Stress Is...

  • Normal
  • Individualized – what happens to one person may not happen to another
  • Positive and negative experiences
  • Your body’s response to demands being made upon it

What Can You Do?

  • Identify your stressors (what is stressing you out?)
  • Be aware of how stress affects you and your overall wellbeing
  • Identify how you currently cope with stress – both positively and negatively
  • Understand that being a better stress manager means making some change(s) and being committed to those changes

It is important to maintain a comfortable and productive level of daily stress. Check out some of these tips to help you manage your stress more effectively.

Stress Busters

  • Learn new ways to manage your time. You may get more done with less stress if you make a  schedule. Think about which things are most important, and do those first.
  • Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress. Be honest about what works and what does not. Explore new techniques that might be more effective.
  • Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Don't smoke. Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Speak up. Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse. Assertive communication can help you express how you feel in a thoughtful, tactful way.
  • Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better. There are also professionals on campus that can help.

Simplify Your Stress

  • Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointments, meetings, due dates, etc.
  • Prepare for the morning the night before so you can spend those early hours on getting yourself ready for your day.
  • Procrastination is stressful. If you can get it done today,  just do it!
  • Allow 15 minutes extra time to get to appointments, classes, and meetings.
  • Make no assumptions. Take time to clarify instructions so your time and energy isn’t wasted.
  • Form a strong support system among friends and family.
  • Incorporate physical activity into your routine to help maintain good physical well-being.
  • Know your limits. Set reasonable boundaries to help you stay productive, energized, and positive. Learn to say no.
  • Acknowledge things you can’t control, let them go, and move on. Spend your time on things important to you and that you can do something about.
  • Be flexible. In times of crisis keep an open mind, be willing to compromise and stay calm.
  • Make relaxation time a part of your daily routine to refresh and rejuvenate your mind and body.

Relaxation Tips

  • Practice relaxation techniques daily. Pick and choose ones that work for you and your routine.
  • Find a quiet environment and eliminate distractions.
  • Adopt a passive attitude and empty your mind.
  • Don't worry about how well you are doing with the exercise. Avoid controlling the situation and enjoy what you are doing.
  • Use a mental device to help keep you focused whether it is an object or a phrase you repeat.
  • The more consistent you are with practicing; the easier it will be to incorporate the technique into your lifestyle.

Resources

McKinley Health Education Unit
Schedule an individual appointment with McKinley's Stress Management Educator.
Call Health Education at 217-333-2714.

McKinley Mental Health Unit
217-333-2705

Download McKinley's Online Relaxation Exercises