Monday, March 28, 2011

Before I get to the positive, healthy ways of handling stress, I would like to review the not so great, but very common methods people use.

1.) Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can actually increase your stress response- this is exactly the opposite effect of what you hoped.  Likewise, always turning to alcohol when you are stressed can create a harmful pattern, which leads you to be dependent on alcohol when things aren't going your way or you're feeling overwhelmed.  These effects are subject to individual differences and family history of alcohol use, however. 
      
        http://www2.fiu.edu/~oea/InsightsFall2004/online_library/articles/drinking%20to%20relieve%20stress%20a%20dangerous%20choice.htm
        http://www.ce-credit.net/articles/100623/Does_Drinking_Reduce_Stress.pdf


2.) Sleeping too much

3.) Procrastinating

4.) Withdrawing from family and friends

5.) Taking your stress out on others

6.) Overeating (this is often called "emotional eating")

So, if any of these sound familiar, make sure you continue reading for easy stress relief strategies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's the first week back after spring break and the ARC is as busy as ever.  I don't know about you, but I'm already feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed about the rest of the semester.  I would like to explain what stress is, the symptoms of stress, and debunk a few myths about stress. Over the next few posts, I will provide I a few easy stress relief activities and include resources for more information and where to seek help. 

Stress: Physiological and emotional responses to an event.

Physiological Symptoms of Stress


1.) Increased heart rate
2.) Dry mouth
3.) Tight muscles
4.) Sweating
5.) Headaches
6.) Exhaustion

Cognitive/Emotional Symptoms of Stress

1.) Restlessness
2.) Trouble concentrating
3.) Negative self-talk
4.) Exhaustion

Myths (www.apa.org)

1.) Stress is the same for everybody

Truth: Everyone reacts differently to stress.  Everyone does not get stressed out from the same situations or circumstances.

2.) Stress is always bad for you

Truth: A little stress is good.  The most important thing is to learn ways to manage your stress.

3.) Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it

Truth: Nope! You can plan your life in ways to reduce stress, so you don't feel so overwhelmed all of the time.  Try prioritizing what you need to do and attending to the simpler things before the really overwhelming things on your list.

4.) No symptoms, no stress.

Truth: You may still be experiencing some stress even if you don't have specific symptoms.

5.) Only the minor symptoms of stress require attention.

Truth: Pay attention to any and all symptoms.  Minor symptoms are a sign that your life may be getting out of hand.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sometimes we get into "go go go" mode.  We are juggling classes, studying, that class project, fitting in a visit from mom and dad, a club meeting, and a million other things.  As a result, we're skipping out on sleep and grabbing a bag of chips from the vending machine on the way to library instead of getting a full night's sleep and eating a healthy meal.  Sometimes it seems like we don't even realize how exhausted we are until we finally get that break. Check out this recent article http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.gl.iit.edu/doi/10.1002/job.699/pdf to learn more about the benefits of a taking a vacation and the positive effects of finding leisure time during your busy schedule as well.  According to the article, a vacation gives our mind and body a rest.  Yet, these benefits fade after about a month unless we strive to relax once we return to work or school. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today, I witnessed something at the ARC today...something that helps make the ARC a unique and special place.  Now, that's silly you may think-- a tutoring center isn't special.  Maybe not on it's own, but the people (especially the tutors) prove otherwise.  Today a student came to the monitor desk in need of help with his physics homework.  As the monitor, I glanced at the physics help table and realized the tutor a physics tutor was not available at the moment.  I stood up and asked, directing my question to the left side of the room (where the chemistry and engineering tables are located) if anyone could help with physics.  The chemistry tutor, after asking which physics class to ensure his competence) readily volunteered to assist the student.  Even though he was in the middle of doing his own work, he put it aside to help a student in an area he was not assigned to tutor.  I commend him for stepping up in this situation.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

test

This is a test blog.

ARC