9 Ways Students Can Relieve Stress


Posted on October 19, 2015 by Joy Washington
Joy Washington


Dr. Robert Hanks, USA director of counseling and testing services, says taking care of your body - through adequate sleep, eating well and regular exercise - is a good way for students to reduce stress levels. The Student Recreation Center offers fitness classes, personal training, cardio and weight lifting equipment, a rock wall, two pools, racquetball and basketball courts and an indoor soccer field. Enrolled students are admitted at no cost with their student ID.  data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Robert Hanks, USA director of counseling and testing services, says taking care of your body - through adequate sleep, eating well and regular exercise - is a good way for students to reduce stress levels. The Student Recreation Center offers fitness classes, personal training, cardio and weight lifting equipment, a rock wall, two pools, racquetball and basketball courts and an indoor soccer field. Enrolled students are admitted at no cost with their student ID.

The fall semester is underway and many students are balancing the responsibilities of school, work, family dynamics and extracurricular activities. All of these things can lead to anxiety and depression.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 58 percent of college campuses have seen an increase in anxiety disorders and 89 percent of campuses have seen a rise in clinical depression. Dr. Robert Hanks, director of counseling and testing services at the University of South Alabama, and his staff have created stress management recommendations for students.

Here are some of the tips:

1. Take good care of your body.  

Eat well, get adequate sleep and exercise regularly.

2. Practice some form of deep relaxation. 

A state of deep relaxation can be achieved through the use of techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery and/or yoga.

3. Be an active problem solver. 

When confronted by a problem that is within a student’s ability to impact, he or she should take steps to identify and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate the problem.

4. Establish and maintain supportive relationships.            

Staying connected with family and friends who are perceived as caring and supportive can provide a buffer of protection against the impact of stressful life events.  If there’s a lack of supportive family and friends, consider affiliating with a support group, religious organization, or association of some kind that might offer the opportunity to cultivate a support network.

5. Manage your time well. 

Effectively managing time often entails planning ahead, prioritizing tasks, using “to-do lists,” reducing procrastination and avoiding overcommitting.

6. Set aside time to do things you enjoy.

It is important to maintain a balance in life.

Students should make sure they reserve time to pursue hobbies, special interests and recreational and/or social activities that they enjoy doing on a regular basis. 

7. Use humor to cope.  

When appropriate, try to look for the humor in otherwise stressful situations.

8. Commit yourself to something larger than yourself.

This may be a religious faith, a political party, a great cause; for example, protecting the environment or joining a volunteer organization.  This can help to provide a sense of purpose and meaning for life.  

9. Seek help.

If students are having significant difficulty managing stress, seek professional counseling. There is no shame in acknowledging a need for assistance.  It is actually a sign of strength. 

To schedule an appointment for counseling, call (251) 460-7051. For more information about the services and resources offered by USA Counseling and Testing Services, visit www.southalabama.edu/departments/counseling.

 


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