UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 08, 2022

5 stress-reducing tips to help you conquer the semester

One of the ways we can reduce stress is by doing our favorite hobbies. Annie Sorensen | Sun News Daily

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With midterms and holidays around the corner, students may be feeling stress more than ever.

This natural feeling is your body’s reaction to situations that may feel threatening or challenging to your well being. According to The American Institute of Stress, eight in ten college students report feeling frequent stress. 

Common stressors we all may experience includes grades, homesickness, finances, relationships and more. Entering into the college atmosphere and juggling school, work and personal life prove to be one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks a student can master.  

Jamy Dahle, assistant director of the Booth Wellness Center, said although stress has a negative connotation, it is not always harmful to our performance. In fact, a moderate amount of stress produces high productivity allowing individuals to take on challenges more efficiently.

Everyone deals with stress in different ways, and although it can not be completely eliminated from life, there are ways to effectively cope with it. 

Task Management

Being able to bounce back from the stress that life guarantees has a lot to do with managing tasks effectively. Practicing good organization, prioritization, planning and communication can help to avoid the feelings of frequent stress. 

Being able to avoid procrastination through good time management skills will also help soften the blow of stress. 

“I just try to make the most out of my time, and instead of sitting there worrying about it, I like to be active and actually start working on an assignment rather than procrastinating,” said Amanda Sivert, a freshman general studies major from Vernal.

Having a daily to-do list, planning ahead, setting time limits with electronics, and establishing healthy routines will ensure us with the right resources to practice good time management. 

Hobbies 

Another way to cope with stress includes taking time to enjoy hobbies and interests. 

Dustin Leavitt, a freshman general studies major from Las Vegas, said: “I use video games as an outlet to help me get away and decompress. It gets my mind off of stress and for me, and when I can get my mind off of things, I can easily relax.”

When students take time to focus on the things they enjoy other thoughts producing stress can be easily forgotten. 

Common hobbies include reading, craft-making, participating in physical activity, traveling and listening to music. There are many hobbies that cater to all personalities, so finding the right interest will take time and effort.

Trying new hobbies can also help individuals avoid feeling stressed because learning how to do something new gives the brain something to do rather than worry. 

Social Connections

Whether students participate in hobbies alone or with others, forming healthy relationships while doing the things you love can aid in reducing stress. 

Creating long-lasting relationships can occur through joining clubs, participating in study groups, attending events, and hanging around family and friends. 

Leanne Martin, a freshman engineering major from Manila, Philippines, said: “Talking to friends and family about stress helps me a lot. I have friends checking in on me making sure that I’m okay and calling me every day.”

Being able to create a network of supportive people will ensure us with the help we need when stressful situations arise. Remembering that there are people out there that care about our well-being and want us to succeed will help us know it’s OK to go to others for help when experiencing stress.

Physical Activity

Participating in physical activity has been proven to reduce stress for many reasons.

The motions involved in exercise help us to focus on our physicality rather than our mentality. Because of this, more thought goes into exercising correctly and efficiently rather than all of the stress we may be experiencing.

Scientifically, exercising helps produce endorphins in the brain. These endorphins create feelings of well-being and happiness getting rid of the negative feelings associated with stress.

Ways for students to stay active include taking walks, meditating, hiking, practicing yoga, participating in sports and going to the gym.

“I go to the gym because it really helps me realize that I only need to focus on myself and not focus on what others have to say,” said Sia Koloamatang, a freshman general studies major from West Jordan.

Quality Sleep 

Lastly, getting enough sleep can help reduce stress in our day-to-day life because of the health benefits that come from developing a good sleep schedule.

Getting the right amount of sleep helps regulate our immune system, decrease anxiety and relax, all things that aid in the lessening of stress.

“Sleep just helps me feel better in general and so when I feel better, I’m able to get all my assignments done and get my responsibilities in order,” said Cache Clark, a sophomore exercise science major from West Jordan.

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night through establishing a consistent sleep schedule will guarantee immediate health benefits as well as less stress.

Dahle said that important things for students to remember when faced with stress is to do one thing at a time, take time for yourself and understand that stress is not always the enemy.