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Stress

Meeting Student-Athletes' Nutritional Needs

Eating right while in college can be difficult. Junk food like pizza, burgers, and fried snacks are readily available on or near campus. Since cooking in dorms is generally prohibited, this leaves few healthy alternatives. The only vegetables in the vicinity may be found in the school’s cafeteria.

Failing to supply the body with the necessary nutrition can lead to all sorts of physical- and mental-health problems. Surviving on fast food may result in illness, fatigue, and other symptoms. College life is stressful enough without putting additional strain on the mind and body.

The situation can be worse for college athletes, who may be under even more pressure than other students. All that stress, along with the physical demands of sports, can be challenging. To stay healthy, and maximize their performance, student-athletes must be deliberate about nutrition.

Eat a Balanced Diet
You have heard it since you were a kid: “Eat your vegetables.” This is especially important for athletes. A variety of veggies, including the super-nutritious leafy ones, should be eaten every day. Fruits, whole grains, and protein are also essential. Avoid fried foods and white bread, and opt for fish instead of red meat a few times a week.

Sugar, salt, and saturated fats sap strength and energy. They also add body fat. These consequences are not only unhealthy; they can diminish an athlete’s performance on the field or court. A long-term effect of consuming large amounts of these substances may be increased vulnerability to illness and disease.

Don’t Forget Breakfast
Nutritionists emphasize the value of eating breakfast. They call it the most important meal of the day, because it replenishes the body after many hours of not eating. The hectic lives of college students require this fuel.

Breakfast is especially critical for those who play sports, as they often have morning practices or workouts. Such exertion on an empty stomach places a lot of strain on the body, which does not respond as well without food energy.

The key is to eat something in the morning, even if you oversleep and are in a hurry. At least grab a bagel and piece of fruit. Always having such ready-to-eat, nutritious items in your dorm room can save you from missing breakfast (or going to a fast-food restaurant). Ideally, the morning meal should include protein (from meat, eggs, and beans) and whole grains, as well as fruit.

Get Enough Protein
Many believe that physically active people should eat a lot of meat and other protein-rich foods. While protein is vital, overdoing it can be counterproductive. Too much protein may result in increased body fat, a loss of calcium, and dehydration. These conditions are particularly undesirable for athletes, who require toned muscles, strong bones, and well-hydrated systems.

The richest sources of protein are fish, beef, pork, and poultry. Dairy is another option. Eggs, as well as the whey protein in milk, are highly recommended. Other foods containing protein are beans, soy, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. The best advice is to get protein from a variety of foods.

Consume Carbohydrates
Those seeking to shed pounds know they need to cut back on carbohydrates, which cause weight gain. However, avoiding carbs can be dangerous because they supply the body with the energy it needs to function properly. Athletes who neglect carbohydrates quickly become tired, and lose strength and endurance.

Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles, in the form of glycogen. The body converts glycogen into glucose (sugar), which boosts energy. Experts say that, for most people, the amount of glycogen the body can hold is enough for a 90-minute workout. Those who play sports, which usually last longer than that, are advised to load up on carbs for several days before the big game. This is really crucial for long-distance runners and bicyclists, swimmers, cross-country skiers, endurance athletes, and others whose activities are not only lengthy but also entail extreme physical exertion.

Candy, soda pop, and other sweets contain a lot of carbohydrates. However, they are considered “bad” carbs because they lack the vitamins and minerals found in “good” (complex) carbs. Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas (as well as vegetables, fruits, and brown rice) are examples of foods with good carbs.

Experts advise most people to ensure that carbohydrates make up a little more than half of their total food consumption. Athletes may want to increase the percentage somewhat, without getting too carried away. Diets consisting of 70 percent carbs are recommended for endurance athletes and others whose sports involve long, strenuous exercise.

Eat foods rich in carbohydrates before, during, and after intense physical activities. A small, high-carb meal an hour before a game or workout is advised. Pack a whole-grain muffin, sports bar, or fruit juice to refuel during a sports activity. Replenish the body afterword with a high-carb snack.

Drink Plenty of Water
Athletes must keep hydrated. They should drink water, sports drinks, or fruit juice before, during, and after exercising. Moisture lost via perspiration needs to be replaced, or the body will overheat and eventually break down.

Two cups of water before an activity, and at least one-half cup every 15-20 minutes while exercising, are recommended. Some authorities suggest starting with water, then switching to sports drinks because they contain electrolytes.
Keep drinking through a game or match, even when you don’t feel particularly thirsty. Keep an eye on your urine. If it is darker than normal, that could indicate dehydration. Fatigue, dizziness, and upset stomach are other possible signs that you need more water.

