Despite our best efforts, stress is a side effect of life that no one can avoid. College students are told time after time to lower stress levels, yet we still stay up in the library as late as possible with our large caffeinated beverages, getting much less sleep than the recommended amount. But being completely stress-free isn’t necessarily healthy either. Having a balanced amount of stress can keep you motivated to do your best and functioning at an ideal rate.
So how do we maintain our stress levels? Here are a few tips to maintaining a healthy balance of stress in your life:
1. Allot yourself “Me” time
When your schedule is completely packed, leisure activities are often pushed to the back of the stack. Rather than never allowing yourself to relax, give yourself time at some point in the day to do something you love, whether it’s watching Netflix, eating a frozen delight or doing yoga at the gym.
2. Unplug from the world
Technology can keep you from completely focusing on your work, in turn making stress levels higher because your work takes longer. Instead, try unplugging yourself by putting away your cell phone or laptop and silencing those constant beeps and buzzes for a few minutes. Take the time away from technology to organize your room or find another activity that relaxes you.
3. Power naps
Sleep is essential to keeping stress away. A good night’s sleep will recharge your body and relax your brain. If you absolutely must pull an all-nighter, don’t turn toward caffeine to keep you awake. Instead, try a power nap. Caffeine can actually decrease memory performance (WebMD), whereas a 20-minute nap can boost memory and alertness.
4. Laugh more
They weren’t lying when they said “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter can stimulate tension relief, which relaxes your muscles and relieves physical stress (MayoClinic). It also boosts the immune system, stimulates circulation, reduces stress-related hormones, and enhances mental functioning. So open your laptop, search for your favorite comedian or comedy show, and laugh the stress away.
Keep an eye out for the SBM on October 16th for more stress-relief tips!