With school coming to an end and all your final projects, papers, presentations, and exams just around the corner, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to get done. You are excited about the small amount of time left until summer, but at the same time you’re nervous because it feels like there is not enough time to get everything done. Panic sets in and stress begins to creep into your life. You feel tense, and your sleeping patterns may be way off.
Do not let stress take hold of your life these last few weeks of school. Instead, defeat the stress and have a smoother ending to your school year. How? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back with some easy tips for you to follow to be stress-less:
1) Dance it out
There is nothing like getting up out of your seat, turning up your favorite tunes, and shaking off the stress by dancing. Just stand up, and take a few moments to let it all out. Not only is it fun, but it also helps you relieve some of the tension that has built up in your muscles and it helps clear your mind. And if you are by yourself, you can dance as goofy as you want! If you’re with friends, turn it into a dance party!
2) Go for a walk
Summer is getting closer, and that means more sunny days are ahead. Go take a walk in the sunshine and warm weather. Don’t rush, but relax and take your time. Look at your surroundings, breathe in the clean air, listen to the sounds, and just pay attention to the little things and enjoy them. Don’t get so busy that you don’t notice the beauty in the little things in life.
3) Talk about it
Time to call your BFF or go to someone you trust and VENT. Sometimes that is all we need to see clearly through the cluttered mess that our lives turn into. Talk to someone and share what is stressing you out. Sometimes talking through things with someone helps you realize something you didn’t see before, and you get an outside perspective from someone else. Sometimes, all you need are words of encouragement and someone who can tell you, “You can do this!” So, don’t just sit there. Turn to someone and get your stress off your chest.
Take a few deep breaths in and out. When you are stressed, your breathing pattern actually changes as part of a “fight or flight” mode. Controlling your breathing helps you relieve some of the stress you have built up. Why do you think breathing is such a key component in yoga?
5) Go to bed earlier
You are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by staying up late into the night. Not only does less sleep have the potential to increase stress, it also lowers your performance level. High stress and bad performance is not a good combination. If it can wait another day, it can wait another day. Getting a good nights sleep will help your stress and help you be more efficient during your day as well.
6) Focus on what you can control
Sometimes we put so much on ourselves and some of those things are just out of our control. Make notes of the things you do have control over and write them down in a “to-do” list. Do not carry more than you need to.
7) Reminiscence about good times/laugh
Sometimes, when I have been working on homework and projects for a long time, I’ll take a break and go through my Facebook pictures. I’ll look through some old memories and good times with friends and family, and it brings a smile to my face. It helps to ease my mind and settle my thoughts. You can also watch some funny videos. Make sure to leave room for laughter in your day. It’s a good reminder that all is well and life is good.
8) Ask for a hug
I don’t know about you, but I love hugs. Friends will ask me how I am doing and I will sometimes respond with, “I just need a hug.” There is no better feeling than a tight hug from a close friend to help squeeze out some of the stress and remind me that I am loved and cared about.
9) Look for opportunities in life’s challenges
When we are presented with a challenge, like a paper or test, we tend to look at the negative side. “This paper is so long!” or “This test is going to be so hard!” We focus so much on the negative that we fail to see the positive in the work that we are doing. Why not make a list of the opportunities and good things you get out of the assignments you have?
Why smile? Because at the end of the day, everything will be okay and you will get through this. You have done it before and you can do it again. So, smile and remember you can do this and you are close to the finish line. Finish strong and stress-less.
Alcohol is addictive. It is mind altering. It is dangerous, especially when abused. At what age does it become appropriate to allow people to make the choice to use it or not?
Multiple states including Wisconsin, Florida, Vermont, Missouri, and now Oregon have considered lowing the state legal age for alcohol consumption from 21 to 18. Some experts believe the change could reduce binge drinking. Others believe it could put our youth at more risk for abuse than ever.
In Oregon, some university presidents have signed on to a federal initiative urging legislators to reduce the drinking age. The change is driven largely by alcohol abuse in the university system. Universities have tried to educate students about responsible party hosting, the psychological, physical, and emotional risks of underage drinking, and about academic, physical, and legal consequences of making poor choices regarding alcohol use and abuse. Numbers of alcohol related issues have not changed much for all that effort.
Research shows that more than 40% of college students report at least one symptom of alcohol abuse. One study indicated that more than 500,000 students at 4-year universities suffer injuries each year related to drinking. Disturbingly, about 1,700 die from such incidents. BIG PROBLEM!
An Associated Press analysis found that 157 people aged 18-23 drank themselves to death between 1999 and 2005. These numbers are thought to be caused mostly by binge drinking at parties. Social pressure and the desire to be an adult drive the trend. Do you think lowering the age, making it more okay to consume alcohol in whatever setting the user chooses would help?
The drinking age was not always set at 21. It was raised to that age more than 20 years ago to eliminate young adult alcohol abuse. To evaluate the effectiveness of the law, some claim we should just consider whether people under 21 are drinking more or less than they were 20 years ago. Clearly, teens are still drinking. Others believe the evaluation of the law should be in looking at deaths and dangers related to abuse of the substance. It is notable that alcohol related fatalities have been reduced since raising the drinking age to 21.
Some compare the current age restriction to prohibition, in that it forces drinking to be “underground” where it cannot be regulated or controlled. The supporters of the measure argue that if drinking was legal for all college students, they would not have to hide and they could feel safe calling 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Others argue that legalizing alcohol for all teens would cause more students to experiment, while some abstain with the current system.
When interviewed through a Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans recently said that they would oppose lowering the drinking age.
Do you think lowering the drinking age would reduce dangerous binge drinking, alcohol related car crashes, alcohol abuse, or alcohol related death or would it allow more teens to experiment with the very addictive and altering drug causing more trouble?