Supplement Your Diet
Student-athletes put so much stress on their bodies that they might find it difficult to get sufficient nutrition from food. Dietary supplements can help. Start with a multivitamin that contains not only Vitamins A through D, but also thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. The body uses these substances to convert food into the energy that physically active people need. Look for a multivitamin that also features calcium, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are rapidly diminished while playing sports.

Many other kinds of supplements are also available. Omega-3 oils, found naturally in fish, help to regulate inflammation and blood-sugar levels. Athletes need to get enough magnesium, which strengthens muscles and regulates heart rhythm.

For student-athletes, there are multiple reasons to adopt healthy diets. Without the necessary nutrition, their ability to succeed in sports is hampered. More importantly, their overall health suffers. To maintain strength and energy, it is critical that physically active students take nutrition seriously.

Relieving Stress with Massage Therapy

Graduating from high school and beginning a post-secondary education is an important and exciting time in a young person’s life. College can be a lot of fun, but it also is a hectic experience.

Students are under pressure to succeed in their studies and form new relationships. They also face the challenge of living on their own, perhaps for the first time. This involves buying groceries, washing clothes, and performing other tasks that used to be done for them. The stress that can result must be managed to avoid physical and psychological problems. Eating nutritious food and exercising are key to keeping the body working properly and maintaining mental health.

Another way to find relief when pressures mount is to get a massage. This kind of hands-on therapy is an ancient method of relieving muscle tension, reducing pain, and promoting physical rehabilitation. The word “massage” comes from a French term for the “friction of kneading.” Numerous techniques have been developed for muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Massage also is used to relieve symptoms in the vessels of the lymphatic and gastrointestinal systems.

People receiving massages typically lie on a table or sit in a chair, though beds and floor mats are sometimes used. Practitioners employ their hands, elbows, forearms, knees, and feet to apply pressure to targeted parts of the body. They improve their clients’ mobility and help them regain other physical functions.

People of all ages benefit from these treatments. They include those recovering from injuries and patients undergoing post-operative care. Others who have found massage worthwhile are people with cancer, heart disease, psychological afflictions, and disorders of the immune-response and endocrine systems.

Massage is frequently incorporated in conditioning regimens for athletes and others whose activities can result in strained muscles and injuries. Treatments can be useful for people who strain their shoulders and necks while working on computers, and those with physical problems resulting from repetitive motion.

Basic Massage
The most common type of this therapy is Swedish massage. It involves the use of the hands to work on various parts of the body to relax muscles and loosen joints. This can be as simple as rubbing a sore muscle, which a person may be able to self-administer. However, professionals are trained to target the source of discomfort and apply the most effective techniques.

There main kinds of Swedish massage are effleurage, featuring stroking movements on the affected area; petrissage, the grabbing and pulling of muscles; friction, the use of fingers in a circular motion to apply pressure; tapotement, involving chopping and tapping; and vibrasion, in which fingers are firmly pressed on muscles while the client’s body is shaken.

Deep-Tissue Work
While Swedish massage is most effective in relaxing the outer two layers of muscles, a more intensive method called deep-tissue massage is needed to provide relief in muscles that lie deeper in the body. This is often required by those whose pain results from athletics or other heavy physical activity.

Deep-tissue massage involves slowly stroking across the grain of the muscles. Elbows, as well as hands, are sometimes used to apply the necessary pressure. Therapists trained in this type of massage know how to locate individual muscles from which a person’s pain or tightness originates.

The goal is to zero in on “trigger points,” knots that radiate pain to other parts of the body. This neuromuscular technique improves blood flow, while relieving discomfort by decreasing pressure on the nerves.

Acupressure
Acupuncture, the therapeutic application of needles in the skin, has used by healers in China for thousands of years. Acupressure involves the same trigger points, which practitioners identify as the source of patients’ pain or stiffness. Hands, elbows, and tools like balls and rollers are used to apply pressure.

In addition to relieving pain, acupressure can lessen the nausea experienced by post-operative patients. It is widely believed that acupressure and acupuncture re-balance a person’s chi, a term relating to the flow of energy throughout the body.

Reiki
Another hands-on healing technique, reiki, is based on a similar idea. The term is translated as “universal life energy.” In this ancient Japanese ritual, energy is said to pass through the hands of the therapist to the patient.

While generally provided in private practices and clinics, reiki also has been used in hospitals to help surgical patients and those receiving radiation treatments. It is a deeply spiritual, as well as physical, exercise.

Rolfing
A rolfer works on myofascia, connective tissues that surround muscles. In many cases, myofascia are the source of back pain and joint aches. Patients typically develop such maladies as a result of bad posture or repetitive movements.

