In pursuit of good health from daily stressors


NI Archives

As the university enters the half way mark of the 2021 fall semester, it is important you balance your wellbeing.


We have been in school for almost two months and already I hear my fellow students around me grumbling about how stressed they are. I have found over the years – and this applies for everything – that the brain cannot handle the same thing for hours upon hours unless you truly enjoy whatever it is you’re doing. 

Your brain gets tired even if you don’t feel it at the moment, and on top of school there is homework and studying. The best way to perform the best you can is by diverting your attention away to something that isn’t school or related to what you have been doing. 

I hate to sound like a grandpa right now, but while playing video games and watching TV is a valid way to rewind and relax from school, I personally have found working out and being physically active the best way to not only divert my attention away from the five hours spent on a physics paper. Doing movement keeps my body engaged and in go–mode. I can’t get too comfortable or relaxed because there is still work to do, just a different type of work. Keeping my body attentive gives me the ability to feel accomplished that my time off was not time wasted. 

Data by the Harvard School of Public Health Study of College Health Behaviors concluded that frequent physical activity had significant effects on students’ mood, stress levels and social interactions. Regular exercise has been shown to help improve mood and attitude, and relieve tension and stress in students. While working out requires self motivation and ends with a few sore muscles, it comes with a sense of accomplishment, where you’re able to track and improve yourself as days go by. 

I myself have found that going for a morning jog, a quick routine in my dorm or a trip to the WRC allows my mind to sort of reset and reboot, so that when I return to my work I am able to absorb information better therefore increasing my work quality and my long term memory. You also don’t have to do this alone, as I have also found that working out with friends increases my motivation and creates a hard to explain feeling that we are all in this together. 

My biggest fear coming into college – and my friends have confirmed they have had a similar fear as well – was if I would be able to handle the college workload and the transition from both high school and a quarantined world. The most important thing I learned was to not place heavy amounts of stress on my shoulders that didn’t exist. 

There are resources around us to help relieve that stress and working out was the one I have found most helpful. And while I understand physical activity is not for everyone, I encourage you in the near future to put down your phones, pencils and controllers and go for a walk or a run. Working out is not just lifting weights, so going to the WRC for a swim or bringing your friends along for a game of basketball qualifies too. 

Don’t be afraid to step away from school every once in a while, because your mental health is more important than any exam. Cherish the time you are here with an open mind.