p.m.–2:45 p.m. daily; the When Life Gives You Lemons workshop 12–1 p.m. May 4; or Mindful Yoga 8–9:30 a.m. May 5. Namaste, Tigers.

4. The magic touch.
massage office

The MizzouRec's zouLIFE provides professional spa services such as manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Photo from MizzouRec.

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 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. Puppies.

Daisy, a puppy with a purpose, frolics 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!

6. The Force.
Bobafett on a bronze tiger.

Star Wars fans can catch a showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with free pizza and soda, on Reading Day.

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 6, admission to any of the three showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes with free pizza and soda. Light sabers not included.

7. Comfort food.
Breakfast quesadilla.

A breakfast quesadilla from Plaza 900 could be the most important meal of your day. 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 late-night breakfast 10:30-11:30 p.m. May 10 in Plaza 900. Meanwhile, get a burger at The Shack. Grab a snack (or coffee!) at either student union. Have dessert at Buck's Ice Cream Place. Behold the deliciousness.

8. A party!
Students dance at a party on Rolla Street.

Student Life holds an end-of-the-semester party. Photo by Jake Hamilton.

Blow off some steam at a raucous soiree. The Department of Student Life sponsors the end-of-the semester Mizzou-a-Palooza 7-11 p.m. Thursday, May 5, on Carnahan Quadrangle, with food and festivity. Special guest JoJo performs a free concert at 9:30 p.m.

9. Therapeutic shopping.
Farmers Market

Mizzou's Farmers Market on Lowry Mall.

Mall, schmall. Mizzou's form of retail therapy is lovingly local. Shop for jewelry, pottery and gifts at the Craft Studios Handmade Craft Sale, and pick up locally grown produce, organic coffee and homemade pies on Lowry Mall at the Campus Farmers Market. Both events happen 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 5.

10. America's pastime.
Softball team

No. 19 Mizzou Softball tallies a home sweep over No. 16 Texas A&M in April. Photo from Mizzou Athletics.

Take yourself out to the ball game! What's more relaxing than an afternoon at Taylor Stadium? Watch the Tigers softball team take on South Carolina May 6-8, or watch Mizzou's baseball team play Georgia May 13-15.

Bonus Tip:

Remember to breathe. Inhale … and exhale. Better?

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