Rolfing is an intense therapy, which can be painful because of the amount of pressure applied with hands and elbows. People seek out rolfers when other, less extreme, massage techniques have failed to provide relief.

Patients undergoing hellerwork receive rolfing massage, as well as an education in improving their postures to reduce the damage to joints and muscles. The straightening, stretching, and massaging featured in hellerwork sometimes results in patients “growing” as much as an inch in height.

The multiple forms of massage range from gentle stroking to painful pressure. These therapies can be emotional, as well as physical, experiences. Patients have been known to weep upon getting a measure of relief from their pain. This is considered normal, and experts advise not resisting the impulse to cry.

The technique that works best for one person may be different than that needed by another. It is important to find a practitioner who can provide the most effective method of massage for an individual complaint.

Students who get an occasional massage may find that they feel more relaxed, mentally and physically. Many have found that these healing techniques make it easier to deal with the stress of the college experience.

7 Health Tips for College Students

Stress, a poor diet, and partying are common to many students’ lifestyles. However, they are not conducive to good health. College-bound students leaving home for the first time are faced with making their own decisions about many things that affect their well-being. Here are some health tips to consider.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

It should come as no surprise that eating right is at the top of the list of healthy behaviors. The adage “you are what you eat” is true. Your physical and mental resiliency depend upon your body receiving adequate nutrition.

Consuming foods with large amounts of sugar, salt, and saturated fats can compromise your immune system and lead to illness. It also can sap the energy you need to meet all your responsibilities. Your body requires nourishment to deal with the stresses of college life. Eating poorly can lead to obesity, sickness, fatigue, anxiety, and other undesirable conditions.

Most colleges and universities do not allow students to cook food in the dorms. However, you can keep your room stocked with snacks like fruit and nuts. This might help curb the temptation to order pizza or get fast food when you feel hungry.

Make good choices in the school’s cafeteria or dining hall. You have heard it a million times: Eat a balanced diet. That includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein. Make sure you have something from each food group every day. Ideally, the volume of vegetables in your diet should exceed that of meat.

This does not mean you have to survive on tofu and leafy vegetables, though you might be surprised by what you can do with such ingredients. Inevitably, you will eat some pizza, burgers, and fried bar snacks. These foods are linked to opportunities to make friends and socialize, which are important elements of the college experience. Practice moderation when enjoying junk food.

Be creative and find ways to eat your favorite foods in more healthy ways. Order whole-wheat tortillas and pizza crusts when they are available. Include vegetables in your pizza ingredients. Ask for low-fat white, rather than yellow, cheese; and choose chicken instead of beef or pork. Opt for baked, rather than fried, food.

Breakfast is important. You need an energy boost after many hours of not giving your body any fuel. Eat a bowl of healthy cereal or granola, or at least grab some fruit (and perhaps a whole-grain bagel) on the way out the door.

Drink water frequently, even if you are not thirsty. You may find that you feel better and eat less. Take it easy on the caffeine. While a little of this stimulant can be beneficial, consuming too much is counterproductive and potentially dangerous. The same is true of sodas and other beverages containing large amounts of sugar.

Your body needs a variety of nutrients, so don’t eat exactly the same foods every day. If you are trying to lose weight, be mindful of portion sizes but eat plenty of veggies and get enough protein. Never go on a crash diet. The weight you lose will probably return soon, and in the meantime you will have compromised your health.

2. Exercise

There are some other ways to ward off illness, boost energy, and stay in shape. One of the best methods is getting some exercise every day. Walking from your room to classes is not enough. Take longer walks, jog, ride a bicycle, go to a gym, or play a sport.

Between studying and socializing, you may not think you have time to exercise. All it takes is about 20 minutes every day, which is not that hard to fit into your schedule.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Many people do not appreciate the importance of sleep. You need to get at least seven hours of sleep per day. If you don’t, it will be harder to stay alert and focus on your studies.

Sleep deprivation may cause fatigue, headaches, and depression. Your relationships, as well as your grades, could suffer. If you are not getting enough sleep at night, try to take an afternoon nap. Avoid caffeine and sugar for at least a few hours before going to bed.

4. Take Precautions

College classes are in session during the winter, when the most illnesses occur. As a student, you are in close contact with numerous people. It is crucial to protect yourself from viruses and other infectious diseases.

Wash your hands often, especially after touching door knobs and other objects with which many people come in contact. This will keep you from catching most contagions. Get a flu shot, or choose an herbal alternative, to keep yourself from catching a bug. Obtain appropriate vaccinations. Take Vitamin C and antioxidants.

5. Cope with Stress

College life is stressful. Living away from home, dealing with new people, is hard enough. Studying and taking tests create additional anxiety. The college life challenges your mental, as well as physical, health.

