The University Network

National Stress Awareness Month: 3 Tips on How to De-Stress

Spring is finally here! Unfortunately, so are midterms, hours of preparation for final exams, and excessive late night study sessions. Are you constantly juggling a full class schedule, internship or work, and a social life while trying to maintain your health? If so, this month could be a killer month if you also have to prepare for the final group presentation. I know it’s hard, but take a few deep breaths and let the stress go. It’s April, the month designated as National Stress Awareness Month. That’s right, this month is perfect for you to find more peace and learn to value yourself over your lifestyle.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress in your life.

1) Carve out time to de-stress

In today’s fast-paced environment, we are dependent on computers, desks, and campus library tables to fulfill our assignments and work tasks. At my campus, the cubicles fill up quickly and it leaves me feeling stressed and pressed for time. If you are in a similar situation, take time to de-stress. Make a mental note to take at least 20 minutes a day to bond with Mother Nature for every few chapters you read or for every last page you’ve reached in the textbook. Fresh air will refresh your thoughts and decrease your level of test and project anxiety. If you haven’t had time to exercise, a 20-minute walk will also invigorate you. Take several deep breaths while you find the best scenic spot on campus. Drive to a nearby park if you have to. Make plans to visit the botanical gardens, state parks and family-friendly places like the field of bluebonnet flowers here in Texas. When you get away from the crowd and see the beauty of these settings, you will feel calmer and happier.

2) Ask for help when you need it

The one lesson I learned as a freshman is that the college experience can be overwhelming. You have to choose the right courses, stay on top of your classes, make sure your financial aid comes in on time, stay within your budget, find time for laundry, get an internship or a job, make friends, and so on. You feel that you don’t have time for it all. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help immediately. Don’t let your worries pile up!

There are professionals in your college who are trained to help you with anything. Go to office hours if you are struggling with a class, or ask another student for help. If you are worried about your financial aid package or have questions, go to the financial aid office where someone will explain it all to you. Make an appointment with a counselor at the career center to figure out your internship or job opportunities. These are just a few examples of the available resources. Rest assured, there is always someone at your college to help you. So don’t worry. Just reach out for help when you need it!

3) Find time to exercise and keep fitness journal

Exercise helps to reduce stress. If you don’t exercise regularly, make it a point to start right away. You may want to get clearance from a doctor if you have never worked out before. You can also reach out to a recreational sports coach on campus or perhaps take a wellness test offered by your employer. Schedule a short appointment with a personal trainer at a nearby gym and take advantage of the free pass even if you don’t have a gym membership.

Add a fitness journal to your exercise routine for a winning combination. You can monitor your heart rate, calorie intake, diet and nutrition. One popular fitness journal on today’s market is Fitlosphy Fitbook: Fitness Planner and Food Journal. This 5.5 inch journal is easy to carry with you. It contains daily motivational quotes, spaces for twelve weeks worth of goal setting in all areas of your routine, ideas on how to change your exercises to target areas, and much more. If you attend aerobic classes, or are currently on a 28-day reset challenge with your diet or working on your flexibility levels, there are also additional pages for you to jot down your thoughts and progress. This fitbook also has pages designed to track what you eat, when you eat it, and gives you guides to change what you eat to get the results you want. You can log your measurements if you choose to measure yourself week to week. If you purchase the fitbook on Amazon (link provided above), you can download a goal-setting app, which will help you set a realistic and healthy 12-week goal.

Takeaway

Stress can be controlled and decreased significantly by remaining positive, changing your daily routine, and staying healthy. Grab life by the horns and commit to making small changes, such as eating more healthy foods, exercising regularly during down time, stretching and breathing more, asking for help, and learning to relax, which will do wonders for your mental and physical health. You will see your personal journey take on a new, refreshing pace as you reach for the finish line with a fitter, healthier, and much happier you!