We have finally approached finals week, and with that comes stress. Stress, according to “Health, the Basics” by Rebecca J. Donatelle is, “A series of mental and physiological responses and adaptations to a real or perceived threat to one’s well-being.” Stress is shown in many ways. Further in the chapter, Donatelle described the physical effects of stress. , “[Stress is] the cause of tension headaches, skin blemishes, dry mouth, backache, tightness in chest, stomachache, cold hands,” she wrote. “Stress hormones released from the adrenal cortex may affect cognitive functioning and overall mental health. In humans, memory is impaired when acute stress bombards the the brain with hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged exposure to cortisol [can lead to] actual shrinkage of the hippocampus, the brain’s major memory center.” With too much stress comes lack of motivation and low mental health. Do you often feel sluggish and ready to nap? Or do you tend to feel weird, restless, and ready to explode? Either could be the result of too much stress.
As college students, stress is a given, but there are many useful tactics to help calm oneself and refocus on an assignment. College Raptor listed 5 ways to reduce stress in college, “By listing each assignment and allotting time to complete it, you can stay on top of what you need to do and when. Avoid procrastination. Waiting to study, start an assignment, or worse start a huge project, ultimately causes more stress. While you may act like binge-watching Netflix or going out with your friends is more relaxing than doing your schoolwork, your responsibilities are likely still lurking in the back of your mind waiting to be addressed.” Assess your stress and find out what is truly causing it. If it’s procrastination, that can easily be changed by finding a new outlook on the subject or making the work more exciting.
“The key is to balance breaks and work time to complete assignments without losing your mind. Some good break activities could include going for a walk, calling a friend, watching (some) TV, grabbing a snack or cleaning. If you have any hobbies, be sure to make some time for them between studying! Eat right. Regular exercise can help with sleep, stress and managing anxiety. Feeling healthy and strong physically can help us to feel healthy and strong mentally as well.” These tactics have been useful to me as finals week drew closer. Don’t make too much for yourself; plan out all assignments and figure out the best order to complete them in, making sure you give yourself enough time for each.
Rebecca J. Donatelle wrote, “Students suffering from overload may experience depression, sleeplessness, mood swings, frustration, and anxiety.” It’s important to stay healthy and motivated finishing up the year. Summer is almost here and finding the will to push and get tasks and studying done will help reduce stress right before finals hit. The reward is summer and making sure you finish the semester strong should be the main priority. Don’t give up now, it’s the final stretch.
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