Spring semester can be stressful for everyone. Between classes, figuring out summer jobs or internships, and the added stress of having to shave your legs once again (shorts season is coming!), it can all boil up fast if you aren’t careful. Managing your stress levels and learning how to control them can be easy through taking the following tips into advisement. This advice is a smart way to keep yourself healthy throughout the entire semester, and can help you stay sane until summer.
During the semester, there are many on-campus activities that can help reduce your stress levels. At West Chester’s rec center, you can take a yoga class (among the many fitness classes made available by the rec center) to help you relax. For those who prefer to relax by doing cardio, you can run some laps on the treadmill or around the center’s track. Exercise, in general, helps to reduce anxiety levels and in turn, helps relieve stress.
When I was a senior in high school, I had a very stressful year. I was never athletic in the past, but I started taking weekly kickboxing classes at the YMCA and after just one session, I was hooked. This was a great outlet for me to relieve my stress, anxiety, and even anger. Trying a new class also opened my eyes to all of the different types of exercises; there’s something for everyone! At first I was nervous to try new classes, but everyone is new to exercising at some point in their lives; no one begins their exercising routine perfectly! But don’t let the insecurity of being a beginner stop you from trying a class that is going to make you feel powerful and strong.
Walking is an easy and very doable stress reliever! Once the polar vortex that we are experiencing goes away, the sun will once again come out, bringing with it, warm weather and opportunities for outdoor excersize. Take a walk in the sunshine if you are feeling stressed. The Vitamin D and fresh air can help to give you a new outlook and attitude, keeping the stress at bay. Even better, bring a friend with you to keep you company, or evem give your mom a call (you know you promised her one!). Talking with someone can get you focused on other things and allow you to see the big picture of life, not just your immediate stressors.
Another practical way to avoid stress is to keep yourself motivated with your studies. Reading chapter after chapter in a textbook can get boring and we all know it. If you force yourself to sit down and read a chapter, it’s okay to reward yourself afterwards with an episode of Modern Family or a piece of chocolate. It is also a good idea to work on your homework a little each day instead of letting it pile up. This may seem like common sense to some, but many people leave it until the last minute. If you tackle your workload day by day, you can avoid the stress of due dates all together. Studying is also more effective if you do it piece by piece instead of cramming the night before. Cramming may help you remember information for a quiz in the next hour, but in the long run you will most likely forget everything when it’s time for the final. Create effective study habits to avoid getting stressed.
Perhaps the best way to manage stress is to plan your down time. I know, I know, it isn’t relaxing if it’s planned, right? Wrong! Setting aside time in your schedule in between work and school is a good thing. Your mind and body need a break! Doing something that you enjoy helps your mind relax and gives that cranium a little free time. Whether it’s cooking, shopping, or going for a run, make sure to plan some time for yourself while you are at WCU. Your stress level may just depend on it.
Kristen Kauffman is a second-year student majoring in nutrition. She can be reached at KK808697@wcupa.edu.