Wellness Wednesday: Managing Stress

Fall is falling.  Take a stress break.  

Here we are in Week 5 of Fall term; the end of October. Midterms. Darkness. Wetness. The cavalcade of things to do is astounding and the deadlines seem to keep accelerating. The proverbial water balloon has hit the trampoline (or whatever euphemism you use when things go kablooey). In the Advising Center, we’ve discovered a roof leak that allows us to have an indoor swimming pool (bucket, actually). So how do you keep your head above water? How do you go with the flow, roll up your pants, or water it down? (So many water analogies come to mind!)

Whether you’re studying, working on home projects or work tasks, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is my plan to get work done on time? 
  • How do I break down big projects into smaller segments?  
  • Who are my support people?  What things can I ask for help on?  

As crunch time hits, the “planning” aspect may become “what absolutely has to be done right now?”  We often lose our self-care and stress management strategies – and this is when they are most important. Here are five simple, but effective, stress breaks. 

  1. Take ten seconds to breathe deeply. In for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, exhale slowly for a count of 4. Repeat 3 times. Voila – 30 seconds of stress relief, a lowered heart rate, and increased oxygen to your brain!    
  2. Stand up, and/or raise your arms above your head. Slowly twist your torso to the left and right. (No, we’re not doing the hokey pokey.) Pull your shoulders back and gently lift your chin upward. 
  3. Step outside. Changing your view and appreciating the natural environment can shift your thoughts and mood.
  4. Make a list. This may sound counterproductive to reducing stress, however getting the “to do’s” out of your head and onto a piece of paper can help you let go and prioritize what’s needed next.
  5. Play. Break out the stress or tennis ball to squeeze. Find a fidget spinner. Doodle. Kids are good at laughing regularly and finding things that are silly. Ask a 10 year old to tell you a joke!

Try and give yourself some moments of relief from the inevitable stress of this very busy time.

And finally, not to add to your stress but…have you talked with your advisor to prep for Winter term courses? Here’s your friendly reminder:  

Winter course registration begins Nov. 9th (Veterans) and Nov. 14th (current students).

Image by storyset on Freepik

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