Students experience stress more than almost any other group. We know it affects our emotional and mental health, but sometimes we don’t realize how stress affects our physical health. But when you’re busy fighting a battle for your headspace, taking the time to figure out how to stay healthy when you’re stressed can be difficult. We’re here to help.
Know How Stress Affects Your Body
Some people thrive under stress, while others respond to stress by becoming sullen or withdrawn. If there are different emotional responses to stress, it makes sense that there would be different physical responses to stress as well. It’s essential to be aware of the various effects stress can have on the body and to notice the ways stress affects your own body to take steps to mitigate those effects.
Build a Schedule to be Healthy When You're Stressed
When you’re stressed, thinking clearly enough to make healthy choices becomes difficult. That’s why it’s essential to build healthy options into your daily routine. That way, making them doesn’t become another source of stress. These are a few of the things you’ll likely want to prioritize in your schedule.
Stress may affect your ability to get adequate sleep. Schedule an earlier bedtime or a little extra time to sleep in in the morning, if possible. Even scheduling added times throughout the day for non-sleeping rest will help your body recover more efficiently and give you the energy you need to make it through the day
Because stress makes it more difficult to fight off illness and potentially impairs different systems of your body, eating well when you’re stressed is imperative. However, stress also makes you less likely to make good dietary choices. Scheduling in time for meal prep will make good choices easier.
Stretching and Exercise
Exercise reduces the mental tension of stress by producing feel-good endorphins. It can also lessen some of the physical ravages of stress. Stress has a way of making your muscles tense, which can lead to soreness. Taking time to stretch and exercise can reduce this pain. Exercise also improves cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive health, all of which stress can negatively affect.
Finding Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Being healthy when you're stressed is incredibly difficult for many. The way you cope with stress determines how badly stress affects your body. Therefore, finding healthy coping mechanisms is essential. The worst thing you can do for your body is bottling up your emotions. Taking time to go outside for a walk, talk to someone, or get a massage not only reduces stress but also boosts your immune system to help you stay healthy when you're stressed.