Stress is an ever-present feeling and detriment in all the lives of college students. To combat the impairment of stress, the health awareness team and Maggie Walters, a graduate assistant at Ramapo with a master's in public health, put on a talk to aid students and the Ramapo community, with the help of the Student Leadership Programming Committee. This workshop was a part of the 2014 Leadership Workshop Series.
This workshop went over some basic strategies and techniques of how to alleviate stress and, more importantly, how to manage it.
The workshop split stress management into five distinct categories. These sections were labeled as physical self-care, psychological self-care, emotional self-care, spiritual self-care and workplace/professional self-care. With regards to physical care, the importance of diet and exercise was stressed.
Walters recommended that students check out the dining halls’ nutritional facts as a means to keep track of what they eat. The nutritional facts are posted outside of each dining hall entrance and are available for every food item on the menu that day. Avoiding foods that are high in sugars, oils and fats can help students gain energy, as such foods tend to make a person tired. Instead, foods that are high in protein and low in caffeine are recommended for college students.
In addition to talking about maintaining physical health, maintaining good psychological health was also discussed. Some recommended activities to clear the mind were yoga or, for a more spiritual avenue, meditation. Besides these more complex and physical forms of relaxation, Walters also put forward more leisurely forms of relaxation, such as reading a book or watching a movie.
“It can be challenging,” Walters said. “But it is crucial for you to find this balance between work and pleasure in order to have a happy time here at college.”
As for exercise, it was recommended that students create their own daily routine of exercise as a means to alleviate stress.
“Working out releases endorphins,” Walters said. “So by working out, whether it be aerobic or lifting weights, it will make you happier, decreasing your overall stress level.”
Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy body regardless of a person’s age. One of the benefits listed under the subject of exercise was improved sleep. It is suggested students get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day.
A unique exercising option is taking one of the free workout classes at the Bradley Center. There they offer such wellness classes as kickboxing and spinning, which according to Walters, is perfect for maintain a decent degree of wellness.
By following the tips suggested at the workshop, students will lead a less stressful, healthier life, according to Walters and the health awareness team.