Stress Awareness Month!
By: Maggie Cain and Su-Nui Escobar, RDN
With all the chaos and uncertainty that has unfolded in the past few weeks, it is fitting that this month, April, is Stress Awareness Month.
As if this last month of school filled with final exams and projects was not stressful enough, COVID-19 has added extra weight. The transition to online courses and the cancellation of graduation for all you seniors may have left you feeling drained, but we encourage you to finish strong! Stress management is so important for both physical and mental health— both of which are crucial to maintaining in this currently hectic climate.
We know stress is not good, but just how bad is it really? Mayo Clinic lists the common effects of stress as:  (see image below)
Everyone handles stress differently; it is important to find what works for you. The social distancing and self-quarantining recommendations have allowed a chance for many people to slow down the pace of their everyday lives. While it may feel natural to stress over the circumstances, this new time at home may be a great way to self-reflect and reconnect with oneself.
Here is a list of some stress-reducing activities:
● At-home fitness
● Organizing your workspace
● Getting ahead on homework
● Binging Netflix
● Trying new recipes
● Catching up on sleep
Social distancing is difficult, we are used to having friends around us, especially during the college years. Besides group chats, you can hold virtual meetings with your friends, through platforms such as Zoom. Facetime and WhatsApp video are also great tools to stay in touch.
You can make the most of it, like having dinner with your friends online! Creating fun routines like this can help to make things feel more normal and relaxed. Make a schedule that works for you that includes schoolwork, work (if remote work is possible for you), exercise, social time and relaxing time.
Diet is also a key factor in stress management. Oftentimes stress leads to making undesirable choices such as increased caffeine, alcohol, and/or sweets. 2 Some ways to combat this include adding high-fiber foods to your diet, upping your intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats with omega-3’s. Another tip is to stock up on healthy snacks so when you are pressed for time or feeling anxious or stressed, you’ll have better choices ready to go. Regular meals are also important, stick to your normal eating schedule.
Remember: there are resources! University staff members are here to help you navigate
stressful times that you may be facing. Refer to the following link for more information:
Finish strong, Ospreys.