Mar 2, 2009

MIX! Says Relax

by Ellen Wilson

"Reasons to be stressed:"
  • School (tests, reading, studying, papers, homework)
  • Work
  • Paying your rent and utilities on time
  • Finding a date for Friday night
  • Not tripping down the RB stairs
  • Finding a place to sit in the Wilkinson between 11-3
We all have a list like this, if not longer, of reasons to be stressed. So when times are crazy busy, MIX! says relax. Here are some tips on how to lower your stress level and be able to tackle life's challenges with a fresh mind and body.

Schedule relaxation time. Try to plan an activity, even if it's just a walk to the park or giving yourself time to bake your favorite cookies. By planning your time, you'll be less inclined to waste it. Unplanned time typically turns into wasted time.

Call a friend you haven't seen in a while. Meet up for a movie or lunch on campus. Catching up on their life diverts your focus to something other than your own list of to-dos.

Do some calming activities. Turn on soft music or any other music that helps to clear your mind. Read through a couple chapters of your favorite book. Stretch your stiff, been-sitting-in-a-desk-all-day muscles. Just do anything that clears your mind and calms your body.

While studying, take some deep breaths. Don't let your workload overwhelm you.

Do some volunteer work. Nothing helps forgetting your own worries faster than helping someone else out.

Have a confidant you trust. Talking over your worries can be relieving. However, be sure to give your confidant your ears when they need someone to talk to.

Don't be too critical of yourself or others. A negative attitude kills positive motivation. Take things one step at a time, doing the most important things first, and don't beat yourself up.

Remember that you are in control. When life throws everything at you, you are the one that chooses your stress level. Long-term stress can raise blood pressure, weaken your immune system and speed up the aging process.  Safe yourself from more problems: avoid those gray hairs and take some time to de-stress.

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