Diet, exercise, and sleep are critical to managing stress. Take breaks when you feel overwhelmed. Switch from studying to playing a game or watching a video. Gain some perspective and relax. Spend some time outdoors every day. Find balance by connecting with nature.

Compartmentalize the things that cause you stress. Figure out what you need to do, a step at a time. Set priorities and short-term, attainable goals. Try to transcend the anxiety and look at things logically. Remember that your fellow students are having the same problems. Share your feelings with them, as well as with other friends and family members. Try meditation, yoga, or a hobby. Do not hesitate to speak with a counselor.

6. Avoid Risky Behaviors

Many college-bound students are excited about their new experience for the wrong reasons. They may be looking forward to partying and having sex. They are at an age when experimentation is normal, but it is vital to know how to stay safe.

Parties featuring beer or liquor are common on, or near, most campuses. You are likely to find yourself at such a party. If you are of legal age and choose to drink, know your limit to ensure that you remain aware and in control. Have a designated driver.

Illegal drugs also may be available. The obvious advice is to refrain from taking them. If you do decide to experiment, understand the effects of the drugs and the risks involved. Remember that what you are doing is against the law, and may result in bad decisions and unwanted consequences.

Another part of the college experience is dating. Some students meet their life-long partners in school. It is easier to find people with common interests in college than it was in high school. Students who make the decision to have sex should use protection, get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases, and go to doctors for exams and vaccinations.

7. Other Tips

If you smoke tobacco, figure out a way to quit. Your performance in school, as well as your health, may benefit from doing so. Find healthy alternatives to nicotine to provide the stimulation you crave.

Support your feet by wearing good shoes rather than sandals. You are likely to be doing a lot of walking, going to classes and moving around campus. Do not let aching or injured feet slow you down.

Give your back a break by minimizing the weight of your backpack. You don’t have to carry all your books, all the time. Do some stretching before heading out on a long walk or beginning your daily exercise regimen.

Communicate your needs to roommates. Coordinate times for studying and sleeping. Maintaining good relations with your roomies also enhances your mental health.

Resist excessive tanning because of the risk of getting skin cancer. If you do lay out, use sunscreen. Daily applications of aloe vera or other moisturizer help prevent skin from burning or getting too dry.

These tips can help you maintain mental and physical health during your college years. By eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and managing stress, you get the most out of the experience. Your relationships and grades will benefit.

5 Tips to Help You Cope with Deadline Stress

Throughout the academic year, students have to put in a lot of hours studying, researching and writing papers and essays. With deadlines always looming in the horizon, it is often natural for students to get stressed and panic. The tips given below will help you plan your time wisely and cope with stress successfully:

1. Plan and prioritize

If you organize and plan well in advance, you will be able to avoid stressful situations. Know what needs to be done, calculate how long each task will take and factor in all non-coursework related tasks that require your attention. Knowing how to set priorities is a part of good organization. Make schedules and timetables that will allow you to keep track of your time effectively.

2. Recognize stress

Recognizing the symptoms of stress will allow you to do something about it quickly. Unless you recognize that there is a problem and acknowledge it, you won’t be able to deal with it. Serious stress can lead to depression and can have many recognizable symptoms like blurred vision, increased irritability, anxiety, poor appetite, tiredness and difficulty in sleeping. If you notice signs of stress, talk to a friend or a family member. Talking about issues is often enough to relieve tension.

3. Sleep

A good night’s sleep has many benefits. Sleep allows the body to rest and recovers itself. Sleeping at least 8 hours each night will allow you to feel refreshed so you can work on your essay or your thesis with renewed energy. Most students stay up all night to cram for exams or to finish their essays as the deadlines gets closer but sleep is one of the best ways to avoid stress during an academic year.

4. Exercise

Another excellent way to prevent stress is exercise. Exercising provides a stimulating effect and when combined with a healthy diet, it ensures that the body and mind are better equipped to deal with stress. With time constraints, students are often tempted to avoid exercise but it can be a mistake. With good organization and planning it is possible to easily balance work with exercise as well as relaxation.

5. Learn to enjoy your work

One of the main reasons why students often get stressed is because they do not dedicate enough time to themselves. Having fun is just as important as turning in papers before the deadline. Studying doesn’t always have to be serious. Students can still be creative to make their time at university interesting and fun. While it can be a lot of fun to read and learn new things, it is equally important to socialize and meet new people. Put in some time each week to make new friends, discover their thoughts and opinions and build relationships since it will ultimately put you at ease.

While these tips will help you cope with stress in most cases, when you feel overwhelmed it is best to seek medical advice. Most universities today offer counseling and support that you can take advantage of.

