I’m at a point in life where I am surrounded by stress. In order to function, I need to be able to manage that stress in healthy ways. I chose to find stress management tips for 3 groups of people; college students, athletes, and people in the workplace. I am currently a college student and an athlete. Both can be extremely stressful at times and I want to know how to deal with it better. In the future, I plan on joining the workforce so I will need to know how to manage stress in that aspect too. For advice on managing stress as a college student, I found an article by everydayhealth.com with 10 tips for managing stress in college. The first tip they give is to get enough sleep. This is important because the body needs its rest. The article says to get from 7 to 9 hours of sleep. According to the information from class, you ideally want 7 and a half OR 9 hours of sleep. If your wake up in-between these two times, you could wake up in a deep sleep cycle and feel crappy. Their second tip is to eat well. They claim that eating junk food lowers your energy level which leads to you having less ability to deal with stress. I can agree with this from personal experience. When I eat a lot of junk food, all I feel like doing is laying in bed. Next, Everyday Health says to exercise. Exercise releases endorphins. These help you feel better especially when you are dealing with stressful times. They advise students to avoid unnatural energy boosters and relaxing with alcohol. We learned in class that things like the unnatural energy boosters can just be placebos sometimes. They are bad for your body and usually leave you in a worse place then you were to start. As for using alcohol; abuse of this substance can lead to addiction. If someone uses alcohol to cope with stress, there is a good chance of them becoming an alcoholic. They stress finding emotional support. Taking to friends, family, or school psychologists can help you reduce stress through a process called self-disclosure. Another piece of advice Everyday Health gives is to not overload yourself and not give up on your passions. You need time to relax and if you overload yourself, the chance will never come. Also, doing something you love can reduce stress. For me, playing baseball makes all the stressful things I face go away. I can’t really imagine what I would do if I gave up on that and that seems like it applies to everyone. Finally, Everyday Health says to breathe and get a massage. We never really spoke about either in class, but they have always been talked about in connection to relaxation.
As I mentioned before, playing baseball makes all my stress go away. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stressful factors that go into actually being able to play. Everyday practices after class, weightlifting, keeping a healthy diet, preparing for games, and balancing your time leads to a lot of stress. Because of this, I looked to find tips on how to manage stress as a athlete. I found an article by Nova 3 Labs on stress tips for athletes. Their first three tips were also included on the list of stress tips for college students. First, they advised athletes to get enough rest. Just like in the Everyday Health article, they said to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. This is starting to look like a common misconception and they should watch out for this. The other three tips that Nova 3 Labs shared with Everyday health were engaging in fun activities, managing your time, and getting support. They again stress the important of having time to relax and doing things you love, and confiding in others to lower stress. The final tip is to check your attitude. This is sort of a form of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Staying positive and staying in the present will allow you to not focus or stress over things like a bad performance in the past or a challenge that lies ahead.
Once I graduate college, the stress will not stop. There are a lot of stressors around the workplace, including meeting deadlines and dealing with your bosses. I found an article from the American Psychological Association (APA) with tips to deal with stress in the workplace. Their first tip is to track your stressors. It’s important to know what your stressors are and how they work so you know how to handle them. They then say to develop healthy responses. Examples of this that they gave were exercise, get enough sleep, or do something you love; all things that the previous two articles touched on. The next tip is to establish boundaries and take time to relax. They suggest having set times where you are not doing anything work-related. This can go with the “leave time to relax” aspect that the previous articles talked about. It’s important to have this in your life because without it, there is no healthy escape from stress. After that, the APA says to learn how to relax. They support doing meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction activities. Both of which we know are healthy stress reduction activities. Just like the other two articles, the APA suggests finding support. Finally, they suggest talking to your supervisor. Supervisors want their employees to perform to the best of their abilities. This happens when everyone is healthy so if there is a problem, he or she will do what they can to help.
People always need ways to deal with stress. With the exception of sleep tips, I think that these three articles all give good, accurate advice and I will keep them in mind the next time I am dealing with stress.