Stress management is rarely taken seriously until it disables a person’s ability to function and even at that point some people continue to limp along in life until a greater health problem occurs.
The key is maintenance. A maintenance check of physical, emotional and mental status needs to be reviewed regularly and changes need to take place early to prevent more serious health consequences.
Medical News Today (2015) recommends these techniques to help you reduce stress:
Ask for help: avoid thinking you can do it all. Ask for help, both at work and at home. You can repay them in kind when the pressure is off.
Avoid stimulants and chemical diversions: caffeine, alcohol and drugs can have negative effects on your ability to concentrate. Try to stop consuming them completely during peak stress periods, or at least cut down on them.
Breath in, breath out: Our breath impacts how our body responds to stressful situations. Deep, controlled breathing relaxes the body and reduces the production of adrenalin and other stress hormones.
Communicate with significant others: talking helps us process feelings and reduces anxiety.
Exercise every day: it is proven that regular exercise improves your mental health, as well your physical fitness. Daily exercise can be an important part of stress management.
Learn to say ‘no’: you can’t be everything to everyone and you don’t have to do everything people ask you to do. Make your goals the first priority in critical times of the semester.
Nourish your body, nourish your mind: a good diet is a critical part of staying healthy and performing at your peak. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable and snack on healthy things to keep yourself going.
Take care of yourself: take some time everyday to take good care of yourself. Unwind, relax, do something you really enjoy and that makes you feel good. You’ll study better afterwards.
Know when to get help: a little bit of stress is a call to action – a lot of stress can stop you from functioning. Experiencing high levels of stress for long periods of time can be detrimental to your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you would like some help managing stress, contact one of the counsellors at Notre Dame. They help students like you all the time, and stress management is a big issue for many of those students. Call them on: Sydney - (02) 8204 4220 or Fremantle/Broome (08) 9433 0580