Stress Less: Tips for Stress Awareness Month

 

Stress (noun): a fact of life for college students.

April is National Stress Awareness Month, not that college students aren’t aware of it. Chronic stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death in the United States, so it is more than just the occasional pimple, so it is important to recognize the signs and the small every day things that you might not know are increasing your risk. Once you are familiar with the signs of stress, and there are some strange ones, there are simple ways to relieve that stress, as well as some large life changes that can help manage stress.

SIGNS OF STRESS

  1. More forgetful- No, this is not just you getting older. Stress can cause your working memory to be impaired. Your brain could actually be shrinking. Stress inhibits your brain’s ability to create new synapses (connections between brain cells when new memories are made) according to new research out of Yale. This brain shrinking can have secondary problems with your emotional control.
  2. Fatigue- Fatigue, different than just being tired after a hard workout, is usually associated with a sense of mental exhaustion.
  3. Visiting the bathroom more frequently- Stress causes a similar biological response known as a flight-or-fight response. Chemical changes cause your body to think there is a threat and reacts to make it easier for you to flee dangerous situations. The idea is that relieving yourself will also “relieve” you off excess weight.

UNCOMMON CAUSES OF STRESS

  1. Not eating breakfast- I get it, eating a donut every morning is tempting, but it doesn’t prepare you for a successful day. Maintaining proper nutrition throughout the day sets you up to make healthy choices. You’re more likely to not bail on your workout if you’re feeling full and healthy.
  2. No bedtime routine- Other than sleeping just being so darn amazing, its an important time for your brain. It is a time for your brain to do all the things you had done during the day; clean, relax, and make memories. An irregular sleep schedule means you don’t have time to wind down, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Drinking too much coffee- Good news or bad news first? Good news: coffee isn’t making you stressed. Bad news: your cup of joe does cause changes in your body that make it responds like you are. It causes a rapid heart rate and increases blood pressure, similar to when you are stressed.

QUICK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

  1. Create a mantra– Mantras are a word or phrase that are used while meditating to help you concentrate. I will be honest, I’ve tried meditating and it just is not my thing. But, a mantra is one good thing I took from it. One that you have probably heard before, “this too shall pass.” Create one that is right for you, something to ground you in that moment. Need some guidance or ideas? Click here.
  2. Laugh it up- Stress is all about hormones, but so is laughter. Research has found that it actually reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood. Additionally, it causes the brain to release the “happy hormone,” Oxycontin. So, laugh it up a your teachers bad jokes, it is actually helping more than you know.
  3. Power nap- Researchers at a French university found that a quick nap (just 30 minutes) is able to reduce the negative hormonal impacts that lack of sleep has on the body. Since lack of sleep is often a cause and a result of stress, sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your health that is hard to recover from. Taking a nap when you have so much to do may seem counter productive, but trust me, it will help. Can you tell yet that I love sleep?

KICK STRESS TO THE CURB FOR GOOD

  1. Keep a happiness or gratitude journal- Journaling nightly can be a bit time consuming, but you can keep it simple. Each night or morning, or lunch break even, write the things in it from the day before that have made you grateful or happy. It is also helpful in identifying the things that are causing you stress so you can remedy them.
  2. Reevaluate your priorities- This is the hardest thing for any of us to do, but probably the most important. Think about the life you want, about what will make you the happiest version of you. Then make a conscious effort to put those things first. If spending time outside or reading a book makes you happy, but you haven’t had time for it, making it your conscious priority over other things will make you measurably happier.
  3. Establish a routine- Whether it is just a morning or evening routine, a routine for scheduling appointments, or a weekly routine for working out, it will ensure you have time to fit all the things in your day that you want or need to. It takes only about 21 days to establish new habits. So, give it a try. Wake up early to enjoy a nice cup of tea with your cat. You deserve it, and a stress free life.

Additional resources

  1. The Daily Beast– 7 Ways You Stress Yourself Out
  2. Shape– 10 Weird Ways Your Body Reacts to Stress
  3. American Psychological Association– How Stress Affects Your Health
  4. Shape– Four Foods That Can Cause Stress
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10 Reasons Why I Enjoy Taking the Bus

Catching the bus or a train for many has its benefits and for many people, it’s less hassle and stress, so here I have outlined 10 reasons why I enjoy taking the bus.

pic 11. It’s accessible. The bus for the most part is accessible and easy to travel by; for myself, I commute to school every day from the Greater Northeast section of Philadelphia. sightseeing2. Sightseeing. By catching the bus to campus daily, I get to see various parts of the city that I’d normally wouldn’t pay attention to while driving or getting a ride  image 3 for blog      3. Cost-Friendly.  By opting to catch the bus, it allows me to save money to do other things. For many, it’s a struggle to keep up with car payments, gas, and maintenance.  So, by me catching the bus, it allows me to save up for other things.        walking blog image 4             4. Getting Fit. With me being a full-time student, sometimes it’s hard for me to find the time to go to the gym due to me always being on campus and in classes, so every morning I walk to class

sitting on bus image 55. Commuting by bus relieves stress. Every time I travel to school, it allows me some time to study or think as I map out what I need to get done for the day.

people on bus image 66.  You never know who you’ll meet. While traveling by bus,  I am able to meet so many different people from all walks of life and I have met many people to network with.

