Stress season is upon us, relax

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It is that time of year again—stress season. Final projects are coming due, research papers need researching and finals wait to finish it all off. We get it; it is a lot of stress. We have shared ways to relieve stress (yoga, horror movies, reading, etc.) but we want you to be active in seeking out mental help activities and counseling to help reduce your stress and become a better student.

Psychological distress is widespread among college students and ranges from mental illness, short-term mental health problems, temporary stress or anxiety or a combination thereof. Most people who struggle with persistent psychological distress experience symptoms of mental illness by the age of 24 and nearly 40 percent of college students report symptoms of depression that compromise their ability to function at least once within a 12-month period, according to a Newsweek report on “How Colleges Flunk Mental Health.”

This means you’re not alone and Arkansas Tech University has recognized this. At the university, students are provided 10 free sessions with a licensed professional counselor (the campus has four and an assistant counselor). A student can setup an appointment online for ease and convenience (www.atu.edu/cslcenter/). This only works if you are ready to make that step.

It also works if you have a friend or loved one that needs the help. Having a good support system to help is always an added bonus to get the sessions started.

“Students report being unwilling to seek help because they are unsure of the severity of their issues as compared to peers,” according to data from the “Healthy Minds Network: The Economic Case for Student Health Services.” “Some students report that they see their mental health condition as normal due to the generally high stress levels of collegiate environments. The most common reason cited by students for not seeking help is the thought that they would be “bothering mental health services,” or taking resources away from those in greater need. Instead, many students try— and often fail—to deal with their mental health concerns on their own.”

Graduate students seem to be at a higher risk for mental health issues because of “social isolation, the often abstract nature of their work and feelings of inadequacy — not to mention the slim tenure-track job market,” according to “Inside Higher Ed.” Some 39 percent of respondents scored in the moderate-to-severe depression range, as compared to 6 percent of the general population measured previously with the same scale. The percentage goes higher if the person is not white, male or cisgendered.

You do not have to dive into professional help; you can start small or take small steps with your friends who need help. As previously mentioned you can try yoga. Yoga is a great way to strengthen your core, allow your mind to settle and relax. The university offers different yoga options, such as yoga classes through campus rec (free to students) or the ATU Yoga Club (signup on theLink). Campus rec also offers other classes if yoga isn’t for you (Zumba, 15-15-15, Bootcamp, Cardio Burn, Circuit Fusion, 20-Minute Sculpt, Running Experience) because you need to keep up your physical health which will help with your mental health.

If yoga isn’t for you, you can check out our other suggestions at arkatechnews.com or the option we feel is best it to just sit down with a counselor for one session and see how you feel.

So we implore you, students of higher learning to save your sanity, literally, by seeking out professional help for your stress. You are not a bother, you are not wasting time and you are worth every second. So with this season of tests, projects and research papers, take a moment to help your brain and seek out professional help, you will be a better student for it.