Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"I'm so stressed!": Coping with Stress During Finals

April can be one of the most stressful months of the academic year. As students, we have multiple papers, quizzes, group projects, jobs, preparing for finals, and other responsibilities. We have a lot of things to do, and it seems like there is such little time. This is when we start to feel stressed, anxious, and sometimes overwhelmed. 

Many aspects of life cause stress and can impact your physical and emotional health. Stress impacts everyone in a unique way and everyone deals with stress differently. One may experience a range of consequences from stress, from mild to severe. How stress impacts one person may not affect another. Some examples of stress impacts include:

  • Lower levels of self-esteem
  • Practice of unhealthy behaviors, including poor nutrition, drugs, and alcohol
  • General irritability
  • Anxiety/anxious feelings for no specific reason
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Weight issues/ Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Body aches/pains, especially in the neck and/or lower back

There are various ways to cope with stress. Depending on your life situation, there are different tactics to controlling stress and channeling in ways that help you become a more productive person. The more proactive we are with stress in our lives, the better chance we have  of keeping a sense of balance and making sure the stress doesn't turn into over-stress.

Tips & Tricks to Cope With Stress:
  • Create a schedule and prioritize
    • Plan your activities and be sure to allow yourself the time you need to get work done. It is best to over-estimate than having to stay up all night and rushing to finish a project or assignment.
  • Tackle the biggest task first
    • By starting with the biggest task, you are likely to have more energy (usually at the start of the day) which will increase your chance of success. Do the task early and you will also create momentum to continue accomplishing other tasks.
  • Regularly exercise
    • Walking when you can, taking workout classes, or exercising for at least 10 minutes a day can elevate your mood, release tension, and keep you healthy.
  • Reduce alcohol and drug use
    • These substances may add to headaches, decrease coping mechanisms, and add to depression. Avoiding alcohol and drugs can also increase stress levels as they can cause health issues and legal problems.
  • Take care of your body
    • Staying up late, eating fast food frequently, and drinking energy drinks may make you feel more productive for a while, but can ultimately cause more problems in the long-run. Eating right and getting adequate rest can keep stress away.
  • Integrate life activities
    • Maybe you get inspired watching late night television and feel the urge to send out emails to friends you've been meaning to contact. Whatever the activity, do it when you are able and willing. By doing things this way, you allow for the ebb and flow of life to run its course.
  • Talk to someone
    • Talk to a trusted friend, family member, colleague or a counselor to express your feelings and explain your stressors. Just talking may help you gain perspective and provide the outlet to start prioritizing tasks and reducing stress.

Leading a More Relaxed Life

Coping with stress is important for having a more relaxed life. A sense of relaxation can be diminished when there are too many "to do" lists running through your head. To help relax, try sitting by yourself for a few minutes and planning out your day before it begins. Planning ahead and prioritizing can help you relax and decreases the chance of sending your body back into stress mode. Getting regular exercise, gentle stretching, meditation and massages can all help you lead a more relaxed life.
Don't Stress Ace That Test

The HERC will be hosting Don’t Stress Ace that Test Monday April 25 through Thursday April 28th from 11am-1pm in Taylor and Thomas dining halls. We will provide information and activities on stress, sleep, and nutrition.
Questions & Contact Information

For more information on stress, please contact Brittany at the Health Education Resource Center by calling (217) 581-7786, or email  If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like to speak to medical professional, please call the Health Service clinic at (217) 581-3013. You may also call the Counseling Center at (217) 581-3413 to speak with a counselor.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

EIU Collegiate Recovery Community

According to the Betty Ford Institute (2007), substance abuse recovery is defined as “A voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health and citizenship. With approximately 21% of the young adult population between 18 and 21 meeting the criteria for substance abuse disorders (SAMHSA), the collegiate community is a fertile ground for supporting students in recovery and positively impacting the stigma associated with addiction (ARHE, 2015).

EIU Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC)
The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) of Eastern Illinois University provides an empowering environment where students living in, or seeking, long-term recovery from substance use disorders, mental health illness, and other quality of life concerns can successfully realize their goals of academic success and an improved quality of life. The CRC's mission is to help students maintain a sober and health lifestyle in order to fully engage in their academic, social, and personal pursuits.  In the service of this mission, the aim of the organization is to:
  • Provide a safe, supportive space for students with alcohol and drug issues to engage in sober activities with other recovering students
  • Raise awareness about long-term recovery as a viable goal for students who struggle with addiction, as well as combat the stigma associated with alcoholism and drug addiction
  • Foster supportive relationships with the friends, allies, and family members of those who struggle with addiction
If you have any questions or would like to participate in building our community contact Mike Tozer, Alcohol Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Specialist, at or (217) 581-7786.

Additional ResourcesStudents may find additional resources by visiting the following links:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sexual Health Services at EIU's Health Service Medical Clinic

Did you know that theEIU Health Service offers many sexual health related services and products to those on the student insurance health plan?

Some procedures available on-site include:

  • Sexually transmitted infection testing includes: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis
  • HIV testing
  • Pregnancy Testing($10 for urine test)
  • Urinalysis
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) testing and treatment
  •  Yeast and GardnerellaVaginalis tests (Bacterial Vaginosis)
  • Pap Exams
  • Breast Exams
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) / external genital wart treatment
Please visit for a complete list of charges and co-pays.

The EIU Health Service also offers many forms of preventative medicines and  products to keep you sexually healthy:

  • Birth control pills
  • Depo Provera
  • 3 different varieties of condoms including Trojan-ENZ, Trojan Magnums, and Durex PleasureMax
Rubber Lovers members can present their card to receive discounts on safer sex products at the EIU Pharmacy

For women specifically, the Health Service offers many educational resources and counseling:

  • The completion of an online contraceptive class discussing pelvic exams, contraceptives, Sexually Transmitted Infections and breast examinations is required prior to a women's health exam and contraceptive prescription
    • Click here to access the online contraceptive class
  • Contraceptive counseling: options for birth control methods best for you
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection prevention, screening, and information
  • Counseling regarding pap smear results
  • Positive pregnancy test packet

Other resources regarding sexual health can be found at the Health Education Resource Center by calling (217) 581-7786 or visiting our website at

For more information regarding Health Service resources or to make an appointment, call (217) 581-3013, visit, login to the MyHealth Portal on PAWS, or stop by the Human Services Building.