Tips for handling modern stress

by | Sep 22, 2023 | Opinion

School is starting up again and stress levels are going to get pretty high. Here are some tips to keep yourself healthy and happy in the coming months.

Set aside some time for yourself

While you should keep productive, taking time for yourself is also important. I personally try to take a day to relax each week. You could use this day to catch up on chores, work on your personal projects or binge something. If you can’t do that, set aside some time every day to do something you enjoy. According to the Sleep Foundation, listening to music before you go to bed can help you sleep better, so try putting on your favourite tunes while getting ready for bed. 

Spend time with friends

Socializing is as important as spending time relaxing. Human beings are social creatures, even if some of us (myself included) are introverts. But try to find a low-stress atmosphere to do it in. This could come from many places. You could go out with your friends, or you could join a club at NAIT (which is easy with Ooks Life). Regardless of what you do, it’s important to be around people outside of work every now and then.

Take breaks while working

When you’re working on a hard project, remember to take breathers. I’m also bad at doing this, especially if I’m getting into a project. But, from my experience, a 15-minute break every two hours can help you work better. You can come back to your work with a fresh set of eyes and fix anything that needs fixing. Do anything you want during this break. Go for a short walk, listen to some music, use the washroom or watch golden retriever videos on TikTok. So long as you’re actually taking a break, it’ll help make work become less stressful.

Controlled breathing

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, and then a deep breath out. Ujjayi breathing, or ocean breathing, has proven benefits when dealing with stress. A 2012 study suggested that ocean breaths can actually help your body ignore stress by lowering your heart rate, removing you from the stress response. Likewise, actions that make use of these breathing techniques, like yoga and meditation, help you feel more relaxed.

Eat healthier foods

Refined carbs and food with a lot of sugar raise your blood sugar level. This makes you feel a bit more stressed out. As much as students love it, drinking caffeine can raise your blood pressure, which causes you to feel more anxious. Instead of these, try to drink some herbal teas instead of coffee, or eat fruit as a quick snack instead of junk food.

But also treat yourself

While eating junk food isn’t good for you, the dopamine rush you get from eating these greasy or sugary foods can help you destress. But don’t overdo it, as that rush of dopamine can become an addiction.

I hope this list gave you a few ideas to deal with your stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are lots of mental health resources at NAIT, like Peer Support, Flynn the therapy dog or counselling. 

Cover photo via NAIT Content Collective

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