According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), seven out of 10 people stated they experience stress on a daily basis and that it interferes with daily activities. Students, staff and faculty can all relate to being overwhelmed at various points in the semester. Most of our days are spent juggling multiple tasks. Stress is inevitable; however, one should be careful to avoid prolonged periods of stress. Long-term stress may negatively impact one’s health and well-being, and can cause depression, heart problems, overeating, headaches, insomnia or other ailments.
Holidays can be especially stressful, so don’t try to take care of everything yourself. When people ask “Can I help you with something?” take them up on it. Have a list and give everyone something to do. Even if you’re the host, allow people to lend a hand. If you’re rushing around and trying to do it all, you can’t even enjoy dinner or the time spent with others.
1. Learn to say “no.”
We know that stress is something we can’t escape. It’s the body responding to new changes and demands, but we can do a periodic assessment. Look at how much you have on your plate, prioritize and see what you can scratch off your list. Spreading ourselves too thin means operating in overload and not being able to give our best efforts. You can’t do everything and you need to think about your well-being first. It’s hard to say no when it’s something you enjoy, but you need to be realistic and maybe it’s something you can be a part of it in the future when you have more time.
2. Plan ahead.
Don’t wait until the last minute to write a 10-page paper or an article. Look at completing a couple of paragraphs or pages rather than trying to complete it all at once. Tackle big projects in stages.
3. Account for every minute of the day so you can ensure you’re using your time wisely.
You may not be able to plan a schedule 100 percent of the time every day, but try to at least have time slots for specific things you know you need to achieve.
4. Exercise regularly.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30 minutes a day on three or more days a week. Exercise is good for heart health and exercise helps you feel better overall. Your body releases the chemical endorphins that communicate with the brain to reduce pain, depression and anxiety and increase feelings of happiness. Exercise could even be cleaning the house Put exercise in your schedule.
5. Take some time each day to focus on yourself.
Get a cup of coffee, take 30 minutes to meditate, take a shower or bath, read a book or take a walk. Sometimes just a change of scenery helps. We must care for ourselves before we can care for anyone else.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia
Dr. Phoneshia Wells