--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog
For my second spotlight post, I chose prompt #2 about stress management. As a college student, as well as an athlete, stress is something I struggle with and I feel that it is important to find ways to manage your stress levels in order to achieve peak performance and to maintain your sanity. I will be discussing ways that different audiences can cope with stressful situations based off of three articles I found.
My first audience is college students. Dear college students, you NEED to sleep. Most college students are so overwhelmed with the amount of school work they have and how little time they have to do it, so they stay up all night working on assignments and sleep a few hours each night during the week and then try to catch up on sleep on the weekends. That is a very unhealthy lifestyle to live all week long every week for an entire school year. As we learned in class, catching up on sleep is simply that-catching up. By the time you’re finally caught up, it’s Monday and you have to start the cycle all over again. You sendup essentially inducing “jet lag” when doing this. Nobody is able to do their best work when they are constantly sleep deprived. Sleep more during the night so that you can feel refreshed when taking on school responsibilities. Another tip is to practice some relaxation techniques when you feel overwhelmed. Whether it be mediation, slowly taking deep breaths and counting to ten, playing with a stress ball, anything that can take your mind off of things and calm you down is beneficial to your overall mental health. Lastly, talk to somebody. Ranting to your roommate or friends or calling your parents and just talk about your problems can be a very good outlet for frustration and make a world of difference. Honestly, talking things through with people can help you figure things out for yourself and how you can take on all of your stress, and if not, most likely your parents or friends can help you come up with a solution or game plan to get through your struggles.
My next audience is athletes. First of all, keeping a positive attitude is key. Sometimes you can be so stressed out from practicing every single day and worrying about winning all the time, but staying positive puts you a completely different head space- and a healthy one! If you have a bad performance or you feel you didn’t do as well as you know you could have, don’t let it discourage you, let it drive you to do better next time. Not only will it be a learning experience, but it will also alleviate so much stress. Another tip is to have time to yourself to have fun. Sports can be very demanding and you can often times feel like your whole life revolves around the sport you play. When you do have free time, use it. Not only will it be a way to get your mind off of your stress, but you can do things that are still keeping you active which may slightly benefit your performance your sport anyway. You can go on a run, lift weights, go hiking, do yoga, or play some video games. Whatever helps you to destress and enjoy yourself will help you in the long run. Lastly, have a strong support system. Your friends, family, trainers, and especially your coach all want to see you succeed as much as possible. They can help you find ways to deal with your stressors, as well as encourage you to push through the hard times. They can also help you remain positive and change your perspective. Surrounding yourself with people who only have your well-being in mind is essential when in stressful situations.
Lastly, I would like to address the parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be the most stressful phase of children growing up that parents have to go through. It can be a very difficult time for teenagers, but parents are just as stressed out as their children, so I would like to give advice for parents that can help their teens and, in turn, alleviate some of their own stress as well. For starters, help your child learn that some things are outside their control. Learning not to stress about the little things will help them worry less and have a clearer mind. Teens deal with a lot of drama, so teach them to stay out of it and show them that the drama is pointless, a waste of time, and won’t matter in the long run. Secondly, limit your teen’s social media use. Kids are constantly glued to their phones, but social media has the potential to completely ruin their self confidence. Nowadays it’s all about editing and posting the most perfect pictures, getting the most likes on a post, having the most followers, and constantly beating themselves down when they don’t achieve those things as well as comparing themselves to others. This can be very detrimental to their mental health and can cause a lot of stress in the household when the parents have to deal with their child going through that. Lastly, come up with some stress relieving distractions for your child. Whether it be hanging out with friends, going on a drive (if they have their license), playing basketball outside, playing an instrument, drawing, shopping, getting ice cream, anything that can be fun and get their mind off of the stress can be so beneficial for your teen.
The three articles I found wrote about these tips more in depth and provided many more ideas to cope with stress. I feel that these tips are very helpful for people dealing with high levels of stress and feel they can’t find any solutions. I definitely plan on keeping some of these tips in mind following my return to college this semester, and hopefully they can help other people too!