Stress Management

Stress is inevitable in the everyday life. Everyone has forms of things in their life that can cause them stress. Chronic stress can eventually lead to academic disengagement and mental health problems. Health-related behaviors like sleeping patterns, diet and exercise can be affected by stress as well. This is why students should try managing their stress. According to my source, the most common causes of student stress are: 

  • School 
  • Homework and Exams 
  • Extracurricular Activities 
  • Transitions 
  • Work 
  • Relationships 
  • Social Challenges 

One of the first things students should do to manage their stress is by getting enough sleep. With busy schedules consisting of classes, homework, extracurricular activities, work, and even time to eat, it is easy for students to miss out on some sleep. Students should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night and should take naps if they are needed. When a person becomes sleep-deprived, they are less productive, have trouble learning, and could potentially be a hazard while driving. As long as students do not abuse sleep by using it as an escape or distraction from life, it should help their stress load lessen. Oversleeping can cause more problems like missing classes, assignments, and lack of engagement. 

Breathe! Sometimes we all need to just take a step back and breathe. When experiencing stress responses, people do not think as clearly as they could. Practicing breathing exercises can calm student’s nerves. There are many videos online to help people relieve their stress by breathing anywhere at any time. These exercises can also reduce anxiety before, during and after tests or exams, or any time stress feels like too much. A few of my favorites are: 

Exercising regularly is an easy and healthy way to reduce stress. Now I don’t mean full body workouts. Exercising can be as simple as doing yoga first thing in the morning, taking a walk or bike ride, or even just stretching and getting your body moving. By regularly exercising, students can reduce stress by blowing off some steam and getting their mind off things that are causing the stress. Studies also show that it can also help you live longer and enjoy life more. 

Getting organized can lower stress levels and help students have a relaxing study area. One thing I have learned is that most students live in cluttered spaces, this ultimately affects their grades. Keeping a clutter-free zone can help students feel more positive and productive when it comes to studying or doing homework. Another pro to getting organized is that it can positively affect the relationship between students and their roommates. 

Another thing students should be doing to manage stress is eating a healthy diet. Some students have problems with finding time to eat at all. So, make sure when they do eat, that it is something that will boost their energy and brainpower, rather than taking away their mental energy. A lot of the time, students do not have time or products to cook a healthy meal and may resort to fast food or going out. But cooking at home or eating healthy from the cafeteria can decrease stress levels by putting students under less financial strain and boosting their energy and mental power. Here is a source to see what foods are considered in a healthy diet and how to put the plan into action. 

Other ways to relieve stress include the following: 

  • Practicing Visualization 
  • Practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation 
  • Listening to Music 
  • Trying Self-Hypnosis 
  • Use Positive Thinking and Affirmations 

All of these techniques help reduce and relieve stress in their own ways. In order for students to stay engaged and reduce mental health problems, they should try to manage some of their stress load. If students are interested in attending the Stress & Anxiety Management meetings, they meet every other Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Turley Center. Their next meeting will be on November 2nd