A College Freshman Guide to Being Healthy

College life is a lot of fun, but for first year students a lot can happen. The change in environment and eating habits often results in ill-health for many college students. Being away from home for the first time, many students do not do a good job at first of taking responsibility for themselves.

Preparing for College

Before leaving home there are some things that you should do to help you cope with the first couple months of college life. Some of these will help you remain healthy and allow you to manage your new routine. Some of these are:

  • Going to your family doctor for a check up
  • If you have a health condition, get all the facts about your condition and treatment. You will need this information to share with the doctor or clinic at your college and if possible, get a referral to a doctor at your new location.
  • Make sure you get all your vaccines before going off to college. This will help to protect you from many avoidable conditions

Keeping Healthy While at College

Many freshmen either lose or gain a lot of weight. Gaining weight is especially easy as many of them start eating junk food. Not many freshmen want to bother with cooking or making an effort to eat nutritious foods. However, eating properly while at college is not very difficult. Ensuring that you eat properly just takes a little planning, which may involve doing the following:

  • Start your day with a good breakfast. Try not to go hungry during the day and make an effort to have at least three meals per day. Allowing yourself to go hungry normally results in overeating
  • Avoid buying and keeping junk food and unhealthy snacks around. If you have to buy junk food, avoid eating it late at night. For late night study sessions, fruits and vegetables are better choices for snacking.
  • Learn about portion sizes as this will minimize overeating.
  • Drink lots of water as keeping hydrated helps with concentration and will also help prevent overeating
  • Do not eat to relieve stress
  • Many young people at college drink, however, do this only occasionally if you decide to drink. You should definitely avoid drinking as a regular part of your everyday activities.
  • Take supplements if you are unable to eat properly

Other tips for remaining healthy while at college include:

  • Getting adequate sleep is a priority for everyone especially college students. This will help you perform better in class, and will also help keep your immune system working properly. Napping during the day if you have time is a great way to get more rest. You should aim for a minimum of six hours sleep each night.
  • Exercising and keeping fit should also be a part of your healthcare plan. Many colleges have gyms and it is a good idea to become a member. You can also do other things to stay physically active, including walking to classes and the library as much as possible.
  • Find ways to remain stress free. This can involve joining a social club or group and learning how to handle the pressure of exams.

It is also important to know where the medical center, hospital or other healthcare facilities are located. Also, tell your roommate or someone else in your dorm that you are close to if you have a chronic health condition. In dorms where many students share a bathroom, you should wear flip-flops in the shower. This way, you will avoid fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

Following these basic tips will help you avoid the Freshman 15 (gaining weight) and enjoy your first year of college. Once you develop these habits of healthy living on campus, your remaining years there should be less stressful. You will find that after a few months, it will become easy to maintain good habits in terms of eating, sleeping and keeping active.

Work Study Balance - Getting it Right

Even student loans and scholarships are sometimes not enough to cover all your college expenses. For this reason, many college students have full or part-time jobs. This is a reality of modern life, and those who are able to manage working and studying at the same time, find the experience rewarding. If work begins to get in the way, it is best to seek another job or reschedule your school workload.

If you are a new college student who is unemployed, you can start looking for a job when you get your course schedule. There are actually many job opportunities for college students, and some of them can be found right on campus. Many colleges provide their students with employment to help make ends meet.  These jobs include library monitor, campus administration, tour guide, or working in the campus bookstore. Other good part-time job options for university students are:

  • Teaching assistant: Some college seniors and postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching college freshmen. The job may also include helping out during exams and grading papers. Talk to a professor to find out if there are openings available.
  • IT technician: The campus office or nearby businesses sometimes need people with technical skills to help in maintaining their computer infrastructure. Keep an eye on the notice board and check the classified ads to see if companies are looking for workers with the kind of skills you have.
  • Production assistant: Many local playhouses or theater companies are always looking for people to help in staging their events. The college’s drama group might have positions available as well.
  • Fast food worker or wait staff: Some college students work part time in the restaurant industry. Those lucky enough to get jobs in high-end restaurants can make a lot of money in tips.

Many college students who want to work will have to do a lot of searching before they find a job. Most of them do not need to earn a lot of money. The important thing is that the income helps them to cover additional expenses like rent or food.

Managing Work and School

No matter how small the job is, it will not be easy for any student to do it while giving enough time to their studies. The following tips are helpful in learning to balance both school and work, whether they are working full-time or part-time.

