Student 101: Address stress

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Business administration sophomore David Puente plays with Rosy, a terrier mix, during Puppy Day April 29, 2015 in the mall. Rosy eventually took the toy from Puente and chewed away on it. Puppy Day was hosted by San Antonio Pets Alive and Student Government Association as a way to help students de-stress before finals. Adoptions are available at Paul Jolly Adoption Center, 210 Tuleta. Puppy day will return from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Wednesday in the mall.  File

Business administration sophomore David Puente plays with Rosy, a terrier mix, during Puppy Day April 29, 2015 in the mall. Rosy eventually took the toy from Puente and chewed away on it. Puppy Day was hosted by San Antonio Pets Alive and Student Government Association as a way to help students de-stress before finals. Adoptions are available at Paul Jolly Adoption Center, 210 Tuleta. Puppy day will return from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Wednesday in the mall. File

Counselors recommend exercise, deep breathing and strong social network.

By Y. Arroyo

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

As community college students and working adults, many students deal with stress.

Sometimes they may not know how to deal with it.

This may affect them in more ways than they can imagine and can hamper everyday duties.

College students, especially freshmen, are prone to stress since they have to adjust to a new social environment and maintain good grades, according to a study by the College Student Journal.

If stress isn’t handled effectively, it can affect students physically, emotionally and behaviorally.

“We see a lot of students seeking help for depression and anxiety, which can result from stress,” Counselor Melissa Sutherland said.

So what is stress?

“Stress is the body’s reaction to stressors,” Sutherland said. “Those can be mental stressors or physical stressors, such as health-related issues.”

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. It can actually motivate students to accomplish their goals, said kinesiology Adjunct Diego Torres.

Unmanaged stress can be harmful to students’ health and their ability to focus on goals.

Students may end up feeling more stressed nowadays because many juggle working and school.

Many have trouble balancing work, school and a personal life. That’s where the stress kicks in.

Torres said signs of stress include shortness of breath, increased heart rate, nausea, anxiety and panic attacks.

The biggest thing is balance, Sutherland said.

Being organized, having a schedule and keeping a routine can reduce stress, Sutherland said.

Sutherland and Torres said the following strategies can help:

• Get enough sleep. Too much sleep can be just as harmful as not enough sleep.

• Be mindful, but don’t overthink.

  Meditate.

• Try breathing exercises. Inhale and exhale deeply to allow the body to relax and wind down. Breathing exercises help clear one’s thoughts and control anxiety.

• Drink plenty of water and adopt a healthful diet.

• Exercise or take a kinesiology class. This encourages movement and the release of endorphins, the “happy hormones.”

• Don’t procrastinate. Time management is key.

• Schedule social time in the week and have fun.

• Have a support system, such as family or friends.

Stress can be good and bad, but learning to manage it is important to live a long, healthy life.

For more help, visit counseling services on the first floor of Moody Learning Center.

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