Stress and Wellness

Links to Websites l Managing Stress

American College Health Association -  http://acha.org/

Serves as the principal leadership organization for advancing the health of college students and campus communities through advocacy, education, and research.

Critical Mental Health Resources for College Students - http://www.onlinecolleges.net/for-students/mental-health-resources

With the pressures facing most people today, it is essential to take your mental health seriously. This is especially true for college students and young people, whose lack of experience in the real world could lead to major mental health issues resulting from stress, overwork, fatigue, or even the onset of a more serious mental illness.

Go Ask Alice - www.goaskalice.columbia.edu

Have a question about relationships, sexuality, sexual health, emotional health, fitness, nutrition, alcohol, nicotine or other drugs.

Healthfinder -  www.healthfinder.gov

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Education, this is a great starting place for finding health-related information. Provides links to useful websites on every health related topic you can imagine (including alternative medicine, mental health, etc).

National Alliance on Mental Illness -  http://nami.org/

The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

National Institution of Mental Health -  www.nimh.nih.gov/

Sponsored by the National Institution of Mental Health.

National Mental Health Association (NMHA) -  http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

Phone: 1-800-969-NMHA (Toll free)  MHA, the leading advocacy organization addressing the full spectrum of mental and substance use conditions and their effects nationwide, works to inform, advocate and enable access to quality behavioral health services for all Americans.  

Psych Central -  http://psychcentral.com/

Resource for all things related to mental health.

Public Health Resource on Nutrition - http://www.publichealth.org/resources/nutrition/

Resource on wellness and healthy nutrition.

Relaxation Techniques -  www.mindtools.com

A variety of techniques are offered to help you manage your stress level when it gets too high.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) -  http://www.samhsa.gov/

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

The Unabridged Student Counseling Virtual Pamphlet Collection -  www.dr-bob.org/vpc

From alcohol and substance abuse to how to write a good term paper, this site contains information for college students from universities across the country...and some other countries as well.

Managing Stress: A Guide for College Students

Stress is part of life and can even be helpful for getting things done. Consider the analogy of a rubber band: some stress is necessary for it to do its job, but too much stress will cause it to snap under the pressure. Stress can come from good experiences as well as bad. All of us can easily name sources of bad stress: exams, relationship problems, financial troubles. But even good things can be stressful at times: getting married, moving to a new town, starting college, being elected to a leadership position, adding more activities to your plate (even if they are fun).

The problem is that many of us carry so much stress that it affects our ability to function in a healthy way. Did you know that prolonged, excessive stress may be a key element in half of all physical illnesses? It affects immune and nervous systems, heart function, metabolism, hormone levels and contributes to rapid aging. So it's important to understand stress and learn how to keep it in moderation and working for us, not against us.

Common Causes of Stress:

  • Academic pressures
  • Balancing school and social demands
  • Taking on too many projects
  • Money problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Family problems
  • Personal loss
  • Moving
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Illness/Injury
  • Impossible expectations for self and others
  • Workplace stress
  • Traffic

Common Signs You May Be Under Too Much Stress:

  • Feeling easily agitated, irritable or angered, defensive, overly argumentative, being inflexible
  • Trembling, nervous tics, restlessness
  • Exhaustion even after sleeping, insomnia
  • Always feeling preoccupied, racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Avoiding problems, people and/or situations
  • Impulsive or compulsive spending, gambling, sexual activity, or substance abuse
  • Poor self hygiene
  • Dryness of the mouth and throat
  • Sweating, diarrhea, migraines
  • Missed menstrual cycles
  • Body pain (neck tension, backaches most common)
  • Stomach/intestinal pain
  • Appetite changes
  • Eating habit changes
  • Hair falling out
  • Picking at skin
  • Nightmares

What You Can Do To Reduce Stress:

  • Become more self-aware of your body, mind, and spirit: monitor yourself daily to know when you are feeling stressed
  • Identify the major stressors in your life and write them down - get them out of your head and take a look at them
  • Break stressful tasks into smaller components by prioritizing: make lists and begin task one. Don't wait for motivation, it will come later
  • If you procrastinate, try to determine what you are avoiding. Avoidance usually increases stress rather than reducing it
  • Don't work where you like to relax
  • Keep perspective - try to see the bigger picture
  • Talk about your stress with others, develop and utilizes support system of people close to you
  • Realize that you are not a machine with an unlimited supply of energy: you can't do it all
  • Develop healthy boundaries in your relationships. Allow yourself to act in your own best interest: learn to say "no" to additional responsibilities that infringe upon your time, and limit contact with negative people
  • Focus on what you can control and let the rest be
  • Relax your standards: the world will not end and your academic career will not be over if something does not get done today or does not get done "perfectly." Perfectionism mistakenly associates performance with self-worth. Be kind to yourself
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes per day,three days a week
  • Eat well
  • Slow down and take deep breaths for a few minutes, gather yourself, and try again
  • Sleep the optimal amount for you. Try to go to bed, and wake up, at the same time every day. If you need an alarm to wake up, you're probably not getting a full nights rest
  • Play everyday and laugh as much as you can (e.g., watch funny movies, read funny books, act silly, hang out with people you can laugh with)
  • Get away for awhile: changing surroundings can allow you to see things from a different perspective. Even one day of vacation can rejuvenate
  • Fix things that are broken that cause additional stress (e.g., alarm clock, windshield wipers, shoelaces)
  • Simplify and organize
  • Consider limiting your viewing of media (e.g., nightly news, CSI) that cause distress
  • Limit or eliminate the use of substances (alcohol, caffeine, illegal drugs, tobacco/nicotine)
  • Speak with a therapist about stress reduction techniques

The information on stress above was obtained from Counseling and Psychiatric Services at the University of Georgia