How to live a balanced life, manage stress

Students use crayons to color code how much time they spend on each health aspect in a week.

Students use crayons to color code how much time they spend on each health aspect in a week.

Stress: it’s a regular part of student life. Balancing school, work, friends, and health can seem impossible.

On Feb. 26, students gathered for Take the Lead, Living a Balanced Life in CMU 222 with Take the Lead trainer, Robert Jones.

Jones focused on balancing physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and occupational health. Each of these six factors is important in reducing stress and living a healthy, productive life.

“I think it’s important to offer life education to compliment academic education,” said Christine Hollermann, leadership graduate assistant and Take the Lead coordinator.

In the workshop, Jones asked students to chart how much time they spend in each aspect of their health. The exercise was meant to force students to look at what was missing.

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Take the Lead trainer, Robert Jones, asks students what physical health activities they participate in.

“Students are working harder these days. They are doing more,” Jones said. “You see a lot of burnout. I want them to know it’s OK to slow down and stop.”

When students encounter stress, it is common that one of the six aspects starts to slip. Jones compared balancing the six aspects to spinning plates.

“When one starts to fall, they all do,” Jones said.

MSUM students are professionals when it comes to balancing acts.

“One of the things I love so much about MSUM students is how magnificently they multi-task,” Hollermann said. “Taking time to ask: ‘Am I balanced?’ and looking at what has been neglected is crucial.”

When asked what stresses them out the most, bills, work and tests were on the top of students’ lists. Jones urged students that it’s OK to put themselves first.

“We often put other people in front of ourself. When you take care of you, you are a better person,” Jones said.

Take the Lead workshops are offered about every month. They are sponsored by the Career Development Center.

“We want everything we put out to be relevant and have value,” Hollermann said. “We want students’ college experience to be everything it can be.”

The next Take the Lead is scheduled for March 26. The Career Development Center is also hosting a volunteer and service opportunity fair April 8.

BY SARAH TYRE
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PHOTOS BY ALECS PETERS
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