Stressfest 2008 at The University of Texas at Austin

An interactive "virtual cruise" providing relaxation and stress reduction tips for students and staff at The University of Texas at Austin will be held on the porch of the Flawn Academic Center and the West Mall from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 9.

Nautical flags, balloons and banners will welcome "passengers" to the "Stressfest 2008" relaxation area where they can stretch out on deck chairs, listen to relaxation tapes while sipping on tropical fruit smoothies or receive free chair massages.

Stressfest 2008 helps members of the university community learn different techniques to reduce their stress, said Dr. Laura Ebady, staff psychologist and outreach coordinator for the university's Counseling and Mental Health Center, which is sponsoring the event with support of the University Federal Credit Union.

Ebady said activities this year would include pet therapy dogs, fitness assessments, biofeedback, acupuncture, stress management for students of color, substance use, and stress and sexual health jeopardy. Ballroom dancing, ballet folklorico and hip-hop step demonstrations will add to the festivities involving several other campus agencies, she said.