New Year, New Semester, Same Stress

By Victoria Mims

With each new year comes new challenges, new opportunities, and a new list of goals. When the year first starts, people are deeply motivated and are determined to resume old habits or start new ones. Many often use the “new year, new me” phrase. But what happens in February? Does that just go away?

Yes, that motivation does go away because people often realize that life is still life even though it’s a new year. During the holiday season; first Thanksgiving, next Christmas, lastly New Years, it’s easy to get caught in all the joyous moments that it’s forgotten that stressors are forever recurring.

“I do believe stress carries over because a new year doesn’t magically erase it,” says Jonathan Bizzel, a junior majoring in criminal justice.

So how does one handle stress when the holidays are over and since it’s pretty much inevitable for everyone?

Move Your Body! 
This can be through dancing or exercising. It’s known as an “expressive meditation” which not only releases endorphins, but also helps clear the mind and gets those joints loosened up. Not only will you have fun just dancing randomly, but you may feel a smile come to your face too!

Rest/Sleep. 
With stress, it’s hard to get sleep and with lack of sleep comes more stress. This leads to more tension and more weariness. To help fall asleep, relaxation techniques such as guided imagery really helps fall into a good night’s rest.

Eat Good. 
Eating good doesn’t mean giving into the cravings of Hot Cheetos or eating whatever the heart desires. Eating good means fruits, vegetables, and proteins, which helps with stress levels. Food is not only the key to the stomach but also to the mind.

Just Breathe.
Since this is something everyone does everyday, it can be easily forgotten and taken advantage of. Not only breathing but deep breathing really helps with stress since it lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate. So remember, one of the first things to do when beginning to feel stressed is to take a deep breath. In and out, slowly.

Be Thankful. 
Last but not least. While stressed, it’s easy to think of all that’s going wrong and overwhelm yourself even more. But remember to be thankful for the little things, even if they may seem unimportant compared to everything else. Sometimes that one positive/thankful moment can get you through a stressful time. It’s one thing to be thankful during Thanksgiving, but another to be thankful when it’s almost February and life is starting to be life again.

These were just a few of the many ways to relieve some stress from yourself. Try to do what works best for you and your body. Always remember that you aren’t alone and stress is inevitable, but you’ll get through it. 

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