Stress and Wellness

What You Can Do To Reduce Stress:

  • Become more self-aware of your body, mind, and spirit: monitor yourself daily to know when you are feeling stressed.
  • Identify the major stressors in your life and write them down - get them out of your head and take a look at them.
  • Break stressful tasks into smaller components by prioritizing: make lists and begin task one. Don't wait for motivation; it will come later.
  • If you procrastinate, try to determine what you are avoiding. Avoidance usually increases stress rather than reducing it.
  • Keep perspective - try to see the bigger picture.
  • Talk about your stress with others; develop and utilize the support system of people close to you.
  • Realize that you are not a machine with an unlimited supply of energy: you can't do it all.
  • Develop healthy boundaries in your relationships. Allow yourself to act in your own best interest: learn to say "no" to additional responsibilities that infringe upon your time, and limit contact with negative people.
  • Focus on what you can control and let the rest be.
  • Change your perspective: the world will not end and your academic career will not be over if something does not get done today or does not get done "perfectly." Perfectionism mistakenly associates performance with self-worth. Be kind to yourself.
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes per day, three days a week. Walking counts!
  • Eat well, regularly, and paying attention to nutrition.
  • Slow down and take deep breaths for a few minutes, gather yourself, and try again.
  • Sleep the optimal amount for you. Try to go to bed, and wake up, at close to the same time every day.
  • Play everyday and laugh as much as you can (e.g., watch funny movies, read funny books, act silly, hang out with people you can laugh with).
  • Get away for a while: changing surroundings can allow you to see things from a different perspective. Even a short break can be rejuvenating.
  • Fix things that are broken that cause additional stress (e.g., alarm clock, windshield wipers, shoelaces).
  • Simplify and organize.
  • Consider limiting your viewing of media (e.g., nightly news, CSI) that cause distress.
  • Limit or eliminate the use of mood altering substances (alcohol and other drugs, caffeine, sugar, tobacco/nicotine).
  • Speak with a counselor about stress reduction techniques.