Some people have a "race horse" life-style and seem to thrive on intense
activity while others prefer a "turtle" life-style and function best when their activity level is not intense.
Trying to adopt a "turtle" life-style when we really prefer a "race horse" life-style, or vice-a-versa, can be
We need to trust ourselves as the authority on what is best for us. We should avoid
comparing ourselves with others who seem to function with a higher degree of stress in their lives than we do. For
example, we should register for the number of credit hours we think we can effectively handle even though our
friends may register for more hours. Also, we should get the number of hours of sleep we need even though our
roommates may function on fewer hours.
Here are several ideas that will help in your college stress reduction
First, and foremost, is getting enough rest. The basic health guideline for
sleep is 7-8 hours per night. Unfortunately, the average college student sleeps significantly less than that. Some
student health surveys indicate that most college students sleep less than 6 hours and many less than 4 hours per
night. And, you know you can’t "pay it back." If you average 4-6 hours during the week, you can’t sleep 12 on
Saturday and pay it back. In fact, sleeping more than 8 hours can make you feel more tired.
Another stress management health tip is to eat regularly. Many college
students skip breakfast, or maybe go all day without eating. When your body is deprived of regular energy, it makes
up for it by lowering your metabolism, or energy level. In other words, skipping meals does not help you lose
weight or stay awake. In fact, it has the reverse affect.
The "quality" of food is also important. Snack foods (chips, candy, fast
foods, etc.) aren’t necessarily the most healthy. High salt foods can cause excess water retention and eventually
lead to high blood pressure. High sugar foods can cause low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia; which is associated with
dizziness, tiredness, and fatigue. Well-balanced meals (like mom makes) and nutritious snacks, such as fruit,
popcorn, and bagels are recommended.
Regular exercise is a necessary part of your stress ease program. Sports, games,
and daily physical activity are essential in helping you stay focused and sharp. Daily exercise breaks during
finals week are a must, even if you’re just taking a walk around campus to get away from the study area for a few