With finals and graduation quickly approaching, few students are at ease. The end of the semester means large projects, loads of work, preparing for finals and for some, landing a career after college. It is not a surprise that students get extremely stressed out during this time of year. April is designated nationally as Stress Awareness Month in order to relieve the country’s stress.This month, health care professionals work to educate Americans about the effects and solutions of everyday stress. Although life can seem overwhelming at times, there are quite a few steps that can be taken to reduce anxious feelings. Reducing the feelings of stress can not only increase health, it can also add years to a person’s life.
The Health Resource Network has sponsored this stress awareness movement since 1992 and continues to work hard to provide strategies to people who are stressed.
There are several simple tips to reduce stress and take care of your self in the process, according to About.com.
1) Sleep is essential to keep your mind and body at its best. Without proper rest, it is difficult to deal with stress of any kind. Getting a full night’s sleep is recommended, but with a busy schedule, a power nap can be just as effective.
2) Balanced diets are important because without proper nutrition, people are more vulnerable to stress.
3) Exercise is key to being stress-free. Not only does working out help get your body in shape, it also releases endorphins, which gives a feeling of joy. After a stressful day, a trip to the gym may be just what you need. Going to the gym releases pent-up energy and frustration
4) Support from friends is essential. Having a group of really close friends can help you deal with any situation. Just having someone listen can make a stressful situation seem better.
5) Hobbies can often take your mind off of everyday worries. Playing a sport or taking dance classes are just a couple activities to partake in.
6) Having a positive attitude often shapes how you deal with life. If someone is negative, the stress level rises.
7) Don’t worry about the small stuff. Some small problems do not need to be stressed over. If the problem is out of your control, do not get upset over it.
8) Plan. Setting goals and managing time can reduce the panic of a busy schedule.
9) Be prepared. If you know that you have an upcoming event that may be stressful, prepare ahead of time so when the day comes, it will run smoothly.
10) Prayer or meditation can help relax your thoughts and put you at ease. Taking a few times out of your day to reflect on your thoughts can make a world of difference.
There are several other outcomes of stress. Being too stressed out can actually age a person. The immune system is also effected negatively, making people who stress more likely to get sick. Also certain “stress-relievers” such as smoking or drinking can take a toll on the body instead of helping with stress.
No matter how hard life can get, just remember that being stressed out can only hurt the situation.
Stephanie Barrett is a fourth-year student majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalsim. She can be reached at SG655862@wcupa.edu.