From the CHAARG Community: Tips to Manage Stress

Whether you’re a CHAARGie on campus or living that post-grad life, we all have one thing in common — stress. Stress can stem from almost anything in life, from exams to relationships + friendships to job hunting, the list goes on + on. Completely cutting stress out of our lives is almost impossible, but finding healthy ways to manage it + nurture our mental health can help significantly. Below are 5 tips from fellow CHAARGies on how to manage stress —

#1] Eat [Sydney Pinney + Carmen Stavole]

Raise your hand if you have been guilty of “stress eating!” **All hands raise slowly**

Perhaps one of the biggest fears, when stressed, is “stress eating.” While binging on chips, candy, etc. may not be the healthiest way to go about it, eating can, in fact, be a great aid in coping with stress. For many people, the process of cooking can be really relaxing. Sitting down to eat, [rather than taking something to-go] + taking a minute to breathe forces you to have a minute of “me time.” allowing you to set aside the stressors in your life  Plus, there’s no denying that a good home-cooked meal is a perfect way to lift your spirits!

If your week ahead is busy, try taking at least one day to use food as a stress outlet. Meal prepping is the perfect way to feel all of the ~relaxed vibes~ of cooking while simultaneously making your meal prep for the rest of the week a little less stressful.

#2] Spend time with friends [Alice Schmiesing]

When you’re on a college campus + living away from family, the friendships you form at school will turn into your biggest support system. Having these people to turn to when life starts to get overwhelming will allow you to take your mind off of things, even if only for a little while. While spending time with people you care about, remember that life is about so much more than getting good grades or landing the perfect job.

#3] Paint, Draw, Write [Samantha Webne]

Having a creative outlet, such as painting, drawing, writing, or something of the like, gives you a place to channel all of the frustrations you may be feeling from other aspects of your life. Committing your thoughts to paper through journaling helps to not keep your feelings bottled inside. If you prefer drawing, consider investing in a therapeutic coloring book to keep with you whenever you start to feel too stressed out to focus on anything else. Amazon has an abundance of therapeutic coloring books to choose from! Finding something to create with your hands will not only relieve stress, but you’ll be left with something tangible as a reminder.

#4] Listen to music [Aubrey Roese]

You can also manage stress by completely clearing your mind of stressors by filling it with music. Listening to music allows your mind to focus on only the song that is currently being played. Making a conscious effort to take a few deep breaths, not allow your mind to drift to stressful thoughts, + enjoy the music gives you the chance to regroup so you can revisit your thoughts later with a fresh perspective. There’s no better way to get back in touch with your mind/body connection than using instrumental music to reflect + meditate.

#5] Sweat it out [Payton Nebraska]

If listening to music is too much of a mindless activity for you, try sweating it out. Whether it’s yoga, HIIT, pilates, cardio, or weight lifting, any form of exercise allows your mind to focus solely on what your body is doing at that moment.

In life, stress is unavoidable. However, it’s how we handle that stress that determines whether we control it or we let it control us. Next time you’re feeling stressed, try out one of these methods. What are some ways that you’ve found allow you to manage stress?

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