While attending community college it is uncertain if a student will actually gain the freshman fifteen. However what is certain is that attending college can be stressing. According to a study published by the Journal of Depression and Anxiety three out of every four students reported at least one stressful life event within the past year such as social relationships, personal appearance, and family issues. Additionally twenty five percent reported they experienced greater than five stressful life events. These events in addition to assignment deadlines from various courses, tests, and considering your GPA along with deep concerns for your academic future some students experience depression which could lead to suicide and other medical issues.
The TRIO Student Support Services program at Tri-C Eastern Campus held an event on Thursday April 18th called “ Keeping Your Head Above Water: How to Deal with Stress” that provided students with tips on relieving stress and anxiety. Partnering with local non-profit Recovery Resources speaker: Nabil Pervaiz walked students through a guide that not only identified different types of stress but effective ways to mitigate it. In case you missed it here is some information to help guide you into a better semester in case you’re heading into summer classes or dreading returning in the fall.
There are three types of stress the first being acute stress, which is the most common form that stems from life experiences and expectations. It can be thrilling and exciting but also exhausting when there is too much on one’s plate. Episodic stress can come from setting unrealistic and unreasonable goals which brings on stress when attempting to complete tasks required to achieve said goals. It has an ability to come and go but not as common as acute and comes in continual “episodes” of stress hence the name. Finally, chronic stress which can be seen as the total opposite of acute; it’s dangerous and unhealthy. This stress is brought on by long-term exposure to stressors like an unwanted job, illness, dysfunctional families, and relationship conflicts. If you feel you suffer from chronic stress you should seek help as soon as possible chronic stress can lead to serious illness like heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
Common signs of chronic stress can be:
- Digestive issues
- Lack of sleep
- Anger and irritability
- High blood pressure
- Prone to common illnesses like common cold
De’Nasha Catchings who is set to graduate this fall says the event was helpful being that she tends to be paranoid and has an active mind but has to to move forward even when stressed. “I took an extra class because I needed one more credit and for the first eight weeks I was the most stressed I had ever been.” She adds. “I’m used to people rooting me on telling me I can do it but sometimes you have to listen to yourself and now I’m cool.” Following addressing the symptoms of chronic stress Nabil advised students on ways to attempt to manage stress they could possibly have.
The most important step in managing stress is to identify and acknowledge the symptoms of it. Once the stress is discovered you’re then able to identify what form of stress you may have and determine the severity level of it. After doing so you can determine if you simply need to talk to a friend about your stress or a medical professional. Depending on the severity you can either get everything off your mind or get the attention you may seriously need. Exercising regularly is a great way to get rid of stress and can include gardening or taking a walk around the block, even a light jog allows you to remove focus from your stress and focus on completing the activity. Along with exercising any activity that relaxes you or takes your focus off stress should be incorporated into your daily routine. That could include talking with friends, eating, painting, listening to music, or more physical activities like yoga. It is all up to you to decide on those activities that help relieve your stress. The most notable tip Nabil provided students was to set realistic goals and priorities, things that could be considered small but will lead to completing a larger goal. Also once completing that goal you should reward yourself which can be enjoying a nice dinner, maybe getting that extra glass of wine in with dinner, or attending a movie or event. Lastly with this tip he adds that it is alright to say no to new tasks that will inevitably overload you, and that it’s okay to be a little selfish especially when stressed. When considering that it’s your personal stress you don’t want anyone adding on to something they possibly cannot assist you with so it may be better to help yourself before you look to help others.
Recovery Resources is a non-profit organization that provides help to those who suffer from substance abuse and mental health issues with three locations in Cleveland you can visit recres.org for more information. For more info on TRIO you can visit tri-c.edu/trio-programs or your local office within you campus.