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S.T.R.E.S.S. and How to Manage It As a Student

We’ve all been STRESSED. I can’t stress that enough. The word makes the average person cringe. You feel it, you experience it, you grow to loathe it. As a student, we’re all too familiar with this terrible feeling. With spring break winding down, and now finals around the corner, we’re getting through the long haul of our spring semester! Ready for impact? No? Good, me neither!

So instead of ultimately being productive with school work, I decided to vent out my stress with this article. I came up with an acronym for student stress:

S.T.R.E.S.S.

Yes, S.T.R.E.S.S. is basically my life as a student in a nutshell. My number one way of dealing with stress is:

1) Sleep

Take a nap. Seriously, it’s the best thing ever. Don’t take that five hour nap you think you can handle though, you’ll never get to sleep at night. Instead, take a thirty minute power nap, or an hour and a half at most. These are appropriate intervals with your R.E.M. sleeping cycle that will leave you feeling well rested. The reason many people feel groggy when they wake up in the middle of a nap is because they’re actually waking up in the middle of an incomplete REM cycle. Use this cool website to see when the best time to wake up is.

I know a quick nap doesn’t work for everybody though, so here are a few other ways that may reduce those stress levels Collegiettes.

2) Smile

Sure it’s slightly cliché, but believe me, a smile can go a mile (yes, that rhymed!) Your body naturally releases endorphins the more you smile. So even if you’re not in the mood to stretch a few facial muscles, just do it. Smile at another person you walk by, chances are they’ll smile back. Who knows, maybe you just restored somebody’s faith in humanity that nice people in the world exist with your friendly gesture.

3) Go for a walk

Ah, the enticing smell of fresh air. Get out of your stuffy dorm room and go take a stroll. Seeing other faces may be what you need to remind yourself that you must not be the only student going through this ordeal. Admire the scenery, take a few deep breathes, and intake your surroundings. Exercise, even moderate, is also a fair way to release endorphins.

4) Drink some tea and read a good book

This may appeal to only some people, but I personally find it a great way to relax and spend time with just myself. I brew some of my favorite tea, and sit down with a novel I’ve been dying to read. After reading that long assignment for that class, read for pleasure for a change.

5) Breathe

Yeah, I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, no duh! Don’t we already do this automatically?” Well, yes, you should. But sometimes focusing on your breathing, taking five nice long, deep breathes can be exactly what you need to clear your mind. Remind yourself to be at peace, and that you can do everything you need to get done. It will help you manage your stress levels.

Hopefully these tips help you Collegiettes, and I wish you the best at managing your stress as well. I know we have a lot of work to do, but remember to make time for yourself as well, even with finals upon us! :)

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Katelyn Richards

U Mass Amherst

Hey, I'm Kate! I'm from the Boston area! I'm studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology here at UMASS. I love writing, so you'll see quite an array of articles. :)
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