Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 13, 2009

Relax

The term is coming to an end, and though many of us are already busy dreaming about our summers, most of us need to find a way to remain calm. Finals can be one of the most stressful times for Knox students. Many students already have their rituals with bubble baths and meditation on the Gizmo patio, but I was surprised to find many Knox students just aren’t sure what to do during the soon-to-be chaos. Though this article is news to most, the relaxed rest of us can use it as a refresher.

Under stress, people decide to take time out of the sleep bank when they need a few more hours for work. Seems like a good idea, but when taken to an extreme, losing sleep can negatively impact your immune system. A typical cold, normally overcome in a day, suddenly becomes an insurmountable task for your body when it has too much stress and too little sleep. The message to take away is to get enough sleep, eat the right foods, and take care of your body!

The biggest reason we don’t seem to have enough time in our day is because we waste so much of it. We’re not known to be the most efficient critters. Look at how you spend your time: many of us spend way too much time on Facebook, e-mail, chats, and social networking. If a paper or a test is around the corner, decide how much time, beforehand, you plan to spend on each task so you know what you do and don’t have time for. Key tip: don’t underestimate how much time a task takes. Be ambitious, but be realistic as well!

If you’re spending hours on end staring at your computer screen, make sure you take the time to stretch. This not only helps your body from sitting in the same spot for too long, but it’s also great to give your eyes a break. Period breaks from the computer are a good thing.

Stop worrying about the past and the future. Yes, it’s good to be mindful of how much time you have left in the day, what needs to get done, etc., but don’t over do it. According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch and Science Magazine, focusing on the present can help relieve stress, sleep problems, and other health related issues. Meditate or slow down for about 20 minutes. Too many people waste time bogging themselves down with negative thoughts. Just remember to take everything one step at a time, and you can conquer all of the craziness that finals will bring.

Don’t over do the venting. I know a lot of people who think that venting is a good way of relieving their stress, but sometimes it’s not the best idea. Venting can make a person relive the moment and revisit the feelings of stress and anger that they otherwise wouldn’t have gone back to. It’s not healthy to bottle up emotions, but sometimes it’s good to practice the ‘live and let live’ mindset. Know when to let things go, especially during times of high stress. We’re all going to be under a lot of pressure over the next few weeks. Make sure you make the most of them. Stay healthy, mentally and physically!

Sara Koehnke


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