Times of Stress

Our law students are moving into the last couple of weeks of the semester, which can be a stressful time of year. (For some, it is their couple of weeks of law school before graduation.)

The Wellness  Center at the University of St. Thomas publishes a list of “Stress Tips.”  As I perused them, they seemed not only useful for our students as they deal with final papers and get ready for final exams, but during any period of stress.

Here are some of their suggestions; the parenthetical comments are mine:

Start a gratitude journal – Reflecting on positive experiences, feelings, and relationships in your life can bring you a greater sense of peace.  (I was happy to see this listed first, as I think gratitude is a very important spiritual practice.)

Get enough sleep – Getting more sleep can help your mind refocus, recharge, and rebalance.  Sleep helps you be the best you can be!  (This is one I tend to forget, as so many busy people.)

Exercise – You don’t necessarily have to work out every day for an hour to see benefits from exercise.  Sometimes a 15 minute walk is enough to clear your head and get you ready to tackle the world! (I heartily second this one from my own experience.  I find a short work does me a world of good when things start getting out of hand.)

Avoid unnecessary stress by learning how to say no – if you really don’t want to do something or its’ too big of a time commitment those asking will understand why you’re saying no! (I’m still learning this one.)

Accept the things you cannot change – remind yourself it doesn’t help to worry about things you have no control over.

Remember to laugh!

Don’t stress yourself out about stress.  Remember, small amounts of stress are not necessarily a bad thing – it can be your friend! Moderate amounts of stress are okay and natural, think of it as your body’s way of staying focused and on track.


If you have other suggestions – ways you deal with stress, please feel free to share them in the comments.