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Lowering Your Levels of Stress

(Posted February 4, 2014)

Kris Clarkson, Dean of Students at Juniata College

College is hard. College is work. College is stressful.
College students all over the country deal with extremely high levels of stress. The increased workload, lack of sleep, and accumulation of things to do that never seems to end, all add up to a lot of stress. Juniata College's Dean of Students, Kris Clarkson, gives us some tips on how to deal with stress in the college environment.

Q: What are some ways to de-stress?

A: Individuals have different coping skills when it comes to dealing with stress. For some people, working out is a good way to relieve stress. A fair number of students go to Kennedy between 6 and 9 p.m. to release stress after a long day of classes. Years ago, people would join intramurals, but lately, student's schedules are so complicated and busy that there aren't as many club league sports. That's why the gym is so packed at night. With basketball, volleyball, swimming, baseball, soccer, football, and track in season or doing off-season training, it leaves even less room for non-student athletes to find a space to work out.

Q: Where can students go to relax?

A: Going to a good performance or an interesting lecture can be quite relaxing. The pool is underutilized. There is hardly anyone in there during open swim hours. Athletic events are a good place to get your mind off of stress as well as watching a good movie.

Q: What are some on campus resources that students can use when they feel stressed?

A: There are massage therapy sessions on campus that students can go to release stress. The Health and Wellness center is always open to students who are feeling stressed. Also Career Planning, and the Dean of Students Office are excellent resources for students to use.

Q: What are some off campus resources that students can use when they feel stressed?

A: Spirituality can work wonders in the form of releasing stress. You could go to a mass, join meditation, join a church group, or even participate in something active like martial arts. You could simply go outdoors and go for a run or go for a hike up to the Peace Chapel.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add about helping students release stress?

A: It's all about your lifestyle choices: proper diet, staying healthy, and sleep. Sleep deprivation is huge among college students. Students should focus on eating well balanced meals and stay away from self-medication strategies (alcohol). Managing your time better can help with stress as well. If all else fails, get involved with something new, branch out, and discover something new.

Davon Jackson '17, Juniata Online Journalist

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