Stress Strategies

The fall semester has begun at Chaffey, and while settling into this new environment, students are also experiencing changes in their stress levels, which could lead to problems in their overall mental health.

A recent study in online medical journal Depression and Anxiety found that three out of four college students reported high stress levels. While some stress can be beneficial, too much can cause an overload and subsequent burnout. However, there are some steps students can take to manage stress before it becomes unbearable.

Self-care is a recent trend, and while it cannot be considered a “cure-all,” it can help students manage stress by forming healthy habits, such as making time for proper sleep. Eating choices can also be controlled. Substituting fast food for a sandwich, or replacing coffee with green tea are good starts. Other changes such as light stretching in the morning or evening can be beneficial, as can meditation at home to relax after a stressful day. Students could also try to get active socially. Joining clubs, forming study groups and attending campus events are all excellent options, according to research by Santa Clara University.

While self-care can be beneficial, it cannot fix stressors, according to Student Health Services. If a student feels that their stress levels are affecting their overall mental health, they can get help. Health Services is located on the second story of the cafeteria on the Rancho campus, and here students can meet with a professional counselor. The counselors specialize in topics such as depression, anxiety, stress management and self-esteem. Visits are completely confidential and free of cost. Students can call (909) 652-6331 to schedule their visit.

“Your emotions are temporary, but your education can never be taken from you,” says Director of Student Health Services Kay Peek. “Put one foot in front of the other, just keep coming to school, to Chaffey.”

Students should remember that bad days will come and pass, but the education and life they are building and working for cannot be taken. Resiliency and coping skills are key through this time.

Additional helpful resources for students can be found on the Chaffey home page, under the Health Services tab. There is also the Crisis Text Line, which is open 24 hours a day and can be reached by texting “COURAGE” to 741741. The line is free, confidential and text message based.

Students should remember their mental health is no different from their physical health. It is real, it is important and students deserve to have help just like if they had a cold or the flu. There is no shame in asking for help; it does not and will not make one weak as a person.