Ask any student what the most miserable part of the year is, and the almost-universal answer will be finals week. The onslaught of upcoming tests and papers can loom overhead for many students, but organizations and departments across campus are offering a wide variety of programs and events to help students cope with stress.

The Peace Room

Located on the first floor of the Usdan Student Center, the Peace Room is run by the Conflict and Coexistence Studies Department and offers a place for quiet escape and peaceful reflection. In particular, the Peace Room offers meditation every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. open to all students and staff.

The Arts

According to a 2010 article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “there is evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes.” In other words, art can help promote mental and physical health. The Rose Art Museum offers free admission to view its collections, and there is a free exhibition of student artwork at Spingold Theater through the end of the semester, allowing students to escape the library for some stress relief.

Alternatively, Pat Oleszko’s “Fool for Thought” performance at the Kniznick Gallery in the Women’s Studies Research Center began on Nov. 21 and will be running until March 3. The absurdity speaks for itself: the show combines humor and art, even featuring a woman dressed as an oil rig dancing with people dressed as polar bears. Oleszko “makes a spectacle of herself — and doesn’t mind if you laugh. With elaborate handmade costumes and props, she utilizes the body as armature for ideas in an array of lampoons that call her audience to action. From the personal to the political, her performances and installations ceremoniously exorcise through humor,” an event page on the WSRC website reads. The performance starts at 9 a.m. on weekdays.

The Landmark Embassy Cinema off Moody Street also offers students a discount on movie tickets. On campus, the South Asian Studies Department will be screening the Bollywood Comedy “3 Idiots” tomorrow evening to “allow students to relax before beginning to study for finals,” according to an entry on the Brandeis Events calendar.

The Holidays

With the winter holidays fast approaching, many events around campus are putting emphasis on the lighthearted spirit of the season in order to ease the stressful burden of finals.

Today, the Department of Student Activities will be having a holiday bazaar in the Shapiro Campus Center, giving students a chance to shop for holiday gifts and look at goods made and sold by local vendors.

On Friday, the Intercultural Center will sponsor “Holidaze,” an event that offers holiday foods, hot cocoa, and a chance to write holiday cards and learn about the dozens of holidays that take place around this time of year.

Additionally, many community advisors have offered residents resources and methods for coping with stress: one CA in Ziv even tacked a sheet of bubble wrap to the main bulletin board.

At the end of the day, though, the best method for coping with stress might be the most overlooked: sleep. “Pulling an all-nighter is liable to do more harm than good,” asserted a May 3 BrandeisNOW article. “Most animals, from flies to humans, have trouble remembering when sleep deprived, and studies have shown that sleep is critical in converting short-term into long-term memory, a process known as memory consolidation.”