Wellness Tips and Stress Prevention

As the world adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic, lives, routines, families, and jobs have changed. For some, stress, responsibilities, and more have only increased. Approaching stress management as a part of a wellness lifestyle will help prevent stress and boost energy. 

Below are wellness tips and activities based on recommendations from the University Health Center (UHS) and university accounts. 

Alter your attitude

While we can’t always control the events that happen, we can control what we think about the event, which in turn shapes our feelings about them. Self-talk is an ongoing internal dialogue we each have. Oftentimes this conversation is overly critical, irrational, and destructive. To reduce stress, instead of being your own worst critic, treat yourself with a gentle touch. Talk to yourself like you would a child who you care very much about. Change your self talk to further boost your attitude and outlook. 

Relaxation

If you need help, ask a therapist or counselor. He or she can offer more detailed instructions and coaching to help you perfect valuable relaxation techniques. The ASPIRE clinic which offers holistic counseling and education services to the UGA and Athens community is not offering telehealth sessions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This technique can help you relax the major muscle groups in your body. And, it’s easy to do.

  1.   Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sit in a favorite chair or lie down.

  2.   Begin with your facial muscles. Frown hard for 5-10 seconds and then relax all your muscles.

  3.   Work other facial muscles by scrunching your face up or knitting your eyebrows for 5-10 seconds. Release. You should feel a noticeable difference between the tense and relaxed muscles.

  4.   Move on to your jaw. Then, move on to other muscle groups – shoulders, arms, chest, legs, etc. – until you’ve tensed and relaxed individual muscle groups throughout your whole body.

Or try meditation—this is the process of focusing on a single word or object to clear your mind. As a result, you feel calm and refreshed.

  1.   Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sit or lie in a relaxing position.

  2.   Close your eyes and concentrate on a calming thought, word, or object.

  3.   You may find that other thoughts pop into your mind. Don’t worry, this is normal. Try not to dwell on them. Just keep focusing on your image or sound.

  4.   If you’re having trouble, try repeating a word or sound over and over. (Some people find it helpful to play soothing music while meditating.)

  5.   Gradually, you’ll begin to feel more and more relaxed.

Physical Activity

Routine physical activity can boost energy levels and help your body produce endorphins which naturally relieve pain and induce feelings of well-being. It can also help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. It also strengthens your heart which is constantly being called upon to “fight or flight” from the job, school, family, financial, relationship, and every other kind of stressor you confront daily.

The University Health Center’s website can help you find what activity works best for you.

BeWellUGA

Be Well UGA at Home contains additional resources on nutrition, mindfulness and self-care for students. UHC’s UGA Healthy Dawg blog also provides information on wellness and shares student stories.

Below is a list of virtual events: 

Mindfulness Series with The Health Promotion Department

Mindfulness has been shown to help manage stress, get better sleep, and reduce anxiety. Join the Health Promotion Department from the University Health Center, Monday-Friday at 10 am, for a 10-minute mindfulness series. Each day a different mindfulness practice will be explored. 

Daily Mindfulness, Mon-Fri

In partnership with Health Promotion and led by guest facilitator Kiz Adams, UGA’s Well-Being Coordinator

Mindfulness Moment – Participate in a daily mindfulness moment with your campus community. Every day at 9 am, Kiz will lead a short (less than 10-minute) mindfulness practice.

Daily Yoga, Mon-Fri

In partnership with Health Promotion and led by guest facilitator Kiz Adams, UGA’s Well-Being Coordinator

Noontime Pilates and Yoga classes - Participate in free 45-minute Pilates and yoga classes at noon each day via Zoom. Kiz has been a certified Pilates instructor for almost 20 years.

Learn how to join free BeWellUGA events here.