Thompson: How to decrease stress to stay successful this semester

Jayla Hodge

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Maybe you just turned 21, your girlfriend dumped you, or your roommate turned out to have a very different definition of the word “cleanliness.”

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Whatever it may be, life events such as these can impact your physical and mental well-being and ultimately your performance in the classroom on the field or at work.

Physical health is relatively straightforward. There are things you can do that will make your life easier that take little to no effort, like wearing a helmet while riding your bike or even just making sure to look both ways before crossing the street.

Other things might not be as obvious. Specifically, many students overlook just how important a regular sleep schedule is. According to one study, 50 percent of college students reported daytime sleepiness and 70 percent reported insufficient sleep overall.

According to a Stanford study 50 percent of college students reported daytime sleepiness and 70 percent reported insufficient sleep overall.

A lack of adequate sleep can also result in lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, and impaired mood.

Compromising your GPA is one of the main risks you take when you do not get adequate sleep. Missing class to catch up on sleep can be the start of a vicious cycle. The first step would be to do your best and not put yourself in the position where you do have to stay up late to complete an assignment. Once you have managed that, getting enough sleep becomes an attainable goal.

Healthy sleeping tips by the National Sleep Foundation:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule 
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
  3. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon
  4. Keep your room cool and elevated 
  5. Sleep on comfortable pillow and mattress 
  6. Exercise daily, some exercise is better than none

While being a student should be your top priority, making it a point to get regular exercise will also improve both your physical and mental health. Exercising releases endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain which trigger a positive feeling in the body thus boosting your mood and improving your mental health. Not to mention, there is a good chance you will experience a feeling of accomplishment in the short-term, and in the long-term a boost of self-esteem when you start to see physical improvements.

Whether you want to dance, bike, jog, swim, lift weights or become a yogi, the important thing is that you get up and move. It can be intimidating to start your fitness journey, especially on your own. Thankfully, the Recreation Center on campus conveniently offers free group fitness classes.

Regular exercise is also linked to reduced stress, lower blood pressure, increased energy levels and improved sleep. No wonder that gym fiend you know is always in an obnoxiously good mood!

Madison Thompson can be reached at letters@collegian.com or at @heyymadison