De-Stress Your Schedule

With exams approaching quickly I think it is safe to say that we are all under a great deal of stress. As classes have been finishing up we have been trying to get through all the assignments left to finish, study for upcoming exams and manage the rest of our responsibilities. So many of us make schedule or “to do” list in hopes of making it less overwhelming. But what happens when that to do list seems too long or your schedule just doesn’t seem to have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything? Take a deep breath! I recently came across a helpful article on how to de-stress your schedule. Now, I know you are probably thinking that you dont have a minute to spare already, how can u possibly take a minute to read this article? The good news, it is only a list of 5 helpful tips! Short and simple. Among these tips is one of my favorites, the 5 minute rule. If a task takes 5 minutes or less to do, do it first! Getting rid of all the short tasks first will keep them from building up an interefering with other work. Plus, knocking out those small tasks first will shorten your list and make it a little less overwhelming! See the article for other great tips.



Dance as a Stress Reliever, Not Just a Hobbie

We have all talked about the importance of managing our stress. We have also talked about the may ways in which you can manage stress including activities such as meditation, exercise, yoga, and therapy. But what about using our everyday hobbies as a way to relieve stress? Before I came to college I was heavily involved with dancing; especially ballet. Whether I went to the studio and practiced for 30 minutes or hours at a time I considered my own personal quiet time. It was a time where I could forget about the everyday stressors and just focus all my energy on concentrating on my technique. In addition, dance functioned much like exercising and although it was stressful on the body in the end I always felt much better. It always seemed that after a practice session I felt more centered and read to take on the rest of the days challenges. I was able to relax and focus better, as well. However, I never really realized that dance was such a stress reliever for me until I came to college and never had time to dance. 4 years later I still have not stepped foot in a dance studio and I can honestly say that dealing with my stress has been a challenge because of it. So I guess the larger picture is that if you are unsure of how to manage your stress and intimidated by new methods, look that the hobbies that are already in your everyday life. You never know what might be a useful resource!


The Power of Positive Thinking

Growing up many of us have always been told to look at the silver lining, see the glass half full, and make lemonade. Majority of the time most of us probably shrugged it off and left it at the assumption that others just didn’t understand or could not understand our stress level. But is it possible that there actually might be some validity to that age-old advice? Well, some studies suggest that optimist are more proactive with stress management and also percieve their stress levels to be lower. Many researchers are attributing this to their positive outlook in which they focus on the good things, believe good things will happen to them and have a greater confidence in their capabilities. Negative events or challenges are seen as minor obstacles that can be easily overcome. So maybe there is some power in positive thinking, a power that can help reduce our stress levels.

We Are What We Eat

So we spent a lot of time discussing digestive disorders and how stress can affect the way our bodies process food. We have even talked about why we get such interesting cravings during times of stress. But what about how what we eat can influence how stressed we feel? Some studies suggest that foods containing high levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and folic acid can actually reduce stress, not to mention provide the body with other healthy benefits. Magnesium can have tranquilizing effects that include relaxing muscles and the gastrointestinal tract, in addition magnesium can also play a role in boosting seratonin, helping you relax. B vitamins including B6 and B12 may also play a role in boosting seratonin while Vitamin C provides a healty boost to the immune system. Folic acid has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Some of the super foods containing these vitamins and minerals include fish, blueberries, cantaloupe, yogurt, almonds, broccoli and bananas (the link contains a much more extensive list). So next time you are feeling really stressed think about snacking on one of these super foods, it might just help.

Who needs sleep?

As college students our lives are consumed by varying class times, demanding work schedules, athletics, extra-curricular organizations and busy social lives. All of these activities often mean that sleep gets pushed lower on the priority list. I think it is safe to assume that most college students are not getting an adequate amount of sleep because we just don’t think there are enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we need or want to do.

 Getting to bed late because of all of our other activities is just one problem though. Another main cause of our sleep deprivation are those nights we lay in bed wide awake worrying about everything and anything, I like to call these racing thoughts. When we lay down at night it is supposed to be our time to relax not worry about next week’s presentation, the upcoming exam, or the bills we still have to pay.

Luckily, while flipping through an old magazine I found an article with some helpful hints on how to clear your mind and fall asleep successfully (This article was also available in electronic form). While the article seems geared towards women I think that it can be helpful to the men in the class as well.

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