The cure for stress? Don't sweat the small stuff - DatelineCarolina

The cure for stress? Don't sweat the small stuff

Stop by Strom for a free Stress Management Consultation. Stop by Strom for a free Stress Management Consultation.
Marguerite O'Brien says meditation and list making are ways to help her feel less stressed. Marguerite O'Brien says meditation and list making are ways to help her feel less stressed.

By Emily Huff

Final exams and graduation are just around the corner so many students at University of South Carolina are starting to feel the stress.

USC senior Kate Dunn says this semester has been one of her most stressful and it is causing her to lose sleep at night.

"I know have to sleep and then I get stressed that I can't fall asleep because I'm thinking about the things I have to do the next day because I just have so much to do," Dunn said.

Marguerite O'Brien is USC's Director of Campus Wellness. She says Dunn is not alone with her late night worries and the best method is not to sweat the small stuff.

"It is just not productive and it keeps your brain in that hyper-alert mode, so we can't go to sleep and we can't rest effectively," O'Brien said.

A Harris Poll survey found 44 percent of Americans are losing sleep at night because they are worried about work. The survey says that being constantly connected to our cell phones does not help. Work loads have also increased and multi-tasking is more harmful than helpful.

"I've been asked in job interviews 'Can you multitask?'," O'Brien said. "Well yes, however our brains aren't wired to do more than two things at once really so it gets hard to do that."

A few ways you can worry less is to turn off technology, especially when you go to bed. Exercising regularly and making omega threes, like fish or fruits and vegetables, a staple in your diet can also help. You can try meditation or yoga, but if all else fails you may need to find a new job.

Dunn has her own way of relaxing.

"Drinking wine at night at that calms me down a little bit," Dunn said. "But I don't want to have to depend or rely on anything else."

As the semester comes to a close, Dunn knows the stress from finals will be over soon.

If you are feeling stressed or losing sleep at night, you can stop by Strom Thurmond Fitness Center to set up an appointment for a free stress management consultation.

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