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Stressed out? Learn To Say No, When Possible

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By Chelsea Slovensky
UAB News

April is National Stress Awareness Month, a national cooperative effort to educate about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in society.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Dayna Watson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Counseling Program, compiled a list of five tips to help manage stress levels.

Move Your Body

Whether it is stretching, a brief walk between classes or meetings, or an intensive regular exercise routine, Watson says, moving your body can go a long way to helping manage stress.

In addition to relieving stress, stretching provides additional benefits, such as alleviating muscle pain and maintaining range of motion. Learn the benefits and the do’s and don’ts of stretching from the UAB School of Education’s Cody Morris, Ph.D., here.

Practice Healthy Sleep Habits

It can be tempting to stay up later, especially when there is a long to-do list; but Watson says practicing good sleep hygiene can be a great tool to manage stress.

“Go to bed at the same time every day, preferably before midnight,” she said. “Avoid caffeine in the evening and turn off your electronics well before bedtime to improve your sleep quality.”

Click here to learn seven signs of poor sleep.

The UAB Community Counseling Clinic offers affordable counseling services to the residents of Jefferson County. To schedule an appointment, call 205-996-2414.

Get Organized

There are several ways to maintain organization, including apps that track tasks or a good paper planner system. Watson says using such tools can help get responsibilities organized to form a more realistic plan of attack.

Spring is a great time to clean out closets and get reorganized. Learn how to recycle and be sustainable during spring cleaning here.

Learn To Say No, When Possible

When it comes to work or school, there may not be an option to say no to completing an assignment; but consider saying no to other opportunities when feeling strapped for time and energy. While a new club or organization is a great cause, it may not be the best time to take on more responsibilities.

Prioritize Time for Fun and Seeing Friends or Family

Having downtime to relax, do an enjoyable activity, and connect with a friend or loved one will help recharge batteries and reduce stress.

“In the long run, more will get accomplished if fun is had along the way.”

The UAB Community Counseling Clinic offers affordable counseling services to the residents of Jefferson County. To schedule an appointment, call 205-996-2414.