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Stress Management

Stress is the body’s psychological and physical response to a perceived threat or demand. Stress can play a part in various health problems such as heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, headaches, depression and mental health issues. Maintaining healthy stress levels are key in reducing the risk for these health problems.

People experience and cope with stress in many different ways. While some people might listen to music, exercise or do a hobby when they are stressed, others might drink, smoke, over eat or procrastinate. It’s important to be aware of and understand the ways in which you exhibit stress so that you can prepare for stressful situations and choose activities to de-stress that will work best for you.

Stress Relief Playlist

Signs of stress:

  • Physical: increased heart rate, dry mouth, chest pains, nausea
  • Behavioral: increased drinking, yelling, swearing, lack of sleep
  • Mental: decrease in memory, confusion, lack of concentration
  • Emotional: Anger, anxiety, fear, impatience, frustration

42.8% of UC students reported above average stress levels within the last year.

Stress Management Tips

Eating Healthy- Eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks and caffeine which will make you crash. Including healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your meals will help provide your body with the nutrients it needs and help you stay focused, alert, energetic and healthy during times of stress.

Relax- Find certain things that you enjoy to relax and unwind. This could include listening to music, meditating or taking a walk. Check out the Calm Website for a few relaxation exercises.

Exercise- Try to exercise 30 minutes per day to keep you energized and feeling healthy. Exercise helps your muscles release tension, burns off stress hormones and releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). Take advantage of the various opportunities offered by UC Campus Rec.

Get enough sleep- Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. Plan to allow for a full night’s sleep; an all-nighter will not help you pass the exam as much as a solid study period with a good night’s sleep. 

Avoid drugs and alcohol- Keep your mind alert and focused. Drugs and alcohol can cause undue stress and anxiety that you don’t need.

Keep a positive attitude- Positive self-talk and optimism can be powerful tools when dealing with stressful situations. Remind yourself that you can and will get through. Put reasonable expectations on yourself and look for the positives in the situation.

Just say no- Not just to drugs but to the requests of people around you for your time or energy. Tell your friend you can’t hang out, just say no to working extra hours or spending time on an extracurricular activity.

Time Management Tips