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Managing Stress - and You Can Help!
Managing Stress – and You Can Help!
December can be an incredibly stressful time for students. From academic to social pressures, they’re likely being pulled in a number of directions. Taking a look at the list of seasonal issues we listed on the front page will give you a clear idea about what they may be facing. Plus, this will help prepare you for any frantic phone calls you may receive in the next few weeks!
You can also support your student by:
A Quick Call – Calling to check in so your student knows you care, but not requiring him to stay on the phone for long periods of time
Dialing It Down – Waiting to discuss important details or have thoughtful conversations until after finals are over – when possible
Listening & Understanding – Understanding the pressure she is facing and validating her frustrations while also making suggestions for effectively handling her stress level
Offering Perspective – Helping him keep things in perspective (i.e. this will all be over in just a few weeks, grades aren’t everything, etc.)
Helping Out – Offering to take responsibility for the things you can (i.e. picking up gifts or running last minute errands, etc.)
Sharing Your Care – Reminding him to take care of himself – this may be the last thing he’ll want to hear (“Sleep? Are you kidding?”), but the reminders to get adequate sleep and food are still important
Overall, your student may just need a listening ear during these next few weeks. If that’s the case, let her vent, validate her feelings and remind her how much you love her. More often than not, this is the most helpful thing you can do during this busy time of year.
It is not uncommon for students to begin crash diets and other destructive eating patterns in early December, as they prepare to come home and see family and friends. The fear of looking like they gained the “Freshman 15” makes some students worry that others will think they are not doing well in school.
However, not eating healthfully will impact their performance on exams, plus it’s just not good for them overall.
Focusing comments on weight or appearance during phone conversations and email exchanges will only add to this anxiety. Instead, promote positive behaviors and image concepts by encouraging healthy fitness and nutritional habits while focusing on internal qualities as well.