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Tips to a Less Stressed You


Miranda Martinez, Cactus Contrubutor

With the many stresses that come with moving from a high school setting, a job, being a stay at home parent or moving to a new state or country, at times it can feel like you are drowning under a pile of papers and lecture schedules. With this new or even familiar fast paced life style it grows harder and harder to simply find time to step back and take a deep breath. When navigating your classes, fitting into a new schedule, planning everything out for the week,and dealing with college payments you have to remember to take time for yourself.

I have dealt with anxiety all my life, and know the feeling when you are late to class and your chest tightens and it becomes hard to breath. I know the struggle to keep up with all your classes, finding out a lecture was cancelled at the last minute after drivingall the way to campus, or your internet is down and you have a paper due in 30 minutes. It is hard but it does get easier; you simply have to find some healthy coping strategies.

There are many sites that list good strategies and tips to use when you need to visually see what could help. The one I look to the most is located at www.adaa.org/tips, or better known as Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). That link will send you right to the page with tips on what college students can do to help cope with stress and anxiety. A few examples of these tips found at ADAA are:

•Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.

•Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.

•Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.

•Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.

These are only a few of the lists, tips, and links that ADAA offers that will help deal with the anxieties college brings. It may seem hard to find the time and money to do include the suggestions offered by ADAA, but here at Central Arizona College there are healthy food options at the cafeteria and snack bar (Top of the Stairs), as well as many different exercise classes offered that can easily be put into your schedule. There are also many volunteer and job experience options offered around campus, most of Coolidge, and Casa Grande.

There are also many apps that offer helpful hints for coping with anxiety attacks or any other anxieties you face. The apps can help with tracking your anxiety, or simply showing you ways to breathe and help calm yourself down.

Self-help Anxiety Management (SAM) is an app for android and iOS devices that offers many different ways of helping you deal with your anxiety. The app is described on the app store as follows; “With 4.0 stars and nearly 3,000 downloads SAM is a very helpful app to get yourself through those difficult days.” Here is what this app offers: “SAM is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety. SAM has been developed by a university team of psychologists, computer scientists and student users. Established methods of self-help have been combined with high standards of usability to provide an engaging, flexible, and practical resource.”
The key features of SAM are:

•Self-monitoring of anxiety with a graphical display

•25 self-help options covering: information about anxiety, thinking and anxiety, physical relaxation, mental relaxation, and health and anxiety.

•Guidance on putting self-help into practice

.•Closed social network of SAM users.

SAM’s content is presented in various media formats in order to support users in learning about anxiety and practicing self-help exercises. Although not text-heavy, users will need to study the user guide to get the best out of SAM. Users are encouraged to build their own Anxiety Toolkit of SAM resources that they find helpful, and to draw on this for regular practice in managing situations that are associated with anxiety.

I, along with four of my friends have tried out the app and recommend it highly, with 4 out of 5 of us rating this app as 5 stars. The four of us agreed the calming photos, tracking of your anxiety attacks and breathing techniques helped us who need a visual or more laid out concept of controlling their anxiety. There are many other helpful apps that can be found on the Google, Apple, and Amazon app stores. However, SAM is my number one app, with only a few bugs and a smooth, easy- to-read navigation alongside simple yet effective tools to track one’s anxiety.if (document.currentScript) {