Don’t stress about being stressed!

By , November 18, 2014 11:15 am

relaxingThe first thing I’ll say, just to get it out of the way:  there are, essentially, three weeks left of classes.  There’s the rest of this week, then Thanksgiving break (which isn’t really a break, right?), then two weeks before finals start.

Second thing I’ll say, just to remind you: everyone stresses a little.  It’s normal.  It happens.  But, as they say, a little stress can go a long way.  So, third thing—and most important—it’s possible, even easy, to deal with it before it becomes a major hassle.

Don’t ignore it, though.  When I ignore what’s stressing me, I start doing anything but what I should be doing—and that’s tackling it [the project that’s causing me to stress] head-on.  So I vacuum.  I rearrange furniture or the kitchen cabinets.  On the plus side, my apartment is super-clean around this time of year.  But, knowing that I’m just delaying the inevitable actually makes me more stressed.

Being able to manage my own outlook on stress is probably the most important thing I can do.  Once I figure out what it is I’m ignoring (I mean, I don’t even like to vacuum, so why am I doing it all the time?) I can get down to figuring out why I’m stressed about it and what to do next.

I first make a quick plan for each project looming ahead of me.  Start with the end result—the due date—and work backwards from there.  Hopefully, I’ve been keeping up with the assignments and readings, so all that I really need to do is to get energized and back on track.  Sometimes working on a project for so long leads to apathy or, yes, even loathing towards that project and I just want it to go away.  I have to remember that the only way to get it off my back is to make a focused plan to finish it.

My quick plan turns into a handy outline that I can check-off each step, which is very satisfying.  If I haven’t been keeping up or if I just need more time to finish some of the readings, at least I know my timeframe and can better plan my approach.  Again, keeping the to-do steps small and manageable is immensely helpful when faced with something that looks daunting—that way the long list shrinks quickly!

In addition to getting myself back on track with an outline, I start each day with a workout at Swinney Recreation Center.  The 45 minutes all to myself either in the pool or on the elliptical is invigorating and allows me to think about the day ahead—or I can just not think at all, which is also helpful!  But be sure to schedule these types of breaks throughout your day.  Too often, I start out with a great swim but forget to take a break later, which makes for a long, tiring day.  And the more tired I am, the less I want to work on my projects—you know the cycle!  So take breaks and get plenty of sleep to recharge your body and your mind.  College is all about balance, and that includes making time to take care of yourself and your mental health.

Other quick ways to recharge are easy to do and surprisingly cheap.  Take a walk (bundle up, though!), catch your favorite TV show, enjoy a mid-afternoon fruit smoothie, meditate for a half-hour, meet up with friends for appetizers.  If you need more ideas (I know, not everyone can vacuum as much as I do!), check out some of the online resources available on the Counseling Center’s website.  The MindBody Connection in the Student Success Center can also help you work in some balance and stress relief.  The mission of the MindBody Connection is to help students learn skills to manage academic and personal stressors.  Some of the services they provide include the relaxation station (with massage chair!), eWave by HeartMath, and Wii Hours of the Day.  Playtime is very important to managing stress!

But the key message here is that you, too, can reduce your stress level!   By taking care of yourself–mentally and physically–and looking at all projects and papers as smaller parts of a puzzle, these next few weeks will breeze by and you will be well-rested and focused for those final papers, presentations, and exams.

Know what the Flu is and how to prevent it

By , November 18, 2014 11:15 am

SHWWhat Is the Flu?

Influenza, commonly known as the “Flu”, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by Influenza A or B Viruses.  Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring.  The Flu Virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.

How Is Flu Spread?

The Flu Virus is spread from person to person through respiratory secretions and typically sweeps through groups of people who spend time in close contact with each other, such as in classrooms, college dorms, and offices.  The Flu is spread when you inhale droplets in the air that contain the Flu Virus, make direct contact with respiratory secretions through sharing drinks or utensils, or handle items contaminated by an infected person.  The Flu Virus on your skin can infect you when you touch or rub your eyes, nose, or mouth.  That’s why frequent and thorough hand washing is a key way to limit the spread of Influenza.  Flu symptoms start to develop from one to four days after infection with the virus.

Common Symptoms of Seasonal Flu

  • Temperature >100.4 F
  • Body Aches
  • Dry Cough
  • Headache
  • Body Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Possible Diarrhea or Vomiting

What to Do If You Think You Have the Flu

  • GO TO BED!
  • Call UMKC Student Health and Wellness, or another healthcare provider.
  • Stay away from people (self-isolate) until you are 24 hours fever-free (without fever-reducing medication), or 7 days after onset, whichever is shorter.
  • Call a friend to bring you food or medicine as needed.
  • Treat any fever, pain, or headaches with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  Ibuprofen 200 to 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed (up to 1200 mg/day), or Acetaminophen 325 to 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed (up to 3000 mg/day).
  • Drink 8 to 16 oz. of water, juice, broth, etc., each hour while you’re awake.
  • Take your temperature every few hours to monitor your fever.

I Don’t Have the Flu, But What Can I Do To Prevent It?

  • Stay away from sick people!!!
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Get the yearly Flu Vaccine to decrease your chances of getting the seasonal flu.
  • Protect your immune system by…
  • eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • getting plenty of sleep (7-10 hours per night).
  • not smoking!!  It weakens your lungs against infections.
  • not drinking alcohol!!

Contact UMKC Student Health & Wellness at (816) 235-6133

or check out for more information!

First Annual Student Art Print Sale

By , November 18, 2014 11:14 am

Art ShowThe Department of Art & Art History invites you to support our student artists by attending the first annual Student Print Sale Benefit from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19 in the Miller Nichols Library Learning Center lobby.

Come see the creative works of our students and buy a limited edition piece. Cash only will be accepted.


Careers in the US State Department

By , November 18, 2014 11:13 am

State DepartmentRob Andrew, Diplomat In-Residence at the U.S. State Department, will offer two information sessions on possible careers in the department on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The first session will take place from noon – 1 p.m. in the Atterbury Student Success Center, room 237.  The focus of this session will be an informative discussion on various career opportunities offered by the U.S. State Department.

The second session will take place from  3 p.m. – 5 p.m. in Atterbury Student Success Center, room 236. The topic will be the Foreign