By Kiahna Garcia Skyline Health Correspondent
Del Rio – No matter how long you have been attending a university, starting a new semester will always be stressful. From moving into apartments or dorms to studying for exams, the “fun college life” can be full of great stress. However, attending classes during a global pandemic has undoubtedly increased stress in college students’ lives.
An research essay titled “Effects of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health in the United States: Interview Survey Study,” Changwon Son, Sudeeo Hegde, Alec Smith, Xiaomei Wang, and Farzan Sasangohar conducted interview surveys with 195 college students from a large public university in the United States. They discovered “of the 195 students, 138 (71%) indicated increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
As the new spring semester begins, it is important that Sul Ross students know techniques and have resources to help them relieve their stress so Lobos can continue experiencing the most of a memorable college experience.
1. Have a karaoke session.
According to a BBC article, “The world’s most accessible stress reliever,” they report that singing can have positive effects on your body and singing in groups can enhance our “social connection.” So, gather your friends on Zoom or Discord, put on your favorite tunes, and sing away your woes.
2. Do something fun.
The website, TimeOut, offers 101 fun things to do while stuck at home.
The Skyline staff’s top picks from the article include:
- ● 24. Bake a hilarious quarantine cake.
- ● 39. Play Pictionary with a robot.
- ● 82: Meet cute baby animals.
- ● 84. Get back into video games.
- ● 85. Listen to some really, really great new music.
I know. Lots of us at the Skyline hate exercising too. However, in Dr. Daniel M. Landers’s essay, “The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health,” he supports the idea that “exercise is related not only to a relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety but it also seems to be beneficial in enhancing self-esteem, producing more restful sleep, and helping people recover more quickly from psychological stressors.” Due to COVID-19 closing some gyms, here are some of our personal favorite “Fitness YouTubers”:
Chloe Ting: Ms. Ting offers free workout programs that help you get toned! She also has workouts that are apartment/dorm-friendly if you do not want to annoy your downstairs neighbor.
MadFit: Since she is a dancer, she uploads great stretching videos. She also uploads fun dance workout videos as well as workout videos based on pop songs.
4. Eat healthy.
Okay, so maybe this contradicts some of the fun from recommendation 2, but successful quarantine takes balance. When the words “eat” and “healthy” are in a sentence, the words “gross” and “expensive” are usually followed. Luckily, Leanne Brown created a free recipe book that teaches you how to make healthy and delicious recipes that only cost $4/day! And it’s bilingual!
Bueno Y Barato: Aliméntate Bien a 4$ Al Día (Spanish version)
5.Take a break.
Taking breaks does not mean you are not being productive. If you feel tired, give yourself permission to take a break. Resume your tasks when you feel more energized.
What do you call a chicken who does math? A mathemachicken!
Who is the emperor of all mice? Julius cheezers!
Why aren’t koalas actual bears? Because they don’t meet the koalafications!
If jokes are not your thing (Okay, maybe they aren’t ours, either), there are a plethora of funny animal videos and comedy shows (again reference recommendation 2). Also, talking to friends (through Facetime, Discord, Zoom, or Teams) always proves surefire to promote some good laughs!
7. Limit social media use.
Social media allows us to rally together, see wholesome posts, make new friends from different countries, and laugh at each other jokes. But it can be a double-edged sword of negativity, skewed viewpoints, and even violence. When you feel overwhelmed with the influx of news, it is okay to put your phone down to allow yourself time to gather your thoughts, even if for just a couple of hours or a day. Mindfulness is also key to enjoying the positives and limiting the negatives of social media
8. Get a calendar or a planner.
Liberally using both a calendar and a planner really helps control stress, especially for the college student. When you get your syllabuses, write down the due dates for each assignment and exams for that month on your calendar. This allows you to see how much time you have to complete your assignments. When you get your planner, write down all the things you need to finish for that day. This will help you keep track of your daily tasks. It is deeply gratifying to tick off daily tasks working toward the successful completion of semester goals without the stress of uncertainty of what is due and when. More time for the Youtube dance party!
9. It’s okay to say “no.”
It is natural that we try to avoid social conflict. You don’t want to be “that” person. However, doing things you feel uncomfortable with can increase your stress and anxiety. If you do not want to do something just say “no.” Remember, true friends will never shame you for saying “no.”
10. Talk to somebody.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed and you need to unload your thoughts, talking to a friend or a family member can help relieve stress and pent-up emotions.
If you are a Sul Ross student, staff, or faculty member and wish to talk to a licensed professional counselor, Sul Ross offers free counseling at Ferguson Hall. To set up an appointment with Counseling and Accessibility Services, call (432)-837-8203. They are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m-12 p.m. and 1 p.m-5 p.m. For more information, click here.
If you are in a crisis:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800)-273-8255
Para español: (888)-628-9454
Deaf or hearing impaired: (800)-799-4889
Remember, you are not alone. There will always be somebody willing to listen. Here at Sul Ross, you are part of the Pack–we always have your back.