Keeping Stress in Check
As deadlines creep up, and preparation for mid-terms or finals begin, don't forget to take care of yourself. Keeping healthy and stress-free leads to success. Some tips to keep your stress at a manageable level:
Eat Right – I know French fries, pizza, and other convenient foods taste great, but they wreck havoc on your body. Eating balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help keep you balanced.
Exercise – As deadlines approach, the last thing on most students' minds is exercise. However, exercise is not only good for your health, it helps reduce anxiety. Exercise helps release endorphins (those "feel-good" chemicals) in your body. Even just taking a short walk in the neighborhood is good exercise.
Sleep – College students should get between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. It is well known that students usually get much less than that due to studying or homework, hanging out with friends, or just doing other things. When you sleep, it gives your body a chance to rest and helps your brain process all the information you received for the day. A well-rested brain helps students focus and concentrate well.
Relax – Most students do not allow enough time to relax and process what is going on at school and in their personal lives. It can also help you avoid burn-out. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are all techniques to help you learn to relax and take time for yourself.
Laugh – Laughing is one of the "best medicines" to help you relax and feel good. Watch your favorite situation comedy (sitcom), see a comedian, or just hang out with friends and enjoy the good times.
Avoid Caffeine – Caffeine can make you feel agitated or keyed-up, and disrupt your sleep.
Manage your time - Time management is a pitfall for many students and is one of the main reasons students feel stressed. Set priorities to manage school, family, work, personal time, and other things in your life. You may choose to use some time of schedule or planner to help you record everything you need to do.
Talk to someone – Keeping the things that stress you out bottled up inside increases stress. Talking to someone you can trust (like a close friend or counselor) can be helpful. They may even be able to offer some suggestions you have not thought of.
If you would like to talk to someone about the stress in your life or any other concerns, please contact Student Counseling Services at (310) 846-2639 or go directly to the office in 104A to schedule an appointment. This is a free service to Otis students.