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Cure for stress, take care of self

We can all use a little health-enriching alteration in our lives, especially now, with midterms here and finals looming in the near future. In fact, most of us could probably use a little more exercise, put a little more effort in to our studies and discover added stress-relieving activities that can see us through. But even if you’ve found programs with demonstrated track records, not a whole lot will happen without motivation. Motivation is the fuel that starts the fire. It’s what helps you get out early to take a hike around the neighborhood or pass on hanging out to get your studying done early.

So, take a long hard look at what gets your juices flowing. Is it your photo that makes you cringe or one that is a reminder of a time you felt really great? Is it your desire to stay focused on an important project or get an ‘A’ on a research paper? Once you unearth your motivation, use it to power the progress you want to make.

Here are 10 easy ways to curb your stress:

nExercise. Walking 30-45 minutes a day offers a chance to get some exercise while clearing your mind.

nOrganize. Being organized can give you peace of mind. Take some time to sort through papers, put things away and clear up the clutter. Crafting weekly and daily “to do” lists helps keep things in your life in order.

nAccept change. Go with the flow-it’s not worth wasting your precious energy fighting all of the time because you can’t control everything in life.

nBe assertive, not aggressive. Be clear but thoughtful when dealing with fellow students, roommates, professors, staff and family members-it will reduce everyone’s stress level.

nKeep stimulants to a minimum. Though for those of us who swear it calms us, caffeine, tobacco and other stimulants are actually well-known for increasing stress.

nEnjoy. Do things that give you pleasure. Whether it’s taking time to read your favorite trashy book, enjoying the outdoors, pursuing a hobby, getting together with friends or exploring the community outside of Mills. Do what makes you feel good and makes you happy.

nGet Away. Don’t skip time off, take what’s coming to you and get away-whether it’s just for the afternoon or a semester break. A change in scenery can help put everything in perspective.

nTake time. Block out a little quiet time for yourself everyday and say no to any demands that infringe on that personal time.

nSleep. Most of us need seven to eight hours sleep a day, and chances are that many of us, with multiple projects and research projects due, become sleep deprived many times during a semester-which can be dangerous as well as stressful. Even an half hour a night extra sleep can make a world of difference. If you’re schedule is tight, try making up a few hours over the weekend.

nLaugh. See a funny movie, watch a funny show, have a good time-laughter is one of life’s best medicines for stress relief and it’s accessible to one and all.