April is Stress Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month
Written by Bethanie Mauerman, M.Ed, LPC
Graduate Research Assistant, Division of Mental Health & Substance Use
According to New York University, over half of college students identified academics as their primary source of stress. April is Stress Awareness Month and for many college students it begins the wrapping up of the spring semester. This is the time where, for some students, stress may increase due to assignments being due, preparing for finals, and possibly even the life changes that come with graduation. As students, it is important to be aware that this may be a time of increased stress and do your best to manage stress. Recognizing stress is the first step in this process.
Stress looks different for everyone. Some individuals may experience physical signs of stress such as headaches, stomach aches, rapid heartbeat, or sweating. Individuals can also experience a change in thinking patterns, worried thoughts, feeling overwhelmed, have problems concentrating, memory, or struggling with coursework. It is possible to experience stress by having a combination of signs or even signs not listed in this article. So, what happens once you recognize these signs within your life?
While a cure to stress would be great, sadly it does not exist. The good news is there are things you can do to manage and cope with stress considering these ideas:
- Create a plan of action.
If something specific is the cause of your stress such as being overwhelmed by school assignments. You can create a plan prioritizing what needs to be done and when.
- Take care of yourself.
Self care is important. Be sure to keep up with the basics like eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and physical activity.
- Consider trying meditation or yoga.
Meditation has been shown to help with coping and managing stress. Consider attending Meditation Across Campus, a Koru Mindfulness class, or a group x yoga class.
- Get help if needed.
Kent State offers a variety of counseling resources through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Additional online information available at www.kent.edu/caps.
While these are simple tips, they can help in managing stress in our everyday lives. With that being said, it is important to remember that when it comes to coping with stress, it can take time to see a change within ourselves.