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Stress Management Tips
- Maintain your schedule: Stick to a routine. Take a shower, get dressed, go to class, keep to the structure you normally have during your day.
- Focus on things you can take action on: Shift focus away from the things you can't do anything about. Brewing and stewing deepens a rut, doing and moving can steer you out of it.
- Eat healthy food regularly: Skipping meals robs you of the energy you need to cope. Try to avoid caffeine in soda, coffee or tea if you're feeling jittery or anxious. Learn meats provide vitamin B12, which fights insomnia and depression; baked or mashed potatoes can be a quick fix for a foul mood because it causes the release of serotonin in your brain, and even dark chocolate contains theobromine which is shown to have a mood enhancing effect. A balanced diet fuels a healthy mind and body.
- Seek support from safe friends or family members: Isolating yourself can make things worse. Also, talking things through with people you trust can provide you with a sense of comfort knowing you are not alone.
- Keep a journal: Take time to write down what you are thinking and feeling, Often, writing about your thoughts and feelings will give you a different perspective and help clarify what you want to dicuss in counseling.
- Look for ways to temporarily divert yourself from your difficulties: Watch TV, play a game, go window shopping.
- Remember other times you have been in similar situations and how you coped: Life will not always feel this difficult, remember you have gotten through tough times before.
- Get a reasonable amount of rest: Either too much or too little sleep can worsen your mood. Most college students function best with at least 7 hours of sleep, Try to get enough sleep, but be careful of sleeping too much. Some people find that staying in bed is a great way to avoid things they don't want to do; the trouble with hiding in bed is that when they finally get up, they're even further behind.
- Do some kind of physical activity: Physical activity can make you feel better emotionally and reduce stress. Try to remain active, even if the physical activity is as simple as a walk around campus.
- Participate in activities that are relaxing or comforting to you: Make time for this. It is just as important as social and school obligations.
- Take time to nurture yourself spiritually: Go to church, attend chapel, or just enjoy nature. Pray, read uplifting books, speak to a trusted pastor or spiritual leader.
- Find ways to laugh: Spend time with those who make you laugh. Watch a funny movie or read a funny book. It is said that "laughter is the best medicine."
- Make time to give back: While many of us feel too stressed and busy to worry about helping others with their burdens, altruism is its own reward, and can actually help you relieve stress.