The Beacon

Six college stress-busting tips

Devon Bashore, Guest Writer

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College is a life changing new chapter in our lives with many new experiences and stressors.

Stress is a normal part of life. It motivates us to study for exams, as well as to change and grow as people as we encounter new people, experiences, expected and unexpected challenges.

Stress stimulates a release of hormones that help one cope with the situation at hand by triggering our flight or fight response to meet these situations, some of which can be pleasant (birthdays or holiday celebrations) and some unpleasant (car accidents or failed exams) as well as internal triggers of placing extremely high expectations on oneself.

Stress can cause feelings of nervousness, unease and frustration which can result in the following: difficulty concentrating, headaches, tension, trouble completing assignments on time, increased worry and difficulty sleeping.

On a good note, we can learn to manage our stress by learning specific stress-reduction techniques/strategies. Six college stress-busting tips for controlling/managing and coping with college stress include:

TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Avoid procrastination. Set goals and pace yourself with a written plan to manage your responsibilities and assignments as well as to include time for rest and fun.

THINK POSITIVELY

Research has shown that this decreases feeling of depression, can decrease levels of distress and improve one’s physical wellbeing.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Not getting enough sleep makes it tougher to get through the day and can impair your academic performance. Like your cell phone on charge, your brain needs to recharge while you get adequate sleep for peak performance.

STRESS OUTLET/ACTIVITY

Join one of the many clubs on campus or go out with friends for a fun social activity.

RELAXATION TECHNIQUES & STRATEGIES

Squeeze a stress ball while closing your eyes and counting to 10. Try deep breathing exercises for three minutes, meditation, walking outdoors for 10 minutes, listening to music and journaling.

TALK WITH SOMEONE

Something as simple as talking to someone about your stressors can drastically reduce your stress as you learn that you are not the only one to experience these feelings. Sharing your feelings with someone who listens often takes the emotional stress off one’s mind.

Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, which is a learned behavior that continues after the stressor is gone and may cause one to worry excessively or fear what may or may not happen in the future. Excessive or chronic stress can take a toll on one’s physical and emotional health, which in turn limits our ability to function at school and within our relationships. We are often responsible for creating or bringing on much of our own stress in life.

On a positive note, we can learn to manage our stress by learning specific stress-reduction techniques/strategies.

Wilkes University Health and Wellness offers free and confidential Counseling services 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The service is located on the first floor of Passan Hall, and can be reached by phone at 570-408-4730.

Campus Counselors, Melissa Gaudio and Theresa DaKay, are pleased to announce the addition of an after-hours counseling support line for Wilkes University students at 570-408-CHAT.

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Six college stress-busting tips