Abracadabra! Make your stress disappear

Illustration by Brandy Pickering
School and work dominate my life. Between these two, I have very little time for family,friends, or even myself. I think I’m at the point in which I say to myself, “I don’t have time for school.”

Homework, tests, projects and studying have built up, and working every night doesn’t
leave me the enough time to accomplish these tasks. I need a steady income in order to
support myself, but I also value my education so that I don’t have to rely on a minimum
wage job for the rest of my life.

Like me, you are probably experiencing some levels of stress. Applying for FASFA,
looking for a job, and completing those lengthy reading assignments can all be stressors.
Bottling your stress up inside you can be extremely unhealthy, so it is essential to take the
initiative to reduce your own stress to live a healthier lifestyle.

College freshman have a record high level of stress. With the current economy, The New
York Times asserts that students are facing financial pressure from their parents as well
as from college debt and lacking job opportunities.

With one of the top New Year resolutions being to lose weight/ get in shape, visit the
gym. Let your stress be released in the form of exercise. Strive for a better mile time,
attempt a few extra reps, and truly push yourself. Working out will get your mind off of
all of the work you need to complete and will help you calm down. While your life may
be overwhelming, just taking a step back and looking at what you need to accomplish
without feeling rushed can help you to realize that everything you need to do is not too
much and is manageable.

Massages are probably one of the top relaxers for me. Like most students, I have tight
muscles in my neck and shoulders by carrying around a backpack full of textbooks and
being slouched in front of a computer all day. Figure out how much your insurance will
cover for a massage, because a $70 massage can be reduced to a $15 one. If money is
tight, then find a friend. You two can alternate giving each other massages. Better yet,
befriend a student studying massage. They can “practice” on you (AKA: get a massage
from someone who knows what they are doing for free)!

When a headache is absolutely killing me, it can be too difficult to focus on being
productive. Rather than trying to read a chapter about a particularly boring subject for an
hour, it is best to take a nap. Relaxing your eyes and letting yourself sleep for a few hours
will help you to feel refreshed and ready to read.

Focusing on your work can be a good thing, but by taking a break, you allow yourself to
become refreshed. If you do not have time to take a nap, consider snacking on something.
As much as some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sounds good, try to eat foods that are built with
proteins or fibers. Almonds, walnuts, turkey, apples, and bananas make great snacks.

If this level of stress is continuous, maybe you aren’t doing the best job at managing your
time. It’s much easier said than done, but try as hard as you can to avoid procrastinating.
Map out your work over the week so that you don’t end up staying up all night working
on your English paper the night before it’s due.

Sometimes when one task is complete, another one comes in its place, giving you little to
no time to spend with friends. Take some time out of your busy schedule to hang out with
your friends, go out to lunch, enjoy Seattle nightlife, or just play videogames. Developing
a reward system will help you step away from your stress and lead you back into your
assignments with a more positive attitude.

Lastly, if work is something that is taking over your life, consider working fewer hours.
Remember, you are in school to become educated and obtain a degree to help you to find
an actual career. Let school be your priority and reduce your work hours if work becomes
too overwhelming to handle.

Don’t let stress be the death of you. Fight it, relax, and enjoy your time at Bellevue