As we approach the middle of the semester, many of us may be experiencing high levels of stress. Spring break can provide us with a chance to practice self-care, find some relief and focus on ourselves. This may look different for everyone, whether you’re planning to spend time with family, take a trip or stay close to home. No matter what your plans are, here are some ways to take care of yourself and find your break.
What is ‘stress’?
Think of stress as your ‘fight or flight’ response.
When you are facing demands, expectations or other pressures in life, stress helps our bodies kick into high gear. In fact, it can help us feel more motivated, focused and energized.
However, if you’re stressed out all of the time, it can also cause you to feel run down. Experiencing chronic stress can give us a good indication that something is ‘off’ in our lives. Taking some time over spring break to address stress can help us feel better when we return to campus to finish out the semester.
How to identify stress
Stress manifests in different ways for different people. Check out the examples below to see how stress may affect you.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it may be time to make meaningful changes that can help reduce your stress.
Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or needs urgent, same-day support, call 303-492-2277 to speak with a mental health provider.
Prioritize harm reduction strategies
While alcohol and other substances can feel good in the moment, they don’t usually help when it comes to managing chronic stress. This is because substances tend to cover up or mask our feelings. While this can feel good in the moment, relying on substances for relief longer term can lead to additional stress or other issues.
If you choose to drink or use substances during this time, it’s important to take care of yourself. Here are some strategies you can use to stay safer and feel more in control over your night:
Spring break is a great time to venture outside! Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, biking or snowshoeing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Just remember to keep these tips in mind:
If you want to improve your relationship with movement or find physical activities that interest you, Health and Wellness Services can help!
Connect with support resources
Whether you need to decompress from a long semester or find additional support, there are campus resources that can help.