First thing’s first, I’m the realest. Only joking, happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a fun-filled day where they can enjoy themselves safely. Let loose but be responsible, CHP!
We have officially reached the holiday season, but that also kicks off midterm season. For all students, but perhaps especially honors students, this season ushers in nights of little sleep and unhealthy eating habits. This happens because of procrastination, but also because of the stress from the weight of these exams and the desire to perform well.
Stress can motivate you to do great things but stress can also cause you to flee or freeze. Stress overload is incredibly damaging; did you know that if you are continually in a high state of stress, your body responds to every situation like it’s an emergency? This disrupts nearly every system in your body (nervous, cardiovascular, etc.). That is why so many people get sick, lash out at their loved ones, and develop depression during midterm and final seasons.
The ultimate trick to managing stress is in the title: TREAT YO SELF. This summer I watched the entire CBS show Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Check out this Youtube clip of the treat yo self scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsABTmT1_M0 . I definitely recommend watching this episode and this show!
After watching the 4th episode of the 4th season, I knew that “treat yo self” has been my personal motto my entire life without knowing it. I have always been that person that tells others “of course you should eat that extra piece of pizza”, or “yes definitely take a break right now”. I am that positive affirmation in people’s lives. Most people think they don’t deserve to treat themselves, but I am here to tell you that you absolutely do deserve it. Sí se puede, and yes you should.
Personally, the first thing I do when I feel stressed is making sure I am scheduling enough sleep. Some people can still perform well after small amounts of sleep; I am not one of those people. Eating full meals and staying hydrated is also so important. If you have had only one bagel or doughnut from Coffee Hour all day, or worse only coffee from Coffee Hour all day, you need to re-evaluate your schedule and make time for actual meals. Try not studying during meal times; make that time for reflection on your day or socializing with friends! I try to exercise regularly by going to Anteater Quidditch practices and not always taking the Anteater Express.
Academically, I make sure to study in 1-2 hour increments for one class and then take a break. Usually I watch a 20-minute episode of a TV show, briefly stretch, and then drink a glass of cold water to freshen up. Water is much healthier than caffeinated drinks and is so good for your skin! You’ll be healthy and look fabulous, it’s a win-win.
Even though I do treat myself I still have to work hard. I work hard in every commitment I am involved in and I work hard to maintain relationships with all the amazing people I have in my life. I have simply always valued the importance of taking breaks, scheduling relaxation days, and enjoying life as it comes. One’s success in the future requires time and effort in the present, of course, but your happiness today is important for your happiness in the future. Make a healthy and balanced foundation here in college that makes you excited to get up in the morning.
Focusing on academics is very important, but your mental and physical well-being is even more important. You come first, always. If you are having issues with stress, come talk to one of the PAAs during our office hours! Venting definitely helps relieve stress, and we may or may not have yummy treats for you to treat yo self.