Time/Stress Management

Time Management

Managing your time effectively allows you to do what you want. When you are not able to do the things that you really want to do, you may feel confused, compromised, or frustrated. Many times, we try to use time management techniques that work for others, but they don't work for us. Only when we identify our own goals and then gear our techniques toward those goals do we learn to manage our time. It's about prioritizing.


What is stress?

Stress is a state of tension that a person experiences when certain demands are put on her/him. Often, people are told that college should be the best years of a person's life. The reality, though, is that college is a busy and stressful time. Tests, homework, papers, clubs, organizations, sports, roommates, advisors, teachers, work, friends, relationships... the list goes on and on, but there are still only 24 hours in a day.

Stress is a biological response. It does serve the purpose of energizing people in times of need, but it can also wear a person down. When a person is stressed, the hormone ACTH is released into the bloodstream. Almost immediately, a person's adrenalin goes up, and the body prepares itself for physical action. When a person is constantly stressed, the body is continuously in a state of physical arousal — this is what wears a person down. Chronic stress has been correlated with diabetes, high blood pressure, headaches, back pain, indigestion, and even mental illness.

How to identify stress

There are physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms of stress. Physical signs may include the following:

Behavioral signs are usually observable to others. stress may lead to irritability, emotional sensitivity or even forgetfulness. A person may change his or her eating habits or begin smoking or drinking heavily.

Some cognitive signs of stress may be distractibility, difficulty concentrating, negative thinking and self-defeating attitudes.

How to manage stress

When stress levels are up, there are a number of things you can do to bring them back down. The first step is to identify stressful situations. Perhaps a stress diary can help you track what stresses you out. From there, you can do a number of things to combat your stress.

You can:

Stress is a part of everyday life. When you are stressed, your body reacts physically. Sometimes this reaction gives you the energy you need, but it can also leave you feeling drained and out of control. The key is recognizing your stress and making it work for you instead of against you.

Top Five Stressors for College Students

  1. Separation from family/Developing new supports
    • A chance to gain independence
    • Potential loss of financial and emotional support
    • Requires risk-taking and establishment of new support systems
  2. Freedom
    • Few rules (+)
    • Few rules (-)
    • Many decisions, adjustment to own values, responsibility for own mistakes
  3. Competition
    • Grades, dating partners, grad school considerations, jobs
    • Much time spent alone working in isolation to reach goals
  4. Peer Pressure
    • Conflicts between your own values and wanting to be accepted by others
    • Alcohol/drugs
    • Parties
    • Studying
    • Sex
  5. Choosing or thinking about Career Options
    • Knowing what you want/making decisions
    • Satisfying your parents
    • Questions about the job market
    • Ability versus desire, lifestyle choices, getting a job!

For more information and tips on managing stress, go to http://www.pp.okstate.edu/ehs/links/stress.htm