Don’t overstress stress

Meghann Rise

Meghann Rise

Finals are just around the corner, and in the last couple weeks leading up to them, students can find themselves loaded with numerous projects, papers and tests.

Stress can affect more than just performance on tests. It can take a toll physically and mentally on students’ health.

According to, stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. Unresolved stress can lead to a condition called distress, which can lead to physical problems like upset stomach, headaches, elevated blood pressure, chest pains and troubles sleeping. Stress can also exacerbate problems with allergies and other preexisting conditions.

So, what can students do to prepare for finals week, and relieve some stress? HEROH, the College of Nursing, the counseling department, community fitness and the nutrition department have all teamed up to host Stress Free Week in the Wellness Center. Stress Free Week takes place December 7-10, 4:30-6 p.m.

There will be various booths set up in the lobby of the Wellness Center with stress relieving activities, like making a stress ball, scrapbooking, decorating cookies, beading, massages and comedy. Pilates, Yoga and Cardio classes will be free all week, as well as a dodge ball tournament Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. By engaging in various therapeutic activities, students have a chance to take a break from studying and relax and get rid of some stress.

“If you don’t get enough sleep, you will never get the grade you want,” Ellie Trautman, health promotion coordinator said. “You are young and you need your sleep. Without sleep you will forget a large portion of what you study for.”

“Another good idea is to start studying now instead of cramming everything in during finals. Also, it’s hard, but giving up social activities for the week will benefit you,” Trautman said. “Exercising is a great way to release endorphins and relieve some stress, and coloring and beading are also other therapeutic ways to relieve stress.”

Many students have different stress levels, so finding out how to deal with stress can be difficult for some people.

“I’m just a relaxed person the majority of the time,” Tara Kindel, a junior advertising major said, “But during stressful weeks, I do other things that have nothing to do with school to get my mind off of it, like cleaning my room or going to the bank or something. Then I come back and do some work so I can stay focused easier.”

For people who experience an average amount of stress, senior graphic design major Kate VanWyhe recommends making lists to stay organized.

“When I make a list to deal with stress, I try and cross things off as I accomplish them,” VanWyhe said, “I also like to watch movies during finals week to de-stress. Another helpful thing I like to do is do the easiest things first so I can get them finished and out of the way, and then I’ll come back to big projects so I can stay focused.”

Some students are stressed because of many activities outside of school, like senior advertising major Amanda Bechen.

“I am always stressed out between school, work and finding a job for next year. So to deal with my stress I take pictures, listen to music, relate my stresses to other people,” Bechen said. “Finals week is usually my least stressful time, actually. Projects are what stress me out. I just have to prioritize my studying time and stay focused.”

Stress Free Week is free and there will be tips for studying during finals available, so all students can take advantage and work towards a stress-free week.