Medical Assistant Students: Ways to Manage Your Stress.
School can be challenging; even for the most relaxed students. For many, it’s the stress of going back to school for the first time in years. Student stress can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Loneliness, feeling homesick or experiencing relationship difficulties
- Struggling to save money or handle debt
- Not knowing how to balance work and study
- Worry of exams
- Writing essays or dissertations
- Harmful use of, or withdrawal from, alcohol or drugs
However, there are things you can do to keep the worry at bay.
This doesn’t have to be a grueling gym session – you simply need to get your heart racing, for example by going for a brisk walk or a bike ride. ‘Exercise can be hugely beneficial for the mind as well as the body,’ says Glyn Williams, senior wellbeing practitioner at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. ‘Regular exercise releases endorphins – feel-good hormones that can help to reduce tension and allow the mind to focus on something other than worries and concerns.’
If you’re struggling for inspiration, see what activities are available near you, or virtually, and get involved with clubs and societies. Since the pandemic started, there have been tons of gyms and classes who have transferred to virtual so you can take classes from anywhere!
A relaxation technique originating in Buddhism, mindfulness is becoming an increasingly popular coping mechanism for those tackling stress or anxiety. Used by clinicians to improve patients’ physical and mental health, it can significantly lower stress levels. It is most often practiced through deep breathing or guided meditation.
One of the most accessible ways to practice this is through the use of free smartphone apps such as The Mindfulness App, Calm and Headspace. A number of books are also available on the subject.
- Talking to Someone/Laugh
Isolation can have an extremely negative impact on your happiness. Accepting that you may need some help is often the first step to feeling better.
Speak to your friends and family – they know you best and care about you the most. What’s more, studies suggest that socializing with a friend just once a week can reduce your stress levels and improve your mood as much as therapy or counseling. Friends and family will also get you to laugh which, According to The Mayo Clinic, is a great stress relief! They say “a good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can stimulate many organs, activate and relieve your stress response and soothe tension” (To learn more visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456).
- Time Management
People often get stressed when they feel that they’re running out of time to complete something. However, simple time management techniques can help you to feel relaxed and focused.
Try creating a written work schedule, breaking your tasks down into manageable chunks and planning accordingly. Divide your work into urgent and non-urgent tasks, and important and non-important tasks.
- Getting Enough Sleep
Maintaining a sleep routine is of paramount importance to mental health and managing stress. Taking time to relax before you go to sleep can help the quality of your sleep. Try going to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Six to eight hours is ideal.
Stress can often interrupt your sleeping pattern so try to do everything you can to relax yourself before going to bed. Take a bath to wind down, watch your favorite TV show or sit quietly and read. Avoid screen time as much as possible before bed, so switch off laptops, phones and tablets at least an hour before going to sleep.
The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School