Stress
Managing stress and organizing tasks
 
Managing stress
First, recognize stress:
Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behavior are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress. 
 
If you feel that stress is affecting your studies, a first option is to seek help through your educational counseling center.
 
Stress Management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people, and events make excessive demands. What can you do to manage your stress? What are some strategies?
 
Look around
See if there really is something you can change or control in the situation.
 
Remove yourself from the stressful situation
Give yourself a break if only for a few moments daily.
 
Don't sweat the small stuff
Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide.
 
Selectively change the way you react
Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to it/him/her
 
Avoid extreme reactions
Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?
 
Get enough sleep
Lack of rest aggravates stress.
 
Avoid self-medication or escape
Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help deal with the problems.
 
Set realistic goals for yourself
Reduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the circuit overload.
 
Don't overwhelm yourself
Avoid fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority.
 
Learn how to best relax yourself
Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.
 
Change the way you see your situation; seek alternative viewpoints
Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of viewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours. and perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.
 
Do something for others
Help get your mind off your self
 
Work off stress
Engage in physical activity, whether it's jogging, tennis, or gardening.
 
Begin to manage the effects of stress
This is a long range strategy of adapting to your situation, and the effects of stress in your life. Try to isolate and work with one "effect" at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself. for example, if you are not sleeping well, seek help on this one problem.
 
Try to "use" stress
If you can't remedy, nor escape from, what is bothering you, flow with it and try to use it in a productive way.
 
Try to be positive
Give yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be. "Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe. Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory."
 
 

 

"All Stressed Up", St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. p. 8B, Monday, November 30, 1998