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Wellness

Ways to Reduce Stress on National Stress Awareness Month

As college students, stress is a feeling we are all familiar with. Life seems to be too much when there’s too many exams, quizzes, group projects, and so little time to accomplish everything. It’s a natural body reaction, a sort of alarm system described as the “fight or flight” response. But if we don’t learn to manage our stress adequately, it might lead to serious health problems, like heart diseases, depression, diabetes and it can even throw off your menstrual cycle!  

Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, I’m going to give you a few tricks that can help lower your stress levels and keep a calmer mindset during this trimester:

 

1. Make some changes around you.

Sometimes, stress comes from our environment more than anything. Clean your room or at least organize some of the mess. Do the laundry that’s been in your basket for more than two weeks. Clear out your desk and even wash and organize your backpack. If the space we live in feels messy, our lives will feel messy, and then we’ll be even more stressed.

2. Learn to manage time.

This trimester taught me that I shouldn’t leave any work at the last minute. It’s due sooner than in a semester, and the sooner I get homework done, the better I will feel in the long run. Buy a small notebook and write down every assignment along with the dates they are due for. Schedule your study sessions and don’t skip them! (No matter how good that Netflix series is.)  

 

3. Talk to yourself.

No one likes to admit it, but we all do it. Sometimes there’s too much going on in our minds and it feels as messy as our rooms. Talk to yourself out loud about what you’re feeling to try and make sense of what’s happening around you. Sometimes we don’t understand how we feel until we hear it being said. Be your own confidante.

 

4. Laugh.

Laughter is the body’s natural stress reliever and sometimes a good laugh can help us a lot. Hang out with close friends that make you laugh and feel joyful, watch a funny video or go hunting for some good memes on the Internet. Laughter helps the release of endorphins, which are the hormones that control emotions and act as a natural painkiller. So after a good fit of laughter, you will be ready to focus and keep calm. Try to laugh as much as you can every day.

 

 

5.    Find the time to rest and relax.

We live a very fast-paced life and it’s important to find moments where we can slow down. These moments can be spent listening to music, watching a movie, enjoying a warm bath or even taking a nap. Getting involved in these activities can help us clear our heads for a while and balance our stress levels.

 

6.    Breath.

Finding the time to just take a deep breath is as important as laughing. Find time to relax and learn to manage time. Simple breathing exercises that are done right before a study session or an exam can help you focus and remain calm– for example, the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It’s easy and can be done in under five minutes. Start in a sitting position with your mouth closed, inhale through your nose while counting to four. Next, hold your breath for a count of seven. Lastly, exhale through your mouth while counting to eight. Repeat the breathing cycle up to three more times, and you will feel the change at once.

 

I hope that during Stress Awareness Month, these tips and tricks help you to learn how to manage your stress and keep a balance between worrying too much and enjoying your life to the fullest. Don’t let the trimester and the professors lower your spirits, there’s still so much to look forward to!

 

Sources: Wellness Magazine, Carleton, Healthline Newsletter

Images: 1, 2, 3

Alexandra is a fourth year student at UPR. She's currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, because writing is the only thing she's good at. She enjoys coffee, poetry, and musicals. In a near future, she wants to work in a place surrounded with books.
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