Healthy Campus Initiatives: Healthy Mind
Everyone feels stress from time to time. Stress can include feeling overwhelmed about a paper due, finances, friends, family or other obligations. Sometimes stress encourages you to work harder or faster. But too much stress, like anything else, can be unhealthy. Picture blowing air into a balloon. Up to a certain point, the balloon can contain the air. But eventually, it will pop, which represents being over-stressed. It can lead to difficulty concentrating, headaches, other physical pains, insomnia or changing in eating habits.
Managing Stress | Reducing Stress | Mindfulness Exercise
What are some stressors that college students have?
• Class and homework
• New environment/being away from home
• Relationships, both romantic and with friends
• Money (spending money and loans)
• Specific events, such as the death of a family member or friend, a major world event, or events related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- For help with PTSD, contact the Counseling and Psychological Services Center at 856-256-4222. Veteran students may wish to also reach out to Veterans Affairs at 856-256-4233
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So how do you deal with stress? There are lots of options! Experiment to determine the ones that are right for you.
• Read a book (not for class) or write in a journal about whatever you are thinking or feeling. Spelling doesn’t count!
• Listen to music or make your own!
• Call a friend or family member just to talk and share what’s on your mind. Laughing can help, too!
• Exercise. For some students, this may be walking, running, weight lifting, swimming, yoga, or some other type of physical activity.
• Meditation. Click here for an article on Mindful Meditation, especially around exams!
• Guided imagery
• Speaking with a religious leader or praying
• Taking a bath or hot shower
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Are there other ideas you have for relieving stress? Let us know!
How do you reduce the stress that is in your life?
• Learn time management. Create a schedule and stick to it! This can include doing a little bit of a larger project every night, or reviewing class work every day to avoid cramming for an exam at the end. The Academic Success Center can help with time management and study skills (link).
• Find what makes you happy. Is it volunteering? Is it talking with other students about healthy choices? What about finding a job or internship in a field you feel passionate about? Having a sense of purpose can make all the hard work worth it.
• Know your coping skills and resources you have available.
• Getting enough sleep, exercise and healthy food. Check out Healthy Body (link) for information on how to be physically healthy.
• Positive self-talk. “Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.” Consider a situation where you have a big project due:
| I’ll never get this paper done. It’s too big and I’m not smart enough.
||This is a large task, but I’ve written papers like this before. I’ll take it a little bit at a time. I’ll get through this!
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Mindfulness is the act of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally (Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention by Ruth A. Baer). We can use mindfulness in a variety of ways, including to help relief stress and anxiety. By noticing what it is we are anxious about, we can help do deal with the feelings of uncertainty. Here is a three-minute mindful breathing exercise that may help you.
Rowan has resources to help you manage your stress in a healthy way! Check it out:
Counseling and Psychological Services Center
Get involved on campus and in the community!
Service Learning and Volunteerism
Student Government Association