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Edmonton Catholic Schools

Dealing with Stress

First, you must learn to recognize stress:

Stress can affect you mentally, socially, and physically. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behaviour are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress.

If you feel that stress is affecting your studies, a first option is to seek help through the facilities at Revelation Online. Call the office at 780 451-4719 Ext 2 for help.

Stress Management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people, and events make excessive demands. What you can do to manage your stress? What are some strategies?

Look aroundSee if there really is something you can change or control in the situation.
Learn how to best relax yourselfHobbies, meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.
Remove yourself from the stressful situationGive yourself a break if only for a few moments daily.
Set realistic goals for yourselfReduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the overload.
Don't sweat the small stuffTry to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide.
Don't overwhelm yourselfby fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority.
Selectively changethe way you react, but not too much at one time.  Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to it/him/her.
Change the way you see thingsLearn to recognize stress for what it is. Increase your body's feedback and make stress self-regulating.
Avoid extreme reactions;Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?
Do something for others to help get your mind off your self.
Get enough sleepLack of rest just aggravates stress.
Work off stress with physical activity, whether it's jogging, tennis, martial arts.
Avoid self-medication or escapeAlcohol and drugs can mask stress.  They don't help deal with the problems, they actually make the problem worse.
Develop a thick skinThe bottom line of stress management is "I upset myself"
Try to be positiveGive yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be.  "Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe.  Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons.  This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval.  On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory."  All Stressed Up, St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, p. 8B, Monday, November 30, 1998
Most importantly, if stress is putting you in an unmanageable state or interfering with your schoolwork, social and/or work life, seek professional help.

adapted from Joe Landsberger