I’ve been talking to students all week, all of whom have one thing in common – they’re stressed right now as they are getting ready for finals. Many of them have other stressors that they’re managing as well – family issues, illness, relationship conflicts, depression, roommate issues – that don’t go away just because it’s crunch time at school.
Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can help us get motivated or give us the extra energy to stay up late to get a paper done when we’d really rather be sleeping. But too much stress can actually become paralyzed. We end up expending our valuable energy just managing the stress itself, and responsibilities, self-care, and yes, grades, can fall by the wayside.
When stress is overwhelming, how can you stress less? One of the best antidotes to becoming totally overwhelmed by stress is good self care. Getting sleep, eating nutritious foods, limiting alcohol and drug use, and finding time to relax are all important pieces of stress management. If you’re extremely stressed and think you don’t have time for self-care, consider the amount of time unhealthy levels of stress are costing you. High levels of stress wreak havoc on our learning, memory, concentration, and ability to think critically – all pretty important for your final exams. Efficiency and time management also suffer when stress leads to procrastination.
Another suggestion? Get support! Studies show that students who seek support are more likely to succeed academically than students who don’t. One place to get support around stress is at CAPS’ “Stress Less” workshop this Thursday from 11-12pm. All students are welcome and the workshop is free. Join us at CAPS on the 2nd floor, East Wing of the Health Center (directly above the pharmacy).
For more information about our workshop or to request disability related accommodations, please call (831) 459-2628.