Laughter and sleep are the two best cures for anything, according to Alexis Louie, a member of the sleep and self care team at Cal State Fullerton’s TitanWell. A nap of 20 to 30 minutes is equivalent to drinking a cup of coffee, she said. The Dean of Students Team at CSUF began the Time and Stress Management Workshop on Thursday by quoting actor Aziz Ansari’s famous line: “Treat yourself.”
The workshop was the last of 10 events that were a part of the inaugural Academic Integrity week that began Oct. 1.
“It’s specific towards college students because we only present to (that demographic). We’re the health promotion and education on campus” said Louie.
The presentation highlighted that not all stress is bad; sometimes stress is needed for personal growth. Students are taught how to cope with stress in a healthy way in the workshops, Louie said.
There are three stages of stress: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. The alarm stage is the body’s fight-or-flight reaction. During resistance, the body attempts to combat stress and maintain a balanced level of homeostasis. In doing so, an immense amount of energy is exhausted and the body may shut down, leading to ongoing long-term stress, Louie said.
During the presentation, Louie compared stress to Jenga, a game in which wooden blocks are pulled from a stack and balanced back on the top of the pile. Similar to that, when stress piles up, one problem can be the building block in a series of stressful situations.
“Stress negatively affects social relationships, hinders daily functions, affects school and can even delay graduation,” Louie said.
Eric Yang, a freshman math major, said he attended the event on behalf of his friends to learn how to manage stress and time.
“It was definitely helpful, I learned a couple of new strategies that I’d never thought of using.
Deep breathing is important, it’s a way to cope with stress and I think I would like to try that,” Yang said.
Sleep energizes the muscles and a lack of sleep can affect memory. In addition, Louie said that beds should only be used for sleep and sex, artificial phone or laptop light can hinder sleep and smoking or drinking alcohol should not be done within two hours of bedtime.
“Some people think that alcohol makes you more relaxed and helps you sleep better but it actually prevents you from reaching the restorative stages of sleep,” Louie said.
The book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen was recommended to the audience by Louie on how to best manage time. The presentation encouraged strategies like writing out weekly and monthly goals in a planner to keep track and prioritize daily events.
Tyler Gelrud, a Dean of Students intern, said this project was one he had worked on since summer.
“I just did my best to market and get relevant information (about) academic integrity with things like stress management and study tips,” Gelrud said.
The presentation concluded with a quote from Audre Lorde, an American poet and writer: “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent; caring for myself is an act of survival.”
“Self-care is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Louie said.