The start of a new school year can be exciting with more people on campus, new jobs, new classes, new relationships. Transitions of many kinds present new opportunities but can also be stressful. This school year, you can try to prevent stress from becoming overwhelming by setting yourself up for success before the semester starts. Here are some tips to prevent the school year from becoming stressful.
- Exercise: Exercise, such as jogging and yoga, sharpen both the body and mind. Focusing on your body during exercise can take your mind off of stressful responsibilities and can give your mood a positive boost as your body produces natural endorphins. Exercising comes with other far-reaching benefits such as leading to more restful sleep and increasing self-confidence.
- Therapy: A counselor or therapist can help you work through stress by providing custom tools to manage individual stress factors. Therapists provide an unbiased ear to help work through life’s troubles and can assist with a variety of goals such as stress management or relational issues. CSU offers free or reduced cost therapy sessions for students at the health center and the Center for Family and Couples Therapy (CFCT). Employees can use Commitment to Campus benefits at the Center for Family and Couples Therapy, or they can use EAP benefits to see a therapist in the community.
- Keep a planner: By keeping track of assignments, classes and work schedule, you will be able to better manage the stress that comes with a busy schedule. A visual representation of your schedule, such as a calendar, can ensure that you track responsibilities so nothing falls by the wayside. Some planners can be expensive, but do not have to be. Try local office supply stores or discounted stores for more affordable options.
- Spend time with friends and family: It is important to get your work completed on time, but it is even more important to not overwork yourself. Be sure to set aside time in your schedule to unwind in social settings. Friends and family can also provide reassurance during exceptionally stressful times, as well as offer helpful tips on how to manage your workload or complete things more efficiently.
- Get good sleep: While an all-nighter may feel productive, the toll it takes on your body and mind are counterproductive. During sleep, crucial processes take place such as memory consolidation and muscle repair. Poor sleep can affect your mood, judgement, and your health overall. Ensure that you get better sleep by avoiding caffeine in the evenings and cutting yourself off from electronics an hour or so before you go to bed.
- Eat a healthy diet: When stressed, many people take solace in junk food or splurge on high-calorie meals. While an occasional splurge might not be harmful, habitual indulgence can be especially problematic because the human body stores more fat when stressed. Unhealthy eating habits when stressed can lead to more stress caused by feeling guilty, feeling sluggish or tired, or having low energy. To remedy this dilemma you do not have to cut out unhealthy food entirely, but take care to eat more fresh, unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables.
By Josephine Marin
Josephine is from Moore, Oklahoma and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University. She is in her second year of study in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at CSU and is excited to begin working with couples, individuals, and adolescents. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, being outdoors, exercising, and reading a good book.
Colorado State University’s Center for Family and Couple Therapy is affiliated with the MFT Program and provides high-quality therapy services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents, and children. The CFCT offers services to all members of the Larimer County community, as well as to students, faculty, and staff on campus. For more information, see the Center for Family and Couple Therapy website.
For more health tips, visit the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.