Manage stress one tip at a time

College life can be stressful. With all the activities, responsibilities and roles expected of students, it might be difficult to maintain mental health while trying to manage it all. Below are a few tips and suggestions for managing stress levels and maintaining mental health.

1. Have a support system. People who spend more time with others have stronger support when it comes to managing stress.

"A lot of the time we can be stressed and so caught up in the moment that we are not aware of how stressed we really are, but some of our friends may notice," said Dr. Kristee Treadwell, psychologist for Auburn student counseling services. "It's important to listen to others feedback and let others support you."

2. Find a way to manage daily activities and requirements. Whether it be using a planner or practicing effective time management techniques, it will help to know ahead of time what needs to be accomplished and what the week will bring.

"I manage my activities by writing everything down in my planner," said Kristin Wallace, junior in nutrition dietetics. "It helps me remember everything I need to do, but it also helps me avoid over committing myself."

3. Figure out an outlet to get rid of excess stress. Exercise, listening to music or spending time with friends are just some of the ways to relax.

"Exercising really helps me de-stress," said Alex Lemmings, junior in political science. "I'll go to the gym with some of my friends and just lift weights or something and it really works off the stress."

Auburn offers many opportunities for students to rid themselves of excess stress. Exercise classes at the Student Activities Center are an excellent way to work out and release endorphins to maintain a healthy mental state.

"A lot of times, it's the doing part that's difficult," Treadwell said. "It's important to get to know what helps you relax and then beginning to take the steps to get more relaxation and downtime to help yourself."

4. Get enough sleep. Resting the body is important to rejuvenate physical and mental health.

Classes and schoolwork combined with extra-curricular activities and jobs take up a majority of students' time, but it is important to remember the body has essential needs.

"Without enough sleep I cannot function at my maximum potential," Wallace said.

5. Know your limits and when to ask for help.

Treadwell said being aware of stress levels is an important aspect to dealing with stress. Also, taking steps to decrease those elevated levels is necessary to maintaining mental health. Always make sure there is time to relax.

"Let yourself reach out to others as you need to and be sure that you're taking the time to take care of you," Treadwell said.

There are various ways to decrease stress levels and maintain a healthy mental state. The important part is realizing the need to take the steps to help manage everything in life.

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