Spread the Health

Avoiding the Mess of Stress

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives – whether it’s being new to BU, overwhelmed by a heavy course-load, dealing with relationship problems, financial hardships, illness, or family emergencies.


Stress is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can become overwhelming and harmful to your health [1]. Signs of stress may include memory or concentration problems, constant anxiety, and nausea or dizziness. If you’re stressed, you may also experience sudden aches, pains, and weight changes that you cannot explain. Nervous habits, such as nail biting and tooth grinding, may also indicate feelings of being distressed [2].

But don’t stress out! There are many ways to prevent feeling overwhelmed:

Create a routine and balanced schedule.
Time management is essential for juggling various responsibilities and assignments throughout the week. The Educational Resource Center at BU can help you become a time management-pro.

Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet (no skipping lunch!), and aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
Physical and mental health are connected – taking care of yourself goes a long way.

Avoid drugs and alcohol as a way to blow off steam. Instead, listen to your favorite music, watch a funny movie, and utilize other relaxation techniques.

Reach out to family and friends (or pets!) for social support.
Expressing how you’re feeling will reduce your stress.

Make time for the things you enjoy.
Playing soccer, practicing yoga, cooking (or whatever activity you enjoy) will keep your mind focused and spirits high.

If you feel your stress levels are out of control, or due to an underlying condition such as depression or anxiety, reach out to someone. Contact BU Student Health Services at http://www.bu.edu/shs/behavioral/ or 617-353-3569. Appointments are confidential.

SPREAD THE HEALTH: Time management, self-care, social support, relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help when needed are all useful strategies to combat the harmful effects of stress.

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