April is National Stress Awareness Month and the last month of the semester for Eastern Michigan University students, making understanding and managining stress even more important.
Stress is the brain and body's response to internal or external stimuli. Some stress helps in positive ways, like keeping on track and performing well. While other stress becomes “distress,” which begins when the demands of life become too overwhelming to handle.
Stress is based on how individuals see things, so different people will have different things that cause their stress, and each person has different ways to cope.
“My best advice for someone looking to manage stress would be to sit down and assess why they’re stressed and make a list of self-care, or as I like to call them ‘recharging activities,‘” Nick Pomante, EMU student wellness coordinator, said in a written statement. “This is a list of activities you can do when you’re stressed that recharge your internal batteries and make you feel more like yourself.”
In addition to managing your stress, it’s important to hydrate, rest, and eat nourishing foods. Taking small steps toward overall wellness is best; master one item then move on to the next.
The Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility (OWCR) hosts programs aimed at better managing stress, including activities such as therapy animal visits, grab-and-go creativity kits to help decompress, Deep House Yoga, and Time Crunch Fitness.
“We have recurring attendees at many of our programs, clueing us in that these programs are helpful enough to come back for,” Pomante said. “I also know they’re helpful based on these faces of the students I serve.”
During midterms and finals, OWCR and The Muslim Student Association hand out “Brain Boxes” filled with foods to fuel memory, cognition, and focus.
“This is a quick, simple, and tasty reminder to students that nutrition and what they put in their body matters and has the potential to help them in their academics,” Pomante said.
Students can make use of these resources by locating fliers posted throughout campus promoting upcoming programs, as well as the “What’s Happening” tab on The EMU Engage app.