Story, image and audio by Shayna Brown
Spring break is over, school is back in session and we’re in it for the long haul home. And with the school year winding down, it’s crunch time. It’s time to put those finishing touches on major projects, get those last few assignments in and start studying for final exams. With everything mounting at school it can be a stressful time for students, but you don’t have to rip your hair out and lose your mind if you learn how to manage it.
“One of the most important things is prevention; staying in control of your stress and planning ahead, said Mary-Alice Harvey, a mental health nurse at Durham College. “Often as a student we end up with a great procrastination skill … which is not a good skill to have because you end up working constantly under stress.”
She outlined a few simple things students can do at this time of year to keep calm, cool and collected.
RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN SYMPTOMS
Look at your life and learn how to manage and reduce things in your life that cause you stress. Learn how to say no and don’t take on more than you can handle.
Put off things that are due next week and finish the assignments that are due first. Organize your time and plan out what you need to do so that you have a sufficient amount of time to produce your best work.
TAKE A MINUTE
Take some ‘you’ time and relax. Read a book, do some yoga, go for a walk, listen to some music or even hang out with friends. Just take time for yourself.
Try your best to eat a well-balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Drinking lots of water is also very important. When you are stressed you should be drinking more than the recommended 8 glasses a day.
When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and exercise is good for you because it produces the antidote for the stress hormone. Try to incorporate exercise into your day wherever possible.
“Stress management is just that, managing your stress, taking control,” said Harvey. “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”
Click here to see why breakfast and lots of sleep are an important part of managing your stress.