Opinion

Ten good ways to avoid stress during finals

WRITTEN BY: MACKENZIE LEVEQUE | STAFF WRITER

Nobody likes to be stressed. Some of the worst nights are the ones in which you lay awake stressing, then lay awake even longer stressing about not getting sleep because you’re too busy stressing. Did that run on sentence just stress you out? Me too.

With the fast paced lifestyle that many of us lead, it is no wonder that we end up stressed. Balancing work, school, social life, internships, and many other commitments can leave us feeling like we are constantly one assignment away from a mental breakdown.

Dr. Kim Schaeffer has served in Point Loma Nazarene’s Department of Psychology since 1989 and served as department chair from 1996 to 2001. Dr. Schaeffer spends a good deal of his time mentoring students in research, especially in the area of positive psychology. His suggestions for dealing with stress include meditation and/ or prayer, yoga or something similar, aerobic exercise several times a week, and hanging out with positive and healthy friends.

Finally, he suggested that it can be helpful to try to develop positive mindset and simply view the glass half full not empty.

Everyone has different ways of coping with the daily stresses in their life. We asked ten people for their best strategies for beating stress and compiled them for you below. Here’s to a sleep filled and stress free night!

  1. Say no to things. This tiny little word can often be the hardest one to say. Guilt and a sense of obligation can be two powerful forces when opportunities or situations come into your life. Sometimes you can help someone out and sometimes you need to say yes to opportunities.

However, it is also entirely okay to say no. Many of us have learned the hard way that saying yes to too many things and spreading yourself too thin simply means that you are not able to do more than a mediocre job at anything. Only say yes to things you can commit to and make those things great.

  1. Get a planner. Planners are absolutely life changing. Invest in a good quality planner that you actually like and will use. Use this planner to map

out your schedule so that you can better prioritize your time. Plus, you will feel super professional when people try to plan something with you and you get to pull out your schedule to pencil them in,

  1. Ask for help. Just like it’s okay to say no sometimes, it is also okay to ask for help sometimes. Everyone around you knows something about something, so why not take advantage of their knowledge as well as your own? Maybe you will get the chance to help them the next time around. If you have a ton of work to do, take a friend with you! Everything’s better with a work buddy.
  2. Get out and do something fun.

Often you just need to take a break from the worrying and do something that isn’t stress inducing. This means something different for everyone-one person might be content with a cup of coffee, while another needs a night dancing at the bar. Whatever your definition of fun, don’t forget to indulge yourself every once in a while.

  1. Give yourself some space.

Sometimes part of your stress is due to the people that you are surrounded by. We can’t always choose the people that we do life with, but we can choose to limit our time with stressful individuals. Sometimes you need to just get away by yourself for a while. Go watch the sunset at the beach or even just work in an isolated place. Let yourself breathe.

  1. Do something creative. A creative outlet can be an amazing way to decrease your stress. You don’t have to be the next Picasso to do something artistic. Play the guitar, write a story, or listen to music. Doing something creative can both open up your mind and soothe your spirits.
  2. Exercise. Exercise increases endorphins, and who doesn’t need some more endorphins? According to the Anxiety Association of America, endorphins are both natural painkillers and help you to sleep better. They go on to say that regular workouts have been shown to reduce overall levels of stress. Sounds good to us!
  3. Choose your environment wisely.

Being in a place that is surrounded by people can be harmful or helpful, depending on your work style. If you are a person who needs complete silence to work, go somewhere that is going to be quiet and distraction free. If you are someone who needs to be surrounded by people, grab a couple friends and go work in a coffee shop.

9. Eat healthy foods.

When you are stressed out, one of the biggest temptations can be to order a pizza and grab a family sized bag of chips. However, this can end up backfiring and leaving you feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Instead, grab healthier snacks such as carrots and hummus or a protein bar. Your body will thank you later!

  1. Get some sleep. When faced with a huge amount of assignments, many give in to long nights of work or even an all-nighter. Unfortunately, this will simply leave you feeling drained the following day. Try to use your time efficiently and figure out when it is simply time to call it quits and head to bed.

Mackenzie Leveque is a sophomore staff writer for The Point.

 

 

photo by Pixababy

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