(suggestions from Indiana University Health Center)
Following are tips on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle and to prepare you to cope with the stress of everyday living.
Structure each day to include a minimum of 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.
Eat well-balanced meals, more whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Substitute fruits for desserts.
Avoid caffeine. The substance may aggravate anxiety, insomnia, nervousness and trembling.
Reduce refined sugars. Excess sugars cause frequent fluctuation in blood glucose levels, adding stress to the body's physiological functioning.
Reduce alcohol and drugs. These substances may add to headaches, swelling, decrease coping mechanisms, and add to depression.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.
Spend time each day with at least one relaxation technique - imagery, daydreaming, prayer, yoga or meditation.
Take a warm bath or shower. Go for a walk.
Get in touch! Hug someone, hold hands, or stroke a pet. Physical contact is a great way to relieve stress.
Some additional suggestions for reducing stress levels and enhancing your college experience:
Still not convinced you can do anything to reduce your level of stress? If your response to these tips is, "oh sure." When and how do I incorporate one more thing into my already busy life, read on.
- Keep your space and consequently your mind organized.
- Go to class.
- Keep up with course work (the rule of thumb is two hours of study per one hour in class).
- Get involved with campus activities.
- Maintain communication with your family.
- Take advantage of campus resources and choose a career path.
- Form healthy relationships.
- Talk to someone about your problems (family member, friend, college counselor).
- Get to know your professors.