To effectively manage stress, it is best to devote attention to all aspects of life, including social, physical, emotional, career, intellectual, environmental, and spiritual. Here are some tips for handling stress:
- Play. Have fun. Confide in friends.
- Allow other people to make life a bit easier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Develop or join support groups, either formal or informal.
- Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Treat your body with respect and compassion.
- Exercise in a way that is fun and healthy.
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Treat yourself with the same patience with which you treat good friends.
- Seek professional help as a sign of self-care.
- Set goals, both short-term and long-term.
- Be reasonable about expectations.
- Follow your own path.
- Organize your thoughts, ideas, and time.
- View new subjects and courses as opportunities rather than as requirements.
- Seek wisdom in addition to knowledge.
- Change to a new environment if the old one becomes unmanageable.
- Be assertive about your desires. There is no guarantee of success, but being assertive can increase the odds.
- Practice adapting to new situations.
- Have personal quiet time.
- Look for meaning in what may be troubling you. Figuring out what is wrong makes it easier to find the best way to address the problems.
- Trust that your problems will pass in time.
Other tips to help you relax
- Step outside. Soak in the outdoors to help clear your mind. Nature can act as a diversion and give you a break from a hectic schedule.
- Accentuate the positive. It’s fine to acknowledge doubts, but always keep an image of success in your head. This focus can help bring out your best when needed most.
- Eat well. You need energy to excel. Aim for balance, variety, and moderation in the foods you choose.
- Sleep—ideally around eight hours a night. Realistically, however, four to five hours is far better than pulling an all-nighter.
Special Thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Health Services.