Finals Week, Dead Week, and quite frankly every week at Mines can be stressful. It is critical for individual development to learn how to handle stress in a healthy way. While some stress isn’t bad, like the physical stress from athletics and the mind-sharpening stress before a big test, long term stress takes a toll on health and wellness. Stress over a time period longer than a few hours has been linked to increased instance of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a weaker immune system. Besides physiological changes, unchecked stress can cause a huge burden on mental health, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. Take care of yourself and your fellow Orediggers this finals week- and every week. Be responsible in your stress management and encourage and enable others to do the same.
Stress causes a “fight or flight” instinct in the human body, elevating heart rate and respiration. There is no better outlet for these bodily changes than what they were meant for- physical movement. Just a brisk 10-minute walk can release a significant number of endorphins and drop stress levels, among a host of other benefits.
Phone a Friend
Talking to people close to us while we are stressed is a natural inclination. Not only does this help relieve some mental stress by “unloading” problems as they are spoken, there’s a good chance talking to a friend or family member will result in some laughs. Laughing not only reduces stress and improves the immune system, it can even temporarily relieve pain! Pro tip: combine “Getting Physical” and “Phoning a Friend” by going jogging with a friend or shooting some hoops together.
Just Do It!
Tasks are piled up and keep coming in, your mental energy is drained, you barely know what day it is, and you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. If you know that feeling, it is all too easy to give up and procrastinate in that situation. Identify two tasks; the most important one, and the easiest one. If you are struggling to get started, do the easiest and quickest task on your plate, then keep that positive energy rolling into the most important or most urgent task.
Meditation seems simple- how can it be hard to sit still for two minutes? It is easier said than done, as you will see if you try to meditate for just two minutes. If you can avoid the temptation of checking your phone or letting your mind drift towards stressful thoughts, you will reap massive benefits. Internal inflammation will decrease, sleep quality will improve, and blood pressure will drop. Pro tip: Keep a pen and paper close by in case something important pops into your head.