How to Stress Less: Mashup Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

In keeping with last week’s health theme and in the spirit of midterms, I’m going to share some helpful tips to stress less.

1. SLEEP.  The life of a college student is often riddled with late nights, early mornings, and all-nighters.  We wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honor.  Over time, lack of sleep can and often will cause serious health problems, including but not limited to heart failure, obesity, and cognitive impairment.  Short term, however, rest assured knowing that that all-nighter will do nothing for your test score unless you are either really smart or really lucky.  Lack of sleep hinders your brain’s ability to recall and process information.  The best thing you can do for yourself the night before a big test is put the books down and turn the lights off.  Your brain will thank you (and hopefully reward you) in the morning.  Be intentional about your beauty sleep, and your overall well-being will improve.

2.  Eat well.  Your body is a machine.  Put the good stuff in, get the good stuff out.  While it may be tempting to reach for pizza and soda while you study, DON’T.  When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol and adrenaline.  Did you know that there are foods that can combat that?  Just by making sure that you are eating the right stuff, you can significantly lower feelings of stress.  For more information, click here.

3.  Go for a walk.  If you read last Monday’s post, then you already know that exercise is a must for stress relief and overall health.  Get some fresh air, and release some endorphins while you’re at it.  Afterwards you will feel relaxed and ready to take on whatever the world throws at you.

4.  Play with kittens.  Fact: animals relieve stress.  Don’t believe me?  Read here and here.  Even though the articles specifically discuss the benefits of pet ownership, simply spending time with an animal can reduce anxiety, lower cortisol levels, and raise oxytocin levels (one of your body’s happy chemicals.)  Sometimes when I am stressed I go to Fetch at the Fairfield Commons.  Many of you may simply know Fetch as “the puppy store.”  Fetch is full of sweet, fluffy puppies that would love nothing more than to play with you.  They even have signs indicating which puppies are most in need of some love and attention.  Even if you can’t afford to or are unable to take a puppy home, the Fetch staff welcome playtime for the low-low price of $1, which goes to the Miami Valley Pit Crew, a non-profit animal rescue!

However, if you are able and willing to adopt your very own stress-relieving friend and can’t afford a buddy from Fetch (we are college students, afterall), I would direct you to a nearby humane society.  Check out the Humane Society Serving Clark County, or the Humane Society of Greene County to meet your new best friend.  Then, bask in the glow of their unconditional love and appreciation while you study and prepare for midterms stress-free.  It’s a win-win.

Study lots, drive safely this weekend, and DON’T STRESS!

‘Til next Monday, friends.

love,

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