  • Set clear goals: When you have a sense of what you want to achieve this will help to keep you focus. Goals help to motivate you and keep you aware of what needs to be done and when. Do not hesitate to treat yourself as a reward for accomplishing each goal.
  • Develop time management skills: This is important if you expect to do your job and fulfil you school obligations. Create a timetable, and make sure that your job does not clash with your classes. Assign some time for studying for tests and completing assignments.
  • Get enough rest: You will not be able to do well at work or in class if you are not sleeping enough and getting adequate rest. As a working student, you may have to skip some of the partying and other types of entertainment.
  • Ask for advice: Your faculty advisor, professor and even other students can offer a lot of guidance to help you maintain a balance between work and school. Do not hesitate to talk to someone if you are having problems, especially if you cannot meet your deadlines.
  • Talk to your employer: Make sure that your employer knows that you are attending college. Some business owners will do their best to help their workers who are studying by offering employees more flexible working hours. They might even provide time off to study for exams.
  • Join a study group: This is a good way to catch up on those topics you missed because you were late for class or were unable to attend classes.  Study groups also help you better understand topics you may have difficulty understanding.

College students who exercise are better focused and less stressed, so this is especially important if you are working and studying at the same time. So it is also a good idea to join the gym to help keep you stress level down. As a college student who is working, you will need to learn how to say no to family and friends sometimes. Remember that your goal is to complete your studies successfully. You should not let personal tasks and activities get in the way unless an emergency is involved.

Stress Management Tips for College Students

College life can cause a lot of anxiety. Students are living away from home, perhaps for the first time, which entails new responsibilities and challenges. Personal relationships and studying for exams also cause stress.

Experiencing some anxiety in college is normal. After all, you are dealing with an entirely new environment. It is important to keep stress from mounting by practicing positive thinking and healthy habits. Here are seven stress-management tips for college students.

1. Monitor Yourself

Be alert to changes in how you feel and act, as they may indicate unhealthy stress levels. You may find yourself becoming excessively angry or irritated about relatively insignificant things.

Muscle tightness, headaches, and an upset stomach are possible signs of anxiety. Other indications include fatigue, and a sense of being bored all the time. If anxiety or panic attacks keep you up at night, you know you are stressed.

2. Think Positively

Perception is everything. How you process information determines how you feel. If you constantly tell yourself that you are going to fail, expect to fail. Relax, take deep breaths, and visualize positive outcomes. Focus on your strengths and abilities, rather than perceived shortcomings. Simplify problems by logically determining what you need to do, step by step.

You may want to take part in some sort of religious or spiritual practice. Perhaps you have religious beliefs that can provide support and guidance. Some students are helped by meditation or yoga. Find some way to achieve the proper frame of mind that will allow you to be confident and emotionally strong.

3. Eat Healthy Food

In college, your mother is not around to buy, cook, and serve nutritious meals. It is suddenly your responsibility to do the shopping and meal planning. To stay healthy emotionally, as well as physically, a balanced diet is crucial.

Make sure that, every day, you eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein. Try to consume more veggies than meat, choose baked rather than fried food, and opt for chicken instead of pork.

Control your consumption of sugar, salt, and saturated fats. Eating hamburgers, pizzas, and deep-fried snacks is to be expected in college. These foods are common in dorm rooms, at parties, and in bars. Just practice some restraint. Limit how much bad stuff you eat at a time, and don’t do it every day. Have at least one meal a day that contains the basic healthy food groups.

If you try to survive on food that does not provide the nutrition your body needs, it will catch up with you. Fatigue, muscle aches, a lack of energy, anxiety, depression, and illness may result.

Eating right in college can be a challenge because cooking in dorms is usually not allowed. Make sure you have healthy snacks, like nuts and fruit, in your room. When you go to the cafeteria, or eat out at a restaurant, order vegetables and whole grains along with the meat and cheese. Even pizzas can be fairly healthy, when they have whole-grain crusts and veggie toppings.

Do not neglect breakfast. Your body requires some fuel to start another busy day. You may feel that you don’t have time for a full, balanced meal in the morning. But it takes only a few minutes to eat a bowl of whole-grain cereal or granola, with fruit.

Drink water throughout the day, while limiting your intake of caffeine. Too much coffee or soda, and not enough water, can cause physical and emotional symptoms.

4. Get Some Exercise

If you are not accustomed to exercising, you might be surprised by how much better it makes a person feel. A brisk walk or jog, tennis match, bicycle ride, gym workout, or other physical activity is good for mind and body.

You will feel your energy, strength, and perhaps even confidence rise. Exercise maintains a healthy weight and tones muscles, while relieving stress and anxiety. It is one of the best things you can do to tune your body and clear your mind. All it takes is about 20 minutes a day. Include exercise as a part of your schedule.

