By: Sydney Carter ’13, Wellness Communications Assistant
Photography has recently become a big part of my life. I am enrolled in a photojournalism course and I frequently use Instagram on my iPhone when my DSLR camera is not within reach.
Capturing a moment that made me laugh, or taking a snapshot of something beautiful helps me manage my stress.
When my camera clicks I am able to live in the present and appreciate what is around me. As an added bonus, I create a photograph that will be a permanent record of a moment when I relaxed and was not overwhelmed with stress.
It is something I can review later when I am in need of a calming trip down memory lane.
Wellness @ Maryland recognizes the stress-relieving potential of everyday moments, and how a little amateur (or even professional) photography can provide a tranquil escape from daily stressors. That’s why they’re hosting the Keep Calm and Stress Less Photo Challenge which kicks off April 1.
University of Maryland students, faculty and staff can join the two-week photo challenge from April 1 – 14 by simply snapping a photograph that represents that particular day’s theme and uploading it here.
- April 1 – Laughter
- April 2 – Being Active
- April 3 – Nature
- April 4 – Memories
- April 5 – Creativity
- April 6 – Happiness
- April 7 – Friendship
- April 8 – Organization
- April 9 – Gratitude
- April 10 – The Little Things
- April 11 – Relaxation
- April 12 – Eating Well
- April 13 – Fun
- April 14 – Your Choice
To give you an idea of what kinds of photos you can submit for the challenge, here are photos I’ve taken within a few of the daily themes that helped me de-stress. All of the examples below are Instagram images, which are easy to upload as part of the challenge!
April 1: Laughter
This adorable paper animal I found in Centreville Hall gave me a good laugh after a stressful day.
April 3: Nature
Witnessing a blazing sunset in D.C. made me pause and appreciate the present moment. This photograph allows me to carry nature’s calming beauty with me.
April 4: Memories
My last Duke game ended just like my first – Maryland won and fans stormed the court. It is a memory I will always cherish and can revisit thanks to my Instagram image.
April 5: Creativity
When I need to relax, a quick craft does the trick! I love making paper beads from the pages of my old magazines. After I finish, I like to document my creative hard work with a photograph.
April 7: Friendship
If I’m feeling overwhelmed, my significant other knows that tickling the ivories for me provides much needed stress-relief.
April 9: Gratitude
Men and women give dedicate their lives to serving this country and protecting its citizens. I enjoy opportunities to express my gratitude. Last Thanksgiving I sent thank you notes and magazines.
April 13: Fun
Concerts are one of my favorite ways to shake off my stress and simply have a little fun.
April 14: Your Choice
My golden Tabby cat always makes me smile and helps bring down my elevated stress levels.
And if the fun of photography was not enough of an incentive, there is a chance to win an iPad mini and several opportunities to win a Keep Calm and Stress Less T-shirt.
Here’s how to win the iPad mini:
- Take a photo that speaks to each day’s theme.
- Upload your photo to the app on Wellness @ Maryland’s Facebook page.
- Each photo uploaded = 1 entry into the drawing for the iPad Mini. Upload a photo on each of the 14 days for the best chance to win!
- 1 photo may be uploaded per person per day
Here’s how to win a t-shirt:
- Be an early bird. Sign-up via the form below before midnight on April 1 and be entered to win a t-shirt.
- Get the most votes. Encourage your friends to vote for your photo. The two photos with the most votes in each theme will win a Keep Calm tee. In case of a tie, a random drawing among the photos with the most votes will be held.
- Be a challenge rock-star. Upload a photo every day of the challenge in each of the 14 themes and be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 5 t-shirts.
Wellness @ Maryland is creating a visual narrative of how Terps handle stress and social media sharing helps tell the story. If you share photos on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #stresslessUMD.