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A Balanced Lifestyle Helps Keep Stress at Bay

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April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month which brings attention to the negative impact of stress. As college students, most of us are fairly familiar with the concept of stress.

I am currently under a heavy load of it. I just got married, I’m graduating, I’m starting a career and I’m looking for a place to live. That right there is quite stressful. Not to mention I am doing my very best to keep my grades up in all four of my classes so my GPA doesn’t drop. Stress can bring out someone’s true colors and can show people’s true priorities.

National Stress Awareness Month helps people realize that managing stress is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. In college, that is one of the most important things. When you have a good balance in your life, stress can seem to be almost non-existent. With finals week coming up, this time of year is a bit more stressful for students.

Stress management can come in many forms. Whether that is hanging out with your friends or staying in and participating in your favorite hobby, there are multiple ways to combat the stress you feel. One of the biggest things that helps me not lose my mind during finals week is to do the things I love. Two things usually calm me down when I feel the tension start to form. 

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The first thing is watching my favorite movies or shows. I love watching my comfort shows because I get to get out of my own head. While I am watching shows like Teen Wolf or Grey’s Anatomy, I become so focused on the drama in the show, that I don’t have time to worry about my own. Another thing I love to do is sing some of my favorite songs. I can spend hours jamming out to old-school R&B or songs from old Disney Channel shows and movies. I feel like it brings me a sense of nostalgia which helps relieve any stress I have.

Another good stress reliever could be drawing, writing or painting. If you’re not super artistic, you could also spend some time in nature. The nature at FGCU is a beautiful experience. We are very lucky to have such a beautiful campus that is filled with walking paths and areas like the Food Forest that students can spend time in. According to the American Heart Association, spending time in nature can not only reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also boost feelings of well-being and overall happiness.

Stress may come and go, but how we handle it can help us live a better life. It doesn’t mean it’s not okay to be stressed out, but when we find manageable ways to handle stress it can help us physically, mentally and emotionally. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, or spend some time alone; whatever helps you de-stress, do it. Spend the time before finals week to find a balance between studying and relaxing. Both are good, but balance is the most important.

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