Sense of Independence7. It gives you a sense of independence.  While riding the bus, you have to know how to travel and it’s in that moment that you learn how to navigate wherever you are.  If you get lost, there is always someone you can ask for help with directions.

traveling in groups image 88. You can travel in groups. Sometimes the bus comes in handy for groups of people. For example, I went to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour, and my friends and I chose to take the bus instead of driving to avoid the traffic we would have faced getting there.

Front Door Blog image 99. Door- to-Door Service. Every day that I travel on the bus when it’s time for me to go home, I am dropped off right at my door so I can get home and get to studying!

planner blog image 1010. Strengthens my planning skills.  The bus helps me plan effectively and make sure I plan ahead to ensure I get to what I need to be on time.

I hope that you all enjoy my 10 reasons why I enjoy taking the bus and hope that you get out and sightsee too!

 

10 Opportunities Manor Will Give You

Manor College will guide you to be successful while you’re a student, and continue to be a part of your life long after graduation. Here are just 10 opportunities you’ll be given at Manor:

  1. Leadership opportunities: Students are encouraged to get involved on campus and apply for leadership positions. Doing so will strengthen your resume and college transfer applications!
  2. Exciting Events: On-campus or off-campus, Student Life always has something going on that will entertain, challenge, or teach attendees. These events will push you to try new things and grow as a person.
  3. Friendships: Money can’t buy happiness, nor can money buy true friends. You can, however, build strong friendships at Manor that will last a lifetime! Network during class, go to campus activities, or get an on-campus job to meet your peers; you never know who might end up being your new best friend!
  4. Connections: It’s easy to get to know everyone on campus, and this means it’s easy to grow your professional network! Having a large network will help you get letters of recommendation, interviews, internships, and jobs (cha-ching)!
  5. Internships: Whether it’s an on-campus internship or an internship through a faculty or staff member, it’s easy to find one; all you need to do is ask!
  6. Atmosphere: Manor’s close-knit atmosphere makes you feel like part of a family! You’ll know practically everyone on campus, which makes being on campus more fun, and makes it easier to ask for help.
  7. Preparation for success: Manor is overflowing with people who want to help you get involved, get good grades, or pass that difficult class. They’ll give you space to grow while making sure you’re on the path to success. This strong support system will help you create habits that will carry you through the rest of your education.
  8. College education: By providing you with a college education, Manor is guiding you towards bigger and better things. As a liberal arts college, Manor will give you the well- rounded education you need to discover yourself. Perhaps most importantly though, this education will help you land a job!
  9. Student employment: Being a Manor student opens job opportunities that are only available to you. From Work Study positions to internships, Manor can offer you a job with flexible hours that can be completed right on campus!28644878061_3588dfbefd_o
  10. Mentorships: Because of Manor’s small class sizes, it’s easy to build close connections with your professors that can last for years to come. These professors will be your professional support system, offering guidance, wisdom, and encouragement. Additionally, one of your professors might be the “foot in the door” that you need to get your first job!

If you take advantage of the opportunities that Manor offers, you’ll receive an education (and experience) like no other!

Top 10 Things for College Students to do in Philly

Attending a school near Philadelphia has a wide range of advantages.  Manor College is only a 30 minute ride from Center City; it’s accessible by almost every mode of public transportation! We’ve outlined 10 things college students can do in Philadelphia.

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  1. Museums and historic sites

Philadelphia is full of tons of nationally historic sites and museums. A lot of these are free,  too, which is perfect for a college student’s budget! Check out places like the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Korean War Memorial, the Edgar Allen Poe House and the Liberty Bell 

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2. Sporting events

Sports fan? Philadelphia is home to four major sports teams! Grab your friends and go see a game. Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games tend to be cheaper! Look at sites like StubHub for the best prices.

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3. Magic Gardens

The Magic Gardens is a series of mosaic murals outdoors in Philly that you and your friends can walk through. It offers discounted tickets to college students. All you have to do is provide a student ID and you can enjoy the Gardens for just $8!

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4. Special Interest Tours 

There are tours available for just about anything in Philly, and they’re all affordable! Look into getting tours at the Comcast Center, Franklin Square, Herr’s Snack Factory and more!

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5. Plays and Productions 

As a city that thoroughly represents the arts, there are always plays and shows going on in small and larger theaters. The Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music and the Walnut Street Theater are just a few of the great ones located right in Philadelphia. Often times, these theaters will also have student discounts.

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6. Eastern State Penitentiary 

Not only does Eastern State Penitentiary do their Terror Behind the Walls event during Halloween, but they also offer daytime tours. If you like creepy, scary things, Eastern State is the place for you to visit!

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7. Go out to eat

The food scene in Philadelphia is huge! Places like Stargazy, Gino’s, Mama’s Vegetarian, Sky Cafe, Johnny Rockets and Stock are must-hits in the city. Lots of restaurants in Philly also participate in Restaurant Week twice a year, which means you could visit higher-end places for cheaper! Check out http://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/50-best-restaurants for even more restaurants.

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8. South Street 

South Street is one of the most popular streets in Philly. People go to the city just to spend the day walking up and down it. With over 400 independent retail stores, there’s plenty of eating, shopping, live music and enjoying sites.

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9.  Do Yoga 

That’s right, when the weather is nice, there are free yoga classes offered at Race Street Pier every day. Grab your mat and practice your downward dog!

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10. Penn’s Landing 

This Philly waterfront is right along the edge of the Delaware River and has several fun things to do there. One of the most popular spots is Spruce Street Harbor Park, where you can grab a drink and lounge in hammocks or sit at tables under glowing neon lights. You can also go ice skating, rollerblading and play mini golf, among other activities!