College is filled with many wonderful life experiences. Unfortunately, with these experiences and changes there is always an element of stress present. With winter break becoming a distant memory and spring break on the horizon, it is natural to feel a little overwhelmed. Stress is a great mechanism. It helps the body deal with difficult situations and may help to overcome certain obstacles. But when these feelings of stress persist and never really seem to go away, it may be time to do something about it.
Stress can have many negative effects on the body if no efforts are made to reduce the amount of stress one has. Becoming ill due to stress or experiencing any of the following ailments because of stress, may be reason to take action: 1. Headaches or migraines. 2. Nausea or vomiting 3. Sleeplessness. 4. Depression. 5. Gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach) 6. Anxiety.
It is important to maintain a healthy balance of stress in life and not allow it to take over. Many things can help one relax and enjoy time at college – it can be as easy as breathing! Stress in college students may be due to a number of different things including:
Heavy academic workload, money issues, homesickness, worries about making friends at school and keeping friends at home, adjusting to a new environment (first-year students).
These are just some of the things that cause stress in college students.
It is important to know how to combat stress in order to keep oneself happy and healthy. Here are just a few things that you can do to relax:
Listen to music, watch TV, take deep breaths and try to concentrate on your breathing, play a board game, try yoga, exercise, watch a funny movie, take a walk around campus, read a book or magazine, keep a journal, try aromatherapy (see staff at the Wellness Center for more information), make some herbal tea, or punch a pillow.
Sometimes you need something more than an activity to occupy your mind. In this case it is a good idea to get help from someone. Start by talking with a friend or relative about how you feel. This often will help you to realize that the problem is not really a problem at all! There are also plenty of resources on campus if you ever feel like you need to talk to someone. For example, you could visit the Wellness Center where trained peer educators can assist you in a variety of ways. Or you could make an appointment at the WCU Counseling Center at 610-436-2301.
It is important to put stress into perspective. What seems like a crisis one day can seem like nothing on another day. Some questions to think about:1) Will this be important one year from now? 2) What is the worst thing that could happen if (ex. I fail a test?) 3) Is this situation hurting anyone?
Many times, after answering these questions, you will be able to put your stress into perspective and realize that things are not as bad as they seem. Even so, stress cannot be avoided. The best thing to do is: remember that tomorrow is another day and anything that you are concerned with will eventually work out.
To discover new ways to relieve stress stop by StressBusters Day on Thursday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sykes Union Ballrooms A & B. Treat yourself to the free chair massage, yoga, aromatherapy, reflexology, and games…you deserve it!