Combating stress is never as easy as it sounds, especially so given that there are so many reasons to feel stressed these days.
Financial issues, family conflict, trauma and the demanding routine of university life can all add to our already overflowing stress levels. Logically, we would want to remove the things causing us stress, but that isn’t always possible.
Why Do We Need to Combat Stress?
We understand that stress is a response to an emergency which activates our fight or flight reflex. This is an amazing system which gives us the chemical kick we need to run away or do battle with the proverbial enemy.
Our body is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, our heart rate shoots up, blood pressure rises, and muscles tighten – we’re in the perfect place to deal with whatever has caused us stress.
An article on combating stress says, in part, “Stress in itself is not necessarily harmful. The American Psychological Association has noted: “Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it.”
So, stress is not the problem – prolonged stress is!
Examining Your Routine
As we mentioned, there are many reasons to feel stressed, but the one in particular that we want to look at is how our routine contributes to our stress levels.
When we started at varsity our whole life changed with the added responsibility of perhaps managing our own money, leading a healthy lifestyle while in student accommodation, and dealing with a massive workload.
If your routine is simply too much, it may be time to peel away what needs to be done versus what you want to do and see what this looks like.
Studying is a must, as is attending lectures, exercising, eating healthy food and getting enough sleep. What else demands your time and attention? TV, video games, socialising and sports are great, but if they’re eating into your limited time then they will be adding to the stress burden which you’re trying to shed.
Simplifying your life will go a long way towards giving you back one of life’s most valuable commodities – time! Having more time to get some quality sleep will allow you to study more effectively. Making the time to exercise and eat good, wholesome food will give you the mental and emotional energy to cope with a demanding schedule.
Fewer responsibilities equal less stress.
How can you simplify your university life to combat stress?