Last Wednesday, Nov. 2, was National Stress Awareness Day. Set to take place annually on the first Wednesday of November, National Stress Awareness Day was founded by Carole Spiers, chairperson for the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). It was founded to increase public awareness of stress and to help people realize, manage and reduce their stress. 

Chronic stress can have negative effects on our physical health, which is why it is so important to recognize and manage our stress levels. Individuals are encouraged to take a deep breath and try to find peace on National Stress Awareness Day.  

In light of this national holiday, it is extremely important that we, as college students, recognize when we are stressed and overwhelmed and take steps to destress. There are various ways in which we can relieve our stress both on and off campus. Here are just a few suggestions:

Visit Counseling and Psychological Services

If you feel that you are really struggling to manage your stress and feel that you need to talk to someone about it, you may consider setting up an appointment with Fairfield’s Counseling and Psychological services. Fairfield University offers free counseling and psychological services to any undergraduate student. This can be a great resource for anyone who is really struggling with their stress management and is a resource that should definitely be taken advantage of if needed. 

Take A Walk Through The Zen Garden

If you are not looking to talk through your stress, and would rather like some time to yourself to reflect and destress, the Zen Garden up on Bellarmine Hall is a great place to escape to. One of my absolute favorite places here on campus, this garden presents the perfect location for self-reflection and meditation. Lined with beautiful statues, bridges and ponds, I find that I can sit here for hours. Again, if you need a minute to yourself, a minute to breathe, this is the perfect place. I truly do leave the Zen Garden feeling zen.  

Exercise At The RecPlex

For me, there is honestly no better way to relieve stress than to exercise. Feeling angry, stressed or overwhelmed? Go burn off some of that negative energy at the Leslie C. Quick Recreational Complex. We are lucky to have a beautiful gym here on campus that has cardio and weight-lifting equipment, intramural sports and group exercise classes. 

I have found that the group exercise classes, such as Zumba, pilates and yoga have been the best stress relievers. I always find myself smiling as I leave these group classes, revived and ready to take on any stressful tasks at hand. If you are more of a solo-workout type of person, put in your headphones, queue up some good music and go for a run on a treadmill; whatever makes you feel good and relieves you of your stress.

Go To The Beach 

Having grown up at the beach, it has always been my place of comfort; a place of reflection and an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Luckily, Fairfield’s campus is right down the street from some beautiful beaches. I urge you to take advantage of this short distance if you are ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Sometimes, removing yourself physically from campus can also remove a lot of the stress and anxiety that surrounds schoolwork. 

Take some friends who make you happy with you or go for a solo walk on the beach. Sit and listen to the sound of the crashing waves, smell the ocean air and take in the beautiful scenery. I guarantee you will feel so much better after a quick trip to the beach. 

College life can be extremely stressful. There is no doubt about it. As students, we are asked to complete assignments, participate in extracurricular activities and hold campus jobs all while maintaining a social life as well. It is easy to get wrapped up in all of this stress and become overwhelmed. So, take a minute for yourself. Set boundaries. Do the things that make you happy. Take a deep breath. Reach out for help if you are really struggling. There are countless resources and methods of reducing stress here at Fairfield, so take advantage of them. Don’t let your stress get the best of you!

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