5. Get Adequate Sleep

A lack of sleep, over time, leads to all sorts of problems. Anxiety can cause, or result from, insomnia. Most people require at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Sleep deprivation may result in fatigue, headaches, and depression. This makes it harder for college studies to study, perform well on tests, and foster relationships. If socializing or other activities prevent you from getting to bed early enough, schedule naps in the afternoons. Don’t consume caffeine or sugar before going to bed.

6. Take Breaks

The hectic pace of college life can leave you feeling anxious or stressed. Give yourself a break every day by finding a quiet place to be relaxed and alone. Go outside to appreciate nature and gain perspective on things that may be troubling you. Get away from academic pressures by socializing with friends and joining student clubs. Take part in sports and other recreational activities.

7. Reach Out to Others

You don’t have to face everything on your own. Other students are going through the same things you are, so share your feelings with your friends and roommates. You might be able to help one another find solutions, or at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you are not the only one experiencing difficulties.

Take advantage of other resources, like older students and your resident assistant. Have conversations with your parents and other adults whose advice you trust. Do not hesitate to visit with college counselors. That’s why they are there.

College is one of the most important times in your life. You have new experiences, make friends, learn new things, and grow into adulthood. All this can be a bit overwhelming, resulting in anxiety. You can control and manage the stress by following these tips.

Mental Health Issues and the College Student

College can be very tough, especially for students who are just starting out. Adjusting to a more demanding schedule and tougher schoolwork is not easy for many of them. Also having to adjust to new environment, city or even country can all lead to adjustment issues. Some students simply cannot cope with the stress of college. These students end up with mental health issues due to their failure to adjust to college life. Research has shown that some students enter college already dealing with mental health problems. Many of them are unaware that they have these issues.

Causes of Mental Health Problems

New college students will have many new experiences with the first few months. They will meet a lot of new people and probably have to live with a roommate they are meeting for the first time. This will give them a look at different cultures and lifestyles. Not every student is ready to deal with this type of situation. A student who does not handle this new environment well could become depressed.

When you enter college you will have to change the way you think. This comes not only from being around new people, but also from being on your own. You have to develop your own identity and gain a sense of independence. If you are not ready for this, it could be a strain on your mental health. You will have problems focusing in class and if you get poor grades, it could cause further anxiety or depression.

Some college students simply feel that they are not up to the challenge of handling the pressures of college life. However, this kind of doubt will affect their performance in class and their ability to complete assignments. Some students also have to deal with the additional pressure placed on them by their parents to do well. If they feel like they have not lived up to these expectations, depression could set it.

Getting Help

Each year college counselors see many students who are coping with anxiety and depression.  Students who have mental health issues prior to attending college should choose schools with a good health facility.  Look at the size of the counseling center and the number of staff members. Find out what steps the school will take if a student has a mental breakdown.

It is important to understand that there is no shame in seeking help for mental health problems. Some students feel embarrassed to admit that they feel depressed and avoid seeking help. Not asking for help will only make the problem worse. Friends and roommates should also be aware of signs of depression so that they can report their concerns to college counselors.

It is important to understand the potential mental health issues, and what steps can be taken to deal with them. Ways to cope with added stress include getting enough sleep, eating properly and getting adequate exercise. It is also important to avoid too much alcohol. Developing good coping skills is also an important part of dealing with college life.

Most colleges have their own support structure for students who may be having problems in school. Talking to a counselor is a good way to deal with many issues that arises. These professionals are usually highly trained, and can tell if a student needs more professional help. Anxiety and depressions are the two most commonly seen mental health issues among college students. Being able to identify and treat with these problems early, makes it easier to overcome them.

Athletics your passport to Health, scholarships and popularity

If you have made it to the college of your choice, you are halfway there. The rest of the journey lies in what you do on campus (and off campus) to make your experience truly rewarding! While academics are undoubtedly a significant portion of your college life, you should never miss out on athletics! It’s not just a sport – it’s an opportunity!

Scholarship Opportunities

It is an implied benefit most outclass athletes receive in compensation for their participation in sports – on local and national level. Most colleges and universities are willing to support your sports skills through your academic tenure while you play on their behalf. Athletic scholarships usually incorporate your sports, nutritional, accommodation and educational expenses along with a few extra bucks to pay for your stationary items. So you can pursue your professional studies without paying a dime out of your own pocket!

There are certain associations like the NCAA that are working to make life for student-athletes truly rewarding. This does not only include providing athletic scholarships but also involves complete healthcare and training facilities that help in grooming your sports strengths. At the same time, they also focus on your academic requirements in the form of academic counseling, tutoring, study help and so on and so forth.
Partial scholarship opportunities are also available for students who may exhibit promising potential but do not have a longstanding track record to support it. This means even if you are unable to get into the free zone, you can still avail partial relief from your college and university expenses.

