Health Corner: Stressing the importance of de-stressing

By Sara Scheler

March 20, 2013

A Booth national survey shows that college-aged young adults are more stressed than any other age group. Chances are you are under stress right now. Coming back from a week in a tropical paradise or a week relaxing with friends and family, I think I speak for the majority when I say the next few weeks are going to be rough. Here are some tips to help you deal with and prevent stress in the upcoming weeks and months.

Tip number one: EXERCISE. I know it is difficult (especially in the winter) but exercise releases natural compounds in your brain that make you feel happier. In addition, exercise can help with weight management and it offers a nice break from the monotony of sitting in class and writing papers.

Tip number two: EAT WELL. Easier said than done, right? Diet substantially impacts your well being, so it is very important to eat healthy if you are under stress. Fruits and vegetables contain lots of beneficial vitamins that can combat stress. Sugar causes ups and downs and can make you tired so try to say no to desserts, fried foods and soft drinks. If you cannot give these up, try limiting your consumption during the week and giving yourself “cheat days” on the weekends.

Tip number three: GO OUTSIDE. It seems simple but spending time out doors can really help your mood. Vitamin D from the sun chemically boosts your mood and a change of scenery is often welcome. Go on a casual stroll with a friend or try walking somewhere you usually drive to.

Tip number four: DRINK WATER. Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you are stressed. Replacing sodas and juices with plain water can help you lose weight and prevent sugar crashes.

Tip number five: RELAX. Go to a movie, spend time alone, knit, bake, read a book, play sports, do whatever helps you relax and do it often. If your schedule is so busy that you have no free time, it can be difficult to function. Block off some time and give yourself a break.

These tips are not magical cures to stress but hopefully they will help you enjoy the rest of the semester.

Note: if you have chronic or debilitating stress, please contact the Wellness Center for further assistance.