How to Deal with the Stress of the Season

The anxiety and stress that every UVM student must deal with due to pressures and circumstances has a cure. To which the reader is aware of, there are a lot of pressures at

school that can overwhelm. It is important to know what resources you have as a student, in order to gain control. The winter is coming, and the winter blues are nothing to shrug off. Every student has the ability to beat these blues.

With the new higher standards with the freshman class, the long nights, and even the close living quarters, it is no wonder that students occasionally, and even frequently experience symptoms of depression, anxiety and over stress. A university is supposed to be a healthy living environment and a lot of the time the reality contradicts this ideal.

A student’s life is very complex with pressures from homework, relationships, friendships, sports teams, activities, philosophical differences, diversity, world events and a slew of other aspects. You are expected to plan and prioritize a schedule that supposedly will dictate your life, actions and successes in your

future. Well, unless one takes care of themselves physically and mentally, they cannot exceed in the outside world. Taking care of yourself is important to live in quality. Food for your soul, if you must. Deb Renshaw of the Center of Health and Well Being said, “If I had to name one thing [about mental health], it would be to keep life balanced.”

The best way to balance one’s life is to discover what are the extremes and how to counteract them to maintain a healthy balance.

Sophomore Kari Anderson points out that “Food is a big part of mental health as well as the physical. If they had better food, I wouldn’t feel so shitty all the time.”

Whereas you can’t do much about food selection, you can attempt to balance your diet. Its not difficult and it improves your happiness and general well being. It’s a proven fact that individuals with erratic or unhealthy eating styles suffer from more depression than those with a regular healthy diet.

Talk to the UVM nutritionist. They exist for a reason. Freshman Andrea Aeschlimann discusses how she combats the blues. “I found

that doing other activities, the gym, dance classes, doing something to take your mind off of your work without intoxicating your mind to distract you.”

A big problem in Vermont is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A lot of people have this problem. A lack of sunlight and change of scenery, more prevalent in the winter periods, creates depression. Activities, working out, and being outdoors is an excellent way to combat depression of any sort, including SAD.

So we all have a pretty good idea of how to beat these blues but we don’t seem to have time, or we get too caught up in our daily regimen to take the time for ourselves. Well, UVM students, its about time to stand up for ourselves and declare that we are worth caring for our bodies and minds. Deb Renshaw (remember from earlier in the article) pointed out warning signs to

be aware of:

-loss of focus

-forgetfulness

-trouble staying on task

-inexplicable mood swings or sudden sadness

-loss of sleep, disorderly sleeping

-eat and sleep in excess and deficiency

Mental health is for everyone. There are many options for the typical UVM student. The counseling center (Jacobs House) recommends a change of scenery, meditation, exercising, frequent breaks in studying, personal communication, and also the University resources, such as ACCESS in L/L, The Counseling Center, and even Fletcher Allen in emergencies. Ê

Big Dave Bates tells us he likes to, “Smoke a tobacco pipe, listen to music, talk to friends and watch tv shows and movies.”

Never underestimate the power of taking a break and treating yourself.

We’ve covered a large issue in a small space, but the important points were said. EVERYONE suffers from sadness at least once, and EVERYONE has the ability and resources to stop it. November is the Counseling Center’s busiest month, so call 656 3340 and reserve a spot. It’s important to talk things out and show yourself that you’re worth it. Take control of the winter blues before you find the blues controlling you.