Survival Tips for Managing Stress
- Nutrition. Eat a balanced diet. Cut down on fats and sugar. Try not to skip meals.
- Exercise. Engage in moderate exercise for at least 15 minutes three times per week. Physical exercise relieves tension and stress.
- Good sleep habits. Most people need 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep per night. Try to keep your sleep schedule regular.
- Practice relaxation. Breathe slowly and deeply for several breaths. Imagine yourself in a peaceful setting. Relax your muscles. Practice this “instant relaxation” exercise several times each day until it becomes a part of your life. (See free relaxation exercises under Links.)
- Play. Include playtime in your schedule in which you can laugh, let go of worries and do something you enjoy. Play with a child or pet, laugh with friends, or see a comedy.
- Support & nurturing touch. Cultivate friendships with people in whom you can confide. It helps to share your feelings with others who are in a similar situation. We all need support & hugs (or other positive touch).
- Positive self-talk. Speak kindly to yourself about your talents and your ability to cope. Developing a positive attitude toward life can make a big difference!
- Assertiveness. Ask for what you need. Express your feelings in a calm and respectful manner. Set limits. Learn to say “no” when appropriate.
- Time management. Plan your week ahead of time. Use an organizer or appointment book. Use your time efficiently. Include time for study on your weekly schedule. Also include some play time.
- Spirituality. Meditation and development of your own spiritual values can help keep things in perspective. Be aware of those things that you can change and those things which are to be accepted.
- Take a break. Take an hour to visit a nearby scenic spot or plan a vacation. Getting away for even a brief outing or trip can renew your motivation and improve your mental health.
- Maintain a balance of work (including studies), rest, and leisure.
College and community resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of resources on and off campus. The Student Health Center or the Counseling Center, (both services are located in the Cravens Student Services Center), can help you to find these resources.