By JULIE FULLAM
Stress. It’s a part of everyday life. From when you wake up in the morning to when you go to bed, it consumes a lot of our daily activities. School is stressful. Work is stressful. Family, friends, and neighbors are all stressful. There are negative consequences to dealing with stress both physically and mentally. Physical side effects include weight gain, joint pain, headaches, and a low immune system. Mental side effects such as depression and anxiety not only hurt you, but the others around you.
Exercise is an important asset when it comes to stress because it helps relieve “negative energy” and helps you become more relaxed. Exercises such as yoga, cardio, weightlifting, and swimming are all good examples to relieve stress and to “keep it fun.”
“Recognize the signs of stress and try to find a technique that works for you. Controlling stress is a skill you will use throughout your life. As you become better at controlling stress, you will live a happier, longer, and more fulfilling life,” said Shane Familie, the athletic trainer at Cumberland County College.
“Not only do you need to exercise and control your stress, you need to eat healthier too, including foods that are high in vitamins and antioxidants. Try to avoid high caffeine drinks as they will heighten anxiety.”
A lot of people deal with stress differently. Students are no exception. Students want to succeed in college, but unfortunately, sometimes the classes are too much to take all at once. Staying up late studying and procrastination will not get you that ‘A’ on your final. Some students drink Red Bull or Monster in order to stay up and finish their studying. One Red Bull drink has 27 grams of sugar, which is almost equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar! It also induces that extreme “high” state from the caffeine, and results in a massive crash afterwards.
April Walsh is a sophomore at Cumberland County who enjoys drinking Red Bull. “I love it. I can’t imagine my life without it. I love being able to finish things I am working on, such as going to the gym, and feeling like I can run a mile. Red Bull and other energy drinks are a part of my everyday life! I think they taste great!” Laura Rundell, a freshman at Cumberland County College said, “Energy Drinks? No, I stay away from them. They are not good for you! If you need an energy boost eat things that boost your metabolism. Go to the gym. Do jumping jacks. Something that doesn’t work by putting taurine into your body and making you crash in the end.”
So with all the pressure and stress in life to deal with, how do we know how to catch stress before it affects us?
1.) Get a good night’s sleep. The absence of a full 7-8 hours of sleep can leave you drained and could make you sick.
2.) Eat healthier. Eating more foods enriched with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is a good way to relieve stress and make your body feel good.
3.) Exercise. Exercise should be a part of everyday life. 30 minutes of exercise a day is recommended in order to stay healthy.
4.) Don’t procrastinate. Waiting until the night before to do a paper will not help. Pace yourself a week or so before to spread out your paper.
5.) Mediate or do yoga.
There are many other ways to relieve stress as well. Kathleen Johansen, a sophomore, said, “I like to write to relieve my stress. I like to sit and relax, listen to soft music playing in the background, and just write how I feel. It’s always a relief to feel that inner peace.”
Linda Lleres, the Spanish professor at Cumberland County, has another method, “I enjoy cooking to relieve my stress. It makes me feel happy to know that I get to cook all this food and someone will enjoy it! I always try to have a positive attitude and stay calm!”
No matter how old or young you are stress can be a big problem in your life. Take the time to breathe, relax, and most importantly, have fun! Stress can be sneaky, but if you fight it off before it can get to you, your life will be happy, healthier and more fulfilling than ever before.