--Original published at AlyssaM
Source 1: College Students
The first source lists 10 ways for college students to manage their stress. Several of them we discussed in class as beneficial such as, exercise, getting enough sleep, having a social support system, and taking a moment to breathe. However, there were a few the article listed that were not discussed in class. One is to eat well, or so it suggests. There is not a lot of support backing it up and simply claims it is “leading to lower threshold for stress,” yet it provides no evidence. I feel eating well would only benefit health and has nothing to do with stress. If people tried only eating better, they would not be successful in dealing with their stress because it is not dealing with the stressor in an Emotion-Focused Coping or Problem-Focused Coping method.
Secondly, the article mentions “avoiding unnatural energy boosters” such as energy drinks students are addicted to. For this they claim it deals with stress because then it doesn’t result in sleep lost. Really the issue here is the sleep not the energy drinks and they hardly provide incite as to that. This method could work, if the energy from the boosters are keeping the individual awake at night, but otherwise it may not always be the best method.
The article suggests making time for passions, even if there is a ton of work to be done. Doing something one enjoys, is a good way to de-stress and it helps most people put it from their mind. I agree that this method is a strong one in dealing with stress, although it does not eliminate the stressor because it is using the Emotion-Focused Coping to do something fun that the individual enjoys – while the stressor is right there still waiting. Generally though, this is a good method and works well taking the college student’s minds away from the work and deadlines to have a little own-self-time.
Source 2: Parents
Parents like teens stress a lot, even if they never let it show, so this article has a few suggestions as to what they can do to deal with it. One they mention seeking guidance from professionals, such as a therapist or a psychologist. This can be a good method because the psychologists are well informed on the topic and that is there job to help others with their situation. It can be a successful method, but it may not work for every parent due to not having time to fit it in, or they don’t want to get outside help.
Luckily, this article has backup suggestions in case one of the methods do not work for everyone. The second it suggests is an effective method, spending time with family and putting all other tasks aside. Having a good time with family is a good way to take the mind off, while (potentially) engaging in exercise like running around the yard, or playing a game of soccer with the dog. Plus this method helps strength the bond between those all involved in the time, regardless if it is exercise or sitting together for a meal. Being around people that care about you and you care for helps ease one’s mind.
However, as the article suggests it is important to take time for oneself as well, otherwise one could get emotionally exhausted. Every now and then even parents need to take alone time and do something they want to do like reading a book because it will refresh their mind.
The article also suggests using support systems. As discussed in class having good close friends and social groups to raise one up, is a great method. The friends can be there to be a shoulder to lean upon in to help emotionally if needed, or they may offer advice as to what to do to get rid of the stress that is hanging above the parent like a storm cloud. As we know from class and reading the studies in the textbook, it is important to have a support group because every now and then we all need a friend to tell us it is going to be okay.
Source 3: Writers
Finally, the source I chose deals with stress management for writers. I myself am a writer, so I know what methods do and don’t work for me at least. However, one of my methods to dealing with stress is writing, so that is a different story.
The article starts off by suggesting the writer sets a realistic goal. I understand how hard it can be to reach getting to a certain point by a certain day. However, I the article talks about setting goals as in pages or words written, but that can create more stress than it eliminates. Putting the bar too high can definitely add to stress, so I agree making realistic standards is a good idea, but still if it is how much content there is it can create a problem. A better suggestion would be to set a goal of how long to focus on writing each day.
Like the first article, it suggests eating nutrients to add more energy and keep the creative mind thinking. It also suggests exercise again because writers sit a lot, so they need to get up and do more sometimes. I agree these can be helpful methods in this case and are definitely beneficial.
It advises writers if they are stressed to try a different genre of writing. I disagree that this is a good method. Trying a different genre that a writer is not familiar with can create a heck of a lot more stress than initially. It is better to stick with what they know because writers can find comfort in their bubble. Save the experimenting with different genres for when one is not extremely stressed out and using writing as a way to cope.
Another it suggests is imagining the finished result, whether it is the published version, or just finished manuscript. This could be a successful method because it helps the writer remember the end goal and it could create the feeling that the “happy” place we talked about in class can.
A helpful method it suggests is to “free your mind,” which can include Mindfulness Meditation as a way to clear the mind. When it comes to writer’s block it is best not to think about it and let other thoughts wander the brain. Going for a walk or simply changing tasks can help clear the mind and then the imagination will have gotten a chance to replenish and maybe will have formed an idea in the process.
Regardless of all three sources, each method they suggest has its good points and its bad. Still though stress is like a person, it is different for each individual and there is no right way to deal with it; one must find their own methods that are the most beneficial for them.