The Stress of College
Stress. It happens to all of us, including our kids. As though balancing a full schedule, the welcome distraction of football season, sorority and fraternity rush, adjusting to college and trying to maintain a social life. The stress levels increase during mid-terms and finals. Fortunately, UF is on top of it, offering various programs, workshops, training, and suggestions; most of which are free to our Gators. Individual wellness coaching is available through Wellness Services and is free to enroll students using their UFID. Through GatorWell, your student has access to free wellness coaching programs addressing stress management, relaxation strategies, sleep habits, study skills, eating habits and exercise. Only students can schedule an appointment by going through the website, by email or by calling 352-273-4450.
UF’s Counseling & Wellness Station offers many workshops throughout the semester including relaxation methods, therapy dogs (yappy hour), learning to create joy, stress-reducing experiences using various mind-body activities, yoga, and meditation. Check out the list here.
That is not to mention the Online Relaxation Videos available to students. There are four videos addressing deep breathing, guided imagery, muscle relaxation and mindfulness, all techniques designed to manage stress.
Check out Breathe2Relax, a portable stress management tool which provides information on the effects of stress on the body, instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing. It is available on iTunes and Google Play. HaveUHeard about the Biofeedback Lab, offered through the Counseling & Wellness Center? Biofeedback is a training program which educates students on how to implement relaxation techniques that work them individually.It consists of six biofeedback stations, a massage chair, and other relaxation items. It is a self-serve service but in order to use the lab, students must first watch a training video. Students also need their UFID which is held at the front desk.
There are, of course, the regular standbys, like using the amazing fitness facilities on campus. Amongst the many classes students can take, there are plenty of yoga and meditation classes on or near campus as well. To learn more about the fitness options at UF check out our blog on Staying Fit while at school.
You can also remind your students of the basics rules of preventing stress like eating well and getting enough sleep, avoiding procrastination, and staying away from stimulants (drinking coffee and energy drinks to fuel late-night study binges can inevitably lead to a crash later on). Of course, setting realistic expectations is also wise, but they may have stopped listening by the word procrastination.
It is obvious that UF really cares about our Gators and realizes that their lives, like everyone else, can get stressful. The key is learning to work through it.
When it is time for midterms and finals, it may be a good time to consider a care package for your student. Read our blog on suggested care packages here.
You know your student better than UF and better than anyone else. If you sense any signs that require more serious attention, reach out to U Matter, We Care©, an umbrella for care-related programs and resources. The initiative includes a program to train people to recognize the signs of distress and to provide help. It also includes a website of care-related resources, as well as a centralized phone number 352-294-CARE (352-294-2273) and email address for those seeking help or wanting to help others.