Thursday, March 24, 2016

Relaxation & You: A More Relaxed Life


College is a stressful time. The combination of homework, tests, extracurricular activities, and maintaining a social life can be overwhelming. It’s important for both your mental and physical well being that you take some time out of your busy schedule to relax! So, what is relaxation exactly? It is defined as “a feeling of calm in body and mind.” Relaxation is a learned technique which can be used in stressful situations and everyday life to reduce tension and increase control.

Relaxation Tips

Relaxation can be diminished when there are too many “to do’s” running through your mind. Thinking about everything you still need to accomplish can cause pressure headaches, among other physical symptoms. To relieve these headaches, consider the following tips:

  1. Regular daily exercise
  2. Gentle stretching (especially neck and back)
  3. Write out your to-do list
  4. Get a massage
Also, sitting by yourself for a few moments and planning out your day ahead of time is another positive de-stressing activity to engage in. When your day is intimately planned out there are no surprises that can send your mind and body back into stress mode.

Staying Mentally & Emotionally Healthy

Staying mentally and emotionally healthy is both difficult and complex. By learning and practicing healthy behaviors, you have a better chance of increasing your mental and emotional health. Some positive behaviors include:

  • Proper rest
  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Go outside for some fresh air
  • Limit alcohol, drug, and tobacco use

Keeping your body in shape helps your mental and emotional fitness, too! So, how do you ensure that your body is healthy? Consider the following suggestions:

  • Make leisure time a priority
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a proper diet
  • Limit alcohol, drug, and tobacco use
  • Go to the doctor for regular check-ups
The Power of Massage
Who doesn’t love getting a massage? Not only to they feel good physically, but they are also a powerful tool to help you relax. Some of the benefits of massages include:

  • Enhanced immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced pain, stress, and anxiety
  • Greater energy
  • Alleviate physical pain
  • Improved concentration 

Massages are also beneficial as they reduce anxiety, alcohol and tobacco withdrawals, and increase the body’s natural pain killers. While a massage can be an excellent tool for relaxation and stress reduction, you should always check with your doctor before engaging in alternative or holistic medicine approaches.

Are you in need of a massage? Stop by the massage chairs in Bridge Lounge or the 24 Hour Lounge in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Union for a few minutes of relaxation. They are available to students and faculty and staff!

Stressors

Many aspects of college life cause stress and can affect students both physically and mentally. College students experience a range of mild to severe consequences as a result of stress. Stress impacts everyone in a unique way and everyone deals with it differently.

In order to overcome your feelings of stress and to ensure your mental and physical health, as well as your academic well being, it is important to identify and overcome your stressors. Some common stressors are:

  • Tight deadlines or too many deadlines
  • Pressure from superiors
  • Lack of acknowledgement for good performance
  • Inability to work with colleagues
  • Oral presentations
  • Trouble managing priorities
  • Accountability for budgets
  • Long hours
  • Thinking about how much needs to be accomplished
  • Inability to adapt to change
  • Exhausting physical labor
  • Changes in work schedules
  • Balancing home/family/school and work priorities

For more information about relaxation and/or stress, please call the Health Education Resource Center at 217-581-7786, visit www.eiu.edu/herc, or stop by the Booth House on 4th Street, located directly behind Jerry’s Pizza.

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