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Taking Care of Yourself

Stress isn’t a bad thing. It is a normal reaction to the demands and changes in your life. Trying something new, preparing for stressful exams, moving, waiting to hear back about a job application, all can result stress. Until the situation resolves itself, it’s common to feel stressed out. Successfully navigating those kinds of stressful situations can promote positive outcomes like achievement, growth, and resiliency. An appropriate level of stress is motivating. However, sometimes situations don’t get resolved quickly and maybe your current ways of coping stop working. Chronic stress can result in numerous cognitive, behavioral, physical, and emotional symptoms. The goal isn’t to get rid of stress, it is to find balance between the time spent on tasks and activities and your self-care.

Common Symptoms of Not Managing Your Stress:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Excessive worry and rumination
  • Socially withdrawing from others
  • Increased negative emotions and irritability
  • Impaired immune system and digestive problems

Strategies for Taking Care of Yourself

There are numerous strategies and resources available to manage your stress. However, it’s not always easy to take the time to do them. The challenge with self-care is that it’s easy to come up with excuses about not having enough time or needing to be more productive. Don’t wait until you have “enough time.” Schedule these activities, just like you would a class. Make sure to find balance between work and stress management. To-do lists can be helpful. However, they need to be realistic. “Good enough” lists are helpful if you are perfectionistic and add way more stuff to your list than is humanly possible. “Have-to-do” lists are helpful if you procrastinate and have difficulty getting started.

Self-Care Resources

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