Relieving Stress: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Rebecca Torchia

Image by Nathan Rennich

Image by Nathan Rennich

As the spring semester heats up with papers, projects, and tests, students sometimes find themselves using unhealthy tactics when dealing with stress.

Coffee or energy drinks are a common way students keep themselves awake to deal with loads of schoolwork.

Other times people deal with stress by over eating and distracting themselves with unhealthy food.

Erin Yates, junior history major, admits to drinking coffee when she is dealing stress, but sometimes she uses a more violent approach.

“I hit things,” she said. “It’s usually the wall in my bedroom.”

Another ill-advised distraction is television or Netflix.

Many students watch a favorite program or movie until three in the morning, but they only feel more exhausted and are left with less time to be productive. For Hershini Gopal, a freshman mechanical engineering major, the program of choice is ‘Grey’s Anatomy.

While media of all sorts may be a relaxing get away at first, it will only lead to more long-term stress.

The university’s Health Center offers healthier ways to relieve stress, including mediation, acupuncture, and massage, Hope McPhatter, assistant director of health promotion, said.

The Health Center even offers ways for a student to cope with stress without leaving his or her room.  Students can find deep breathing exercises and guided imagery on their website that can help them relax in as little as five minutes.

“There’s also working out, which is the number one way to relieve stress,” McPhatter said.

Working out is helpful for students because they are dealing with stress in a way that they know is good for their bodies, freshman kinesiology major Alexa Paganini said.

Working out gives students a more positive mindset and allows them to focus better, ultimately creating a better way to handle stress.

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