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Five stress management tips for the upcoming holiday season

November 9, 2016

Stress tends to increase near the end of the semester, meaning stress management is important. This stress can come from the pressure of the holidays, as well as academic responsibilities. Too much stress can decrease your immune system, so it’s important to deal with stress early.

Below are five great stress management tips.

  1. Stress ManagementExercise
    Often stress can cause physical responses in your body such as elevated heart rates. When this happens, the best way to expend this extra energy is to exercise.  Doctors recommend a minimum of 20 minutes of activity a day to stay healthy.  Take a walk outside, play a sport or dance to some feel-good music to help alleviate the stress!
  2. Meditate
    You’ve heard it all before – meditation is the best way to alleviate stress. Don’t be afraid though, as meditating isn’t as hard as you may think.  The core tenet of meditation is being mindful of what is going around you.  Take five or 10 minutes to sit quietly and pay attention to your thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the stress, when you notice yourself thinking about work, school, etc. just say to yourself, “I notice that I am thinking about work.”  Even if you can’t stop thinking about your stressors, stopping yourself to notice what you are thinking about can break the pattern and help relax you.
  3. Time Management
    Often when one is stressed you can feel overwhelmed with everything you need to do. Making to-do lists can often help because by writing it down your mind doesn’t need to try to remember it anymore, freeing your mind up for other thoughts. Once you have your list written, schedule yourself time for completing these tasks. Don’t try to do everything at once; make it small, manageable chunks!
  4. Talk it Out
    Don’t underestimate the power of a good venting session! Often talking about our worries and stresses to someone can help us feel more in control. The person you vent to may even have some good suggestions to help you out!  If you have major stress, consider seeing a professional counselor. They can help you learn how to cope with stress and get in control.
  5. Rest and Relax
    When someone is overwhelmed, they often feel guilty taking time to relax, even sleep! Don’t! During sleep your brain sorts through all the events of the day. This can help you feel less stressed in the morning, and often your brain comes up with solutions during sleep. Don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself to relax, even an hour or two a day can help alleviate stress. Set aside an hour a day for doing nothing but relaxing and doing something you love. It’s important to balance your responsibilities with taking care of yourself.

Try these stress management tips out in these next few weeks, to help control your stress level.  And remember, if it gets too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to see professional help.

This is part of a monthly series produced by the Wellness Committee here at Finlandia University. For a full archive of Wellness Committee articles go to http://www.finlandia.edu/news/tag/wellness-committee/. This was produced by Instructor of Mathematics Stephanie Kajpust.  

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