Cara Hedgepeth > Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland
Unfortunately, stress is an all-too familiar feeling for most college students.
"It’s like a sense of impending doom that just does not go away," said University of Maryland junior Rebecca Morgenstern. "I often feel like I have a whole lot of work all at once."
While most of us accept that stress will be a part of our lives, it can become a major disruption, especially when those stressful feelings manifest themselves in physical symptoms.
Tracy Zeeger, who works in the University of Maryland’s Center for Health and Well Being, said when people are stressed out, they can experience rapid breathing, a fast heart rate and dilated pupils. She said that people may also, "be forgetful, [their hands] may feel sweaty and blood will rush from the core of [the] body to our extremities."
Zeeger said there are strategies to help reduce these symptoms. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can be incredibly effective.
But Zeeger said there is one thing that students can do to stay healthy: "Prevent stress in the first place." This means practicing good time management skills, making feasible to-do lists and breaking bigger tasks into smaller ones. Sleep is also a major factor in reducing stress and feeling good, Zeeger said.
But Morgenstern said a lack of sleep is part of a vicious cycle. "If I wasn’t stressed, I would have more time to sleep well and relax which would keep me healthier and happier."
Students might find other releases that help them to relieve stress. Finding a strategy that works for you can be key. For Morgenstern, that release has come in the form of exercise.
"Nothing makes me feel better than just running and listening to my music to get out my pent up anxiety and stress," she said.