Dead week is fast approaching, and your schedule is packed with papers and projects, functions and formals, not to mention finals and packing to move out for the summer. It’s safe to say that students this time of year are dealing with — or maybe failing to deal with — stress.
However, there are many methods to cope with stress that can help even the busiest student finish out the semester strong. In the last HU Hack of the semester, the Center for Student Success gave its four As of stress management: avoid, alter, adapt and accept.
The first is “avoid,” and no, this does not meat to avoid your problems or homework. First, you must learn to prioritize. Set goals for yourself and distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” This means learning to say no sometimes — yes, I’m talking to you, overachieving perfectionists. Don’t be afraid to take control of your environment, even if it is as simple as taking 10 minutes to clean your desk or car. Declutter your life, space and mind, and avoid additional stressors.
Next, you must alter the situation. Whether this means being more assertive or more willing to compromise, you must learn to change the situations that are causing you stress.
Sometimes, however, a situation cannot be changed, and you are forced to adapt. Change the way you look at it; will it matter in a month? A year? Give yourself some grace and know that is perfectly fine not to be perfect. Accept the things you cannot change and put your stressed mind at ease.
Beyond the HU Hacks, there are plenty of other methods to deal with stress. Take a short break from your work and go outside for a walk. Exercise or write in a journal to relieve your brain. As I’m sure you already know, they make adult coloring books for the sole purpose of stress relief. Let’s be honest — we all know we secretly love to color.
Talk to a friend over coffee about the things that are giving you anxiety. Take up yoga and meditation to soothe your mind. Listen to some music and clean up your room; they say a less cluttered space leads to a less cluttered mind. If all else fails, go and pet a cat or dog at the Humane Society of Searcy.
If you are seeking further advice on stress and anxiety, don’t hesitate to visit the Counseling Center located on the third floor of the McInteer Bible building. Stress will always be present in our lives, especially during college, but there are many ways to cope to ensure a happier, healthier life.