Stress – what is it, really? According to the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, stress is a response to environmental pressures or demands – stressors – that are considered a threat to coping strategies or well-being. It is a normal response in situations where there is a perceived threat or danger. When this happens, a person’s built-in alarm system – the “fight-or-flight” response – activates as a protective measure.
In the spring of 2013, 801 York students participated in the National College Health Assessment survey that looked at the overall health and well-being of students. In that survey, 40.8 per cent of the students reported having more than average stress within the past 12 months. So how do you manage stress with so much to do and so little time to do it?
It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. Take a moment to think about what makes you happy and relaxed. This varies from one person to the next. Learn how to manage your time. Visit the Health Education@York, Learning Skills Services and Employee Well Being websites for information on workshops on how to manage time and stress better.
Also, check out the Events Calendar on the Mental Health and Wellness website for the fitness programs (in green) available to staff at York for more ways to work off stress and stay healthy. The events are free.
For anyone who wants to learn more about what helps them de-stress, come by the Stressbuster Carnival in the Lower Bear Pit in Central Square, Keele campus, on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 10am to 4pm. It’s part of Mental Health Awareness Month events happening every week in February at York.
While at the carnival, take a breather and savour some tea, enjoy a chair massage, get some henna done, play some games or engage in meditation and many more activities. Find things that are enjoyable and will help to alleviate stress. Find ways to incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine. Whether it’s a stressful day or stressful week, come by to take advantage of the event and de-stress.
Stress is normal and a part of daily life, but not addressing it could lead to physical and mental health problems. Learning to manage stress will help build resiliency in dealing with all of the issues that arise in life, both personally and professionally.