Midterms got you down? Here’s a few stress tips!
Emily Kirsch, Staff Writer
It’s midterm season, which means student stress is at an all-time high. Stress can be a good motivator at times, but too much of it can have a negative impact on our performance and well-being. When I’m feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, I find it important to take time to decompress and recharge. Here are a few things I suggest you try.
1. Make a List
If you’re juggling many assignments, projects, or tests, you can feel there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, checking in with yourself can help you slow down. Take a notebook or a scrap of paper and do what I like to call a “brain dump.” Write down everything that is bothering you and making you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Prioritize your work based on deadlines and the time you believe each task will take. I find using a planner helps with this step. This may not give you more time in the day, but it can at least help you manage the time you have.
2. Physical Activity
Just because school is busy does not mean you should neglect your physical well-being in order to meet due dates. In an article on exercise and stress management, Mayo Clinic explains that shedding your daily tensions through movement and physical activity can help you stay calm, clear minded and focused throughout your day. I find that physical activity takes your mind off schoolwork and gives your mind a necessary break. This activity doesn’t have to be super strenuous, either. Something as simple as a walk can do the trick.
3. Work towards a hobby
Hobbies are a great way to let go of unwanted stress. Taken from Elizabeth Scott’s article about the importance of hobbies for stress relief “one study found that those who engage in physical leisure activities for at least 20 minutes once a week are less susceptible to fatigue.” No matter what your hobbies may be, I believe it’s important to stay in touch with that side of yourself—think of it as a form of self-care. There are also several clubs on campus that dive into hobbies like hiking or movies. You can find the listings on the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University’s website.
4. Eat well
Many students struggle to maintain a healthy diet because of their busy schedules. But our bodies need the nutrients they get from food in order to keep functioning properly. The food you eat affects how you feel both emotionally and physically. Some foods, like nuts and eggs also help brain memory and development. Need some more vitamin C in your life? Fruits like lychees, oranges and strawberries are all good sources of the vitamin.
5. Get enough sleep
Many university students pull all-nighters to study for an exam, but this type of behaviour can lead to sleep deprivation and insomnia. Trust me, I’ve been there. But sleep deprivation can impair cognitive function, academic achievement and mental wellness. If you find it hard falling asleep or even staying asleep, also consider eliminating caffeine, or putting away technology at least one hour before bed. Remember that a healthy amount of sleep consists of more than seven hours per night according to Mayo Clinic.
6. Ask for help
If you’re feeling stuck, having a hard time or aren’t sure what to do next, it’s okay to ask for help. Remember that you can reach out to friends, family, peers and professors for support. MRU offers a variety of programs and resources to help ensure you reach the goals you set for yourself.
In fact, with academic support, the recreation and wellness centers, and even food services, the university has many outlets to help you achieve each item on this list and are here to ensure you are performing at your best. This time in the semester is stressful for everyone. But it is important to take care of yourself throughout to ensure you can achieve your best and maintain your well-being.