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Health Center: Coping with Stress
What is stress?
The way your body reacts to any new, threatening, or exciting situation.
How can it be helpful?
Stress gives you the extra energy or push that can help you meet physical challenges, solve problems, and reach goals.
How can it be harmful?
While stress is not necessarily bad, if stress continues without relief for long periods it can cause physical problems such as headaches, upset stomach and a feeling of “burn out”- physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Make studying less stressful!
- Choose a quite study space that is free of distractions—friends, TV, video games.
- Learn to manage your time—follow a daily schedule, but also schedule in time for fun.
- Take breaks—after an hour or so of studying get up, walk around, stretch, reward yourself for accomplishing part of your goal.
- Recognize your limitations—you’re not perfect, everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t skip classes—missing classes keeps you from learning, and that information might show up later on an exam.
- Don’t rely on cramming—wild, disorganized studying increases anxiety, causes confusion, and will likely result in a lower test grade. Take your time and plan ahead.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help—if you’re having difficulty in a class talk to the professor, look into tutoring, ask classmates to explain a topic you don’t understand. You’re not in this alone!
Take care of yourself!
- Your ability to cope with stress can be diminished by lack of sleep or exercise, poor diet/nutrition, inability to relax, illness, substance use, etc.
- Try to get enough sleep!
- Structure your schedule to allow yourself time to exercise (or, start by taking the stairs, walking to school, or taking the long way home from class).
- Consult with a counselor. There are counselors available at the Health Center that can help you learn relaxation techniques, test taking techniques, or just blow off steam.
- Try to eat healthy foods and limit substance use.