Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adjusting to School Life can be Stressful

Its that special time of year again, school is back in session and our first round of midterms are just around the corner. The adjustment and transition from a care free summer to a five class schedule can be very taxing and weight heavily on the soul, body and mind. Not to worry! There are many ways to reduce stress and ultimately achieve a greater happiness. Lets explore some simple ways to reduce stress.

Exercise: Stress on the mind is stress on the body. My favorite way to alleviate stress and just feel better as a whole. Anything from weight training to running and swimming can help you get that project coming up off of your mind. Whenever I'm down or need a break from reality, I reach for gym shoes and spend an hour at the gym sweating away the stress.

If you aren't a common gym go-er, there are always personal trainers around to help anyone who might have any questions. They are national certified and with every membership comes 2 free personal training sessions. They will assess your strength and cardio limits and on your second visit will provide you with a workout.

Diet: If I'm not working out, chances are I'm eating. If I'm eating, chances are its a delicious and healthy choice. The first step to a healthy diet and healthy stress free mind is breakfast. Easily the most neglected meal of the day, this meal in the morning is what will feed your mind and body with important nutrients. This will help give you mental clarity and the energy you need to function and be focused all day. What you eat though is very important to how you will feel through out the day. An ice cream sundae for breakfast and a large pizza for lunch with a bag of chips and dip for dinner won't get you much more than mind wretching sugar rushes and crashes, along with some gnarly indegestion. Food high in sugar and fats will act negatively on the body and can enhance things like stress.

A few of my recommended favorites for snacks include:
Power/Granola Bars - They're great because they're cheap, easy to take aroudn, low in calories and high in nutritional value
Peanut Butter Sandwich - One of my favorite snacks, this mini meal is a great source of protien and is high in fiber when the use of wheat bread is substituted for white.
Trail Mix - A great snack that keeps you guessing and can be altered to have whatever you prefer.
Beef Jerky - One of the tastiest snacks I know, a great low calorie and high protien snack that is always a guarenteed deliscious meal.
100% Fruit Juice - Always a great choice, no matter the hour. The nutrients from this low calorie liquid is great. Orange juice and Grape juice are two of my personal favorites

This is just a short list of many great healthy and affordable foods you can relie on that will help your soul body and mind.

Time Management: Playing the clock right and managing your priorities can be huge in avoiding forgotten appointments and assignments. By planning out my week in advance and writing reminders for when I should study and do work can make my life a lot easier. I spend my time more efficiently and finish my projects ahead of time by simply planning ahead. Using something as simple as a phone calendar to set reminds can be all you need to make life a bit more fluid and a lot less stressful.

Its a new school year here at Cal Poly and I hope these tips are useful to you readers.

-Aaron Holder

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