Staying healthy during midterm season

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Staying healthy during midterm season

Danielle Bonavito, Reporter

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As students prepare for midterms at California Lutheran University, stress isn’t the only thing keeping them down. According to Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services, their offices have been recently swamped with students.

Director of Health Services Kerri Lauchner shared advice and self-care tips for students while preparing for exam season. 

“We recommend that students try to balance studying and academic work with taking care of themselves. This isn’t easy, but even taking a fifteen minute break after studying a couple hours, and going for a walk outside or getting a coffee with a friend can help,” Lauchner said.

 Lauchner said trying to eat healthy is also important for students. She said people have the tendency to overeat high sugar and fatty foods when under a lot of stress. 

“Getting enough sleep is very important, not only to help deal with stress, but it aids in the learning process and students should try to get eight hours of sleep per night,” Lauchner said.

 Lauchner said Health Services is there to listen to students and their concerns. She said they also work with CAPS, and will refer students to their office if they could benefit from counseling. 

“If a student has depression or anxiety for awhile, then we discuss whether medications may be beneficial,” Lauchner said.

The most common illness during stressful times is a cold or other viral infections, Lauchner said. She advises frequent hand washing with soap and water to help prevent colds and recommends students receive a flu shot, available for $20 for all students, faculty and staff.

Health Services provides pamphlets in their offices as a reminder for students to take care of themselves. “Eating Well with No Time & No Money,” “Getting What You Want From Sleep” and “101 Stress Busters” are some of the pamphlets available.

 

Campus Awareness Referral and Education Case Manager at CAPS Salma Loo said extreme mental stress doesn’t typically start all at once, but it takes time to build up.

“I would advise students to do the best they can in terms of staying organized and on top of things like when their assignments are due…so that they can best manage their time, and subsequently, their stress, in the time leading up,” Loo said.

Loo said by starting to prepare early and revisiting notes from class regularly, students can feel more prepared and confident leading up to their midterms.

“I do really believe that sometimes things like getting enough sleep, making sure to eat healthy and balanced meals, drinking enough water and engaging in hobbies and activities that you are passionate about go out the window when you are faced with a big exam coming up that you are stressed out about,” Loo said.

Ryan Kolter, coordinator of Recreational Sports and Wellness, said students should focus on a balanced diet, regular sleep schedule and a positive support network. 

“During all times of students’ lives, and especially during high-stress periods such as midterms, it is critical that students recognize their personal needs and make it a priority to fulfill them,” Kolter said.

Kolter said a common mistake students make during crunch periods is not being present with what they’re doing. 

“Don’t get caught up thinking about your biology exam while you’re writing a history paper. Don’t memorize formulas when you’re enjoying time with your friends. Whatever you’re doing, be present and mindful with that activity,” Kolter said.

Kolter’s final tip for stress management is that all that other work will still be there when you get to it. But for now, just focus on what’s in front of you.