(Santa Ana, Calif.) — “Zero stress” is a myth. Stress is how the body and mind react to what’s happening in the environment, and how that is perceived to be a “threat.” That’s why stress management is so necessary. And as finals approach, Santa Ana College’s Health and Wellness Center reminds busy students that that no matter how difficult a particular moment might feel, it will pass. The Center also recommends that everyone feeling stressed focus on aspects of their lives that can be controlled. Here are some tips to help out:
1. Eat Healthful Snacks, Real Meals and Drink Water
Food with proper nutrients like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help fuel the brain to stay alert and focused. Eating junk food or candy may provide instant energy but it will lead to a sugar crash later. Commit to taking a break and eating an actual meal, versus opting for fast food or skipping that meal for extra study time. Consider a little extra vitamin C and probiotics. Staying hydrated with water is key! Dehydration can lead to fatigue and/or headaches and leave you unmotivated and distracted.
Don’t skip the gym if it is a part of your regular routine. Take a break for 30-50 minutes by exercising: go for a walk/run, take a yoga/cycle class, stretch, go to the gym – all are a nice break from the stress of studying. Exercise helps increase focus, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and provide a boost of energy to get through studying.
3. Take a Deep Breath
Breathing and meditating allows more oxygen into the brain, which helps reduce stress. There are a number of free apps for mindfulness exercises. Meditating can be achieved by going for a walk, listening to music, journaling, or sitting in a quiet room and focusing on breathing.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is important for overall health and mental concentration. Finals week can impact regular sleep routine if you stay awake longer than usual to cram studying. Without enough sleep, your brain will not absorb or retain the information you studied. Sleep deprivation also decreases the ability to concentrate and focus during an exam. Try to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep regularly.
5. Consider a Flu Shot
Flu season has arrived in Orange County. Catching the flu can lead to loss of productivity, but one way to possibly avoid it is to get the flu vaccine. And as always – remember to wash your hands!
Santa Ana College students can access additional support at the campus Health and Wellness Center, Monday through Friday.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 27,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and provides invaluable workforce training and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
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