Stress is defined as “anything that poses a challenge or threat to our well-being, and how we respond to that challenge” (Kim Lebowitz, Ph.D., Director, Behavioral Medicine and Psychologist, Northwestern Memorial Hospital). As college students, stress is a part of our everyday life.
During the short period before winter break, students are constantly kept busy with projects, papers, and studying for finals. The 24-hour room is packed starting at noon, and the library is basically a madhouse. For the procrastinators, and let’s face it, most of us are, finals week might as well be referred to as hell week.
According to Oswego’s weekly “Toilet Talk,” stress affects a person’s mind and body and can impact their health and well-being. Stress can cause anxiety issues, obesity, high blood pressure, and chest pain. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” and can even cause hair loss.
So how is it that year after year, we manage to survive? Many of us just barely make it through without calling it quits, so here are some tips on how to remain stress-free throughout finals…
- Stress is caused by situations of high demand, and little control. So, in order to gain some control over your workload, make a list of everything you need to accomplish. Prioritize this list, putting the most important tasks first and completing them before the others
- LAUGH. Laughing enhances a person’s health and lowers stress hormones.
- Pace yourself. Do not work for hours without taking a break. In between tasks, take a walk or get a coffee to clear your mind and let you get back to work with fresh eyes.
- Exercise! Yoga or Pilates is a great way to strengthen your mind and relax during stressful times.
- Sex is also a great way to relieve stress. According to the “Toilet Talk,” your heart, brain, and blood pressure all benefit from sexual activity.