The Wellness Zone: Reducing Stress

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COUNSELING CENTER DIRECTOR SHARES TIPS

Ah yes! It’s fall. Shimmering gold aspen, a little snow, and cool mountain air will swathe the soul. Wait, what? It’s October already? The first half of the semester is finished?

Season of increasing stress
October is a beautiful time of year, but for many on campus it’s an increasingly stressful time. The initial enthusiasm at the start of fall semester is gone, assignments are due, and there is just not enough time to complete all the tasks at hand.

Lingering consequences
Mental health professionals note that psychological health and wellness is a dynamic process where one achieves a state of balance in their physical, mental, and social well-being. Balancing it all is challenging. And, while we normally find ways to get through it, there can be negative psychological consequences.

Stressed out?
Studies show that overly-stressed individuals pull resources away from other important areas of their brains including memory, the ability to focus, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Over-stress can lead to internal preoccupation, when we seem to have too much in our heads, experience sleep and appetite problems, isolation, impaired ability to relate, and mood disturbances.

Solutions to decrease stress
Pay attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction, and the development of inner resources. Keep perspective on future plans like your field of study, career, relationships, and personal aspirations within the framework of your values, beliefs, and identities. Make time for exercise, good nutrition, and sleep. Prioritize responsibilities and use good time-management strategies. Make time for friends and family.

Find out what works for you. You may find that a little time spent here will allow you to maximize your time elsewhere!

This is one in a series of Wellness Zone articles addressing the seven dimensions of wellness that the new CU Denver Student Wellness Center will be built on—social, physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental, and creative wellness. The center is scheduled to open Spring 2018.

The CU Denver Student & Community Counseling Center offers free, confidential counseling services to all CU Denver students. The center is located in Tivoli #454 and has counselors available weekdays for drop-in services or by appointment. The 24/7 helpline number is (303) 352-4455.

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