Right Now This Term: Tips for Managing Stress
MIT may be a culture shock and as you progress through your first term and face new pressures and multiple demands on your time. It's easy to get overwhelmed in this situation, especially if you have too much on your plate. The tips below will help you identify stress and learn how to reduce it.
1. The first step is to identify stress
How do you know if you're overwhelmed and stressed? The following are some common stress symptoms:
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much.
- "Reverse sleep habit:" staying up all night, sleeping during the day.
- Feeling isolated. No time for friends.
- Poor eating habits.
- Neglecting exercise or your favorite activity.
- Excessive involvement in extracurricular activities or job: these can be used as ways to avoid schoolwork.
- Missing classes and appointments. Poor or non-existent time management skills.
- Feelings of apathy, depression, and homesickness.
2. Once you've identified your stress symptoms, the next step is to work on reducing your stress.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Get enough sleep. A good night's rest can do wonders for your state of mind. If you have trouble getting to sleep, try to avoid caffeine or television before going to bed, they may keep you awake. Also, try to establish a regular sleep schedule-once you do your body will get tired around that time everyday.
Get help from campus resources. There are many people at MIT whose primary purpose is to help you. If you feel overwhelmed, sad, depressed, or unable to deal with your situation, don't isolate yourself, but seek the people who can help.
- Your first source of assistance is your advisor. S/he may be able to help you, and can certainly direct your towards people and offices who can.
- Staff in Student Support Services and MIT Mental Health and Counseling Service are available to help you with any issues that you may be experiencing.
- Learn some stress management techniques. Consider mediation, yoga, tai chi, diaphragmatic breathing or other relaxation techniques. MIT Medical offers a number of stress relief and wellness classes.
- Check out the stress tips posted on the MIT Medical website for some additional tips and techniques for reducing stress.
View the Tips on Relieving Stress Video
Upperclassmen share their tips and advice on how to de-stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.