As the semester goes on, stress will inevitably continue to increase. Classes will get more difficult, nights will get longer, and sleep will be but a distant memory. In this time, it is important to be able to manage your stress in a healthy manner. You Can Handle It by Margaret Wehrenberg gives 10 steps on how to deal with an overabundance of stress.
- Breathe: She first talks about how just stopping to take a few deep breaths can help in almost any stressful situation. It is a great way to get your heart rate under control and calm down.
- Physically Relax: Being uptight and rigid while stressed can make the issue more prevalent. It can cause headaches, make your muscles sore, and, of course, give you more stress. Learning to physically relax will help ease tension and decrease stress.
- Be Assertive: Often times people who deal with a lot of stress also feel like they have to help other people with their problems. It is important to remember that your problems and the things you need to work on are just as important and need to take precedence.
- Manage Noise: Noise can be a huge stress inducer. Getting away from constant loud noises can be a great way to combat stress. Removing yourself from a noisy environment to a more peaceful one can be very helpful.
- Wait: Waiting can be boring. Waiting is too often seen as a monotonous activity that must be done with no real purpose; however, look at waiting as a positive opportunity. See it as a chance to escape from from the rush and business of life.
- Change Your Perspective: Monotony can cause stress. Dealing with the same things day in and day out can be exhausting and stressful. Changing your perspective of the every day things you deal with as new opportunities can help reduce stress.
- Eat!: In stressful periods of life, remembering to eat can be a chore, but not eating can be very bad for you and cause more unnecessary stress in your life. Always remember to eat some food throughout the day, even if it’s just an apple or a granola bar.
- Get Active: We have all heard that working out helps relieve stress, but staying active will also help you stay in control during stressful times. Physical fitness gives you the stamina you need to deal with stressful situations. Fitness also helps release built-up tension you may be dealing with.
- Achieve Inner Peace: Whether through religion or otherwise, finding ways to be content with yourself is vital. If you can’t be at peace with yourself and where you are in life, stress will follow you everywhere. A great way to be peaceful is to always be in the moment of where you are right now rather than worrying about things outside of your control.
- Play!: Taking a break from everything going on around you is vital to maintaining a healthy level of stress. Children get recess, but adults need it as well. Laughing and having fun outside of the things causing you stress will help you relax and recuperate.
With these tips, hopefully your stress levels will go down! Take some time to take care of yourself this semester.
* written by Donny Turner