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Fredonia, NY 14063
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Health Matters Newsletter from LoGrasso Health Center

Stress Management 101

It is September, and you are a freshman in college.  You are away from home for the first time, settling in to new surroundings, a roommate, and cafeteria food.  The first day of class has come and went leaving you with a pile of books, schedules, and endless projects to be done.  Your roommate, also a first time freshman, has been enjoying the college life hosting parties every evening of the week.  You are sleep deprived, your stomach aches from all that take out food, and Thanksgiving break seems so far away.

College  can be one of the most exciting times in your life, and it can be one of the most stressful. Stress is a fact of life, and the demands of college can leave you with feelings of being overwhelmed. This issue of the newsletter is focused on how to recognize the symptoms of stress, and what to do to manage them.

Question: What are symptoms of stress?

Besides the obvious complaints of tenseness, anxiety and nervousness, our bodies can exhibit stress in fatigue, nail biting, hair twirling, a rise in blood pressure, an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation.  You might have difficulty sleeping or feel restless as well. 

Question: What can I do?

Change you attitude

  1. Get perspective!  Ask yourself, “How important will this seem in a week, month, year or twenty years. “  Remember that it is not the event itself that is stressful, but the way in which your perception of the event is and what you do about it.
  1. Be positive and don’t put yourself down.  Remember, nobody is perfect and luckily, you don’t have to be.
  1. Be flexible.  Real life situations involve unexpected interruptions.


Take care of yourself

  1. Balance physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.
  1. Be sure to get enough sleep
  1. Build a support system.  Friends and family can be your strongest allies.
  1. Take routine breaks from schoolwork.  It will keep you more alert and productive.
  1. Don’t skip meals.   Food provides energy to tackle stress
  1. Live within your means.  Overspending can be very stressful.
  1. Listen to peaceful music to unwind.
  1. Meditation and relaxation exercises. Relaxation Techniques can combat the stress response by helping the body return to a balanced state and reverse some of the psychological effects of stress response ( i.e.: elevated blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. Examples include and are not limited to breathing exercises, body awareness, meditation, visualization and guided relaxation.
  1. Laugh! Go see a funny movie, a comedy show, or call up a silly friend.
  1. Be here now.  The single task (or pleasure!) before you is all that you need to focus on now.
  1. Pamper yourself
  1. Exercise. Daily exercise, including stretching, breathing and aerobic exercises is important lifestyle habits to develop for relief of anxiety and stress. 


Manage your time

  1. Use a daytimer to schedule all of your commitments and social events.
  1. Make a daily “to do “ list
  1. Prioritize your duties
  1. Be selective. You can’t do everything.  Quality is more important then quantity
  1. Learn to take power naps.  A 20 minute nap can reenergize you for hours.
  1. Budget your time.  Study while on the bus, review between classes, read while eating.
  1. Don’t be overcommitted.  Learn to say “no”
  1. Set aside some time to have fun.
  1. Know your peak energy times and prioritize your activities when you know your energy is at its highest.
  1.  Focus on one thing at a time.


Stress Management Websites: and Positive



Healthy Eating

Did you know?

Balanced nutrition is essential to maintaining overall good health, but it also can affect your capacity to cope with stress.

During times of stress, the body needs more nutrients, particularly vitamin B, which affect the nervous system and calcium, which is needed to counteract the lactic acid your tense muscles produce.



How good nutrition can help when dealing with Stress

Eat a good breakfast. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism.  It provides your brain and your body with the energy needed to feel good, cope with stress , and perform better in the classroom and on the athletic field.

Eat foods high in potassium, such as orange juice, squash, potatoes, apricots, limes, banana, avocados, tomatoes, and peaches.    These foods are low in calorie and high in energy.

Eat foods that are high in calcium, which can be found in yogurt, cheese, and tofu. These foods will build up stores of calcium in your body to prevent osteoporosis in later life.

Drink lots of water.  Water is a very important nutrient that is often forgotten.  Your body needs at least eight glasses of water each day, and if you exercise, or play sports, you may need more.

A daily multivitamin can minimize the physical damage caused by stress.  Make sure that your daily vitamin includes 200 to 400 milligrams of magnesium, 10 to 100 milligrams of B complex vitamins and 500 to 3000 milligrams of vitamin C.  According to studies, magnesium blocks the damaging effects of adrenaline. 

Foods to Avoid when dealing with Stress

Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate) which causes nervousness and inhibits sleep if too much is ingested.

Avoid alcohol which depletes your body’s B vitamins and can disrupt sleep and impair judgment or clarity of thought

Avoid sugar.  It provides no essential nutrients and can cause an immediate “high” followed by a prolonged “low”.





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