With the academic year in full swing, many of us find ourselves juggling schoolwork, social lives and work. During this higher-stress time, finding a balance is key to managing our physical and emotional health. So how can we find that balance?
Stress shows up differently for everybody. Some people have a very physical reaction to stress like lower energy, headache, upset stomach or sweating while others may have more emotional symptoms like constant worrying, racing thoughts, and inability to focus or feeling overwhelmed. Still others may experience a combination of the two.
No two people will respond to an identical stressor the same way, so tuning into our senses is a great way to stay present and identify how we’re responding to a stressor. For instance, targeting the physical response by naming what we see, hear and feel can in turn help calm a speedy mind. No matter how our bodies react to stress, learning ways to manage it can help us stay healthy in mind and body.
Like developing time management skills, it’s also important to find a routine for managing stress. Here are some ideas to get started:
At times, we may find that we have extended ourselves beyond our threshold of managing stress so it shows up as tremendous anxiety. If you are trying stress-reduction exercises on your own and your mind keeps running, it may be a sign that you need to talk with someone and look at where your stress is coming from
There are a variety of free resources on campus for stress management.