Pricelessly Healthy

No sports can be played unless you have been declared fit for it. If you have made it to the athletic scholarships lists, you will have your school paying to keep you healthy! This includes your physical fitness trainers and nutritional experts working together to make sure you perform your best on the field. So when you get to the other side (graduate), you are healthier and more energetic than most of your fellow mates!

Admittedly, this means foregoing a lot of the eating (and drinking!) habits that you love. Nevertheless, there is no replacement for your health. In a few years time down the road, you would look back and be glad at the choices you made as a student-athlete.

Being Popular By Doing What You Love

And then there is the king (and queen) protocol most college and university level sports personalities receive when they have won the game! Most students (and teachers as well) remember your name. If you’ve made a spectacular achievement, it remains engraved on the “wall of fame” forever. There is so much to boost your self-confidence that when you step into the real world, you feel truly invincible! If you’ve got good grades along with your sports performances, most employers would be more than willing to offer you a job. You get the best of both worlds by doing what you love!

Sports Relieves Stress

It mostly comes with health and fitness, but it is nevertheless worthy of mention. Sports activities help in relieving stress. This is why despite their extremely busy schedules; student-athletes are able to get through tough times juggling two bowls of fire at the same time.

Indeed, most of the student-athletes who shared their stories put specific emphasis on their overstuffed schedules. Training for the sports and also keeping up with academics while your body screams for some rest can be quite challenging. If you are travelling to attend sports events, it gets even tougher to manage. Nevertheless, athletics helps in relieving stress. In the long run, student-athletes may come off in better shape than most “strictly-studies” personalities.

Overcoming exam fear

Exam fear is caused by one of following reasons:

  • Pressure from parents to score high
  • Fear of failing or scoring less in comparison to friends
  • Not being well-prepared

It is crucial for a student or his/her parents to identify the reason and help overcome exam fear. It has many adverse effects on the student’s performance, such as:

  • Scoring less marks than could’ve been scored
  • Forgetfulness during exam
  • Feeling of failure

Follow these steps to overcome exam fear and improve performance in exams:

Study Regularly

Students try to cram all the study in the last few days or hours. This prevents them from retaining everything consequently making them fearful of the exam. Ensure that you study a little everyday or go through what you did in class after coming home. Studying an hour each day also helps in remembering things when you eventually start preparing.

Prepare Well

When you sit down to prepare for exams, make it a point to make notes which will help in revisions. Having well-prepared notes will ensure that you do not have to go through the entire material again. Be sure not to leave out anything while preparing. Students usually tend to leave out things which don’t seem important. Remember, an exam is to test your learning and memory, the examiner can ask anything.

Take Breaks

While studying, don’t think you can do everything in one go. Take small study breaks in between to relax your mind and retain what you have gone through. When you resume studying, remove any distractions and focus on the material alone. Be sure to study in a quiet, calm environment. Don’t choose a place where other people in the family hang out. It will cause disruptions in your studying.

Sleep Properly

Have a proper sleep the night before exam. Don’t stay awake the night before; learning, reading, memorizing, or revising. Complete your revision and study, before time. Students usually make the mistake of staying late and studying, but understand this: relaxing your mind before exam will not make you forget anything, but rather help you in retaining and extracting it better when the exam paper comes in front.

Learn, Not Memorize

The mistake many students make is, they memorize things. What you as a student must understand is that memorizing will not help you in any way. If it gets you through the exam, it will definitely not get you through life. Understanding what you are reading is the proper learning; it will stay with you throughout life and help you in further learning.

Relax Yourself

If you start feeling stressed in between the exam or before, relax yourself. Take deep breaths and contract and stretch your muscles. This really helps some students in relaxing and won’t take more than a minute or two. It will help alleviate your fear and clear doubts from your mind. Also, think positive always. Convince yourself that you can do it and you will not fail or lag behind. You are just as smart as everyone else.

Thoroughly Read the Paper

Before you start attempting the paper, read it once thoroughly and completely. Mark the questions you know the best and attempt those first. Organize your thoughts and points for each question and then start writing it down. Take into account the marks allotted to each question and maintain your answer length accordingly. This will help you manage your time well and ensure that you don’t leave any question out due to time shortage.

Always remember, preparation is the way to overcoming half your fear. Any remaining stress will automatically alleviate once you realize that you know all or maximum parts of the question paper. Understand that exams are part of life and you can never avoid them. So it’s best to overcome your fear and face it. As parents, support you child in overcoming any fear. Don’t underestimate or pressurize them in doing more than they already are. Make it a point to let them know you are there to help them and provide positive encouragement.

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