As the school year rolls on, the strain of homework, tests and mid-term exams can take their toll on students of all ages. Stress and the typical time-crunch that students face can lead them to cut corners on their own personal wellness, which can lead to a variety of unhealthy circumstances.
According to the American Psychological Association, teenagers deal with stress levels rivaling that of adults. Their report said, “…during the school year, teens say their stress level is higher than levels reported by adults…” Their findings concluded that this can lead to unhealthy behaviors that include poor sleeping habits, skipping meals or overeating, eating unhealthy snack foods, over caffeinating and insufficient exercise.
Not surprisingly, students feel the most pressure during exam times. A survey by Princeton Review found that more than 85 percent of American and Canadian college students admit to feeling increased stress and tension at exam time. Unhealthy habits combined with increased stress can lead to fatigue and heightened anxiety that can have a negative effect on test performance or quality of work.
Mannatech’s wellness experts put together some suggestions for students and anyone else on how to help reduce stress and deal with the pressures of school, work and life.
Take it easy on yourself
We all want to be “A” students, but that should not come at the price of our own health. If a student is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of earning the highest grades, they should seek to talk with others, including family and friends as an outlet as well as to gain perspective. High achievers usually put the most pressure on themselves.
Get a pet or a plant
Most school settings do not allow pets in a dorm room, but even visiting a local animal shelter or owning a goldfish or bamboo plant can help relieve stress. It has been shown that if you pet a dog for a couple of minutes, hormones are released into your system that increase happy feelings and can contribute to lowering stress.
Students may not have time to stop their studies and exercise for hours, but they can still take regular breaks – every 20 minutes or so. Stretch or take a quick walk outside to get some fresh air and loosen your muscles. A regular exercise routine that is not interrupted by studies can be a great source of stress relief on an ongoing basis.
Students tend to stay up late at night to cram for a test or finish a project. While this is a well-worn tradition, students should set a time limit on how late they stay up to ensure they receive enough sleep to function properly during their tests and classes the next day.
Pizza, candy, coffee, soda and chips are often staples for stressed out students. While these may be convenient, a diet lacking nutritious food such as healthy sources of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables can lead to fatigue and weaken a student’s immune system.
Mannatech offers a number of nutritional products that canhelp students feel their best while studying for exams. These include Slimsticks, which help boost the immune system with an herbal blend, and caplets, which supports a healthy endocrine system. For snacking, Mannatech offers that come in chocolate, lemon and wild berry flavors and support your immune system, help keep your energy going and promote longevity and vitality.*