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The Stylus

The Stylus

Stress management for students 

(Photo Credit: Elisa Ventur)

With midterms approaching soon, students may feel anxiety levels on the rise. Methods and techniques for stress do not come by easily, but with incorporating balance in day-to-day life, it can be managed.   

The Hazen Counseling Center is a welcoming environment to help ease student’s feelings of anxiety and stress. Keegan Johnston, a counselor at SUNY Brockport, brings light to ways students can ease their anxiety.   

“When it comes to managing heavy workload one of the first things that is important is how to examine approaching it, spacing it out giving oneself opportunities to relax and de-stress. It is valuable to find ways to take it in smaller pieces. It’s counterintuitive to step away from an assignment, there’s a lot of power when one walks away and returns to it whether it’s exercise and meditation or a walk or eating or anything creative,” Johnston said.   

Anxiety has a way of manifesting and interrupting the natural balance of emotions. Checking in with basic needs to break the burn-out cycle include keeping track of the last time one has drank water, eating habits and sleep patterns. Even simple things such as going outside and getting fresh air have shown significant changes to one’s mental health. Acceptance is okay, as it is okay to feel these range of emotions. As students are never expected to live a stress-free life, it is more important to focus on managing stress and forming long term solutions, while getting ahead of the negative habits.   

“It is important to be proactive about addressing anxiety. It’s good for an individual to work things out on their own but getting ahead of managing stress is best. Whether own interventions or speaking to someone. Stress and anxiety are the most common things we see coming into the counseling center as most human beings and college students deal with stress in different ways,” Johnston said.   

The stigma revolving around mental health and anxiety is constantly fluctuating, but it has received more attention over the past 10 years. People are always learning and transitioning techniques and passing them down while adapting new ones.   

One important factor when it comes to managing stress and anxiety is finding a balance that works. Eric Sandler, a SUNY Brockport exercise science lecturer and professor, explains the importance of balance and ways to incorporate physical activity on campus.  

“College is a time for growth and development mentally, physically and emotionally and finding a balance between class work and your personal life is important,” Sandler said. “Any form of interaction is a great way to relieve stress. Going for a walk, a group exercise class or even sleeping would be very helpful. 100 percent it’s about finding a balance, it’s about what you’re able to turn off. Listening to podcasts and music while working on a treadmill can help ease the mind from other commitments, finding ways to turn it off.”

Sleep can give a new perspective and energy, as a lot of the stress college students feel can be largely attributed to fixing sleeping patterns. 

“Sleep is important. It’s amazing how much of our problems, whether they’re physical or emotional, are more effectively managed when we’ve had a good amount of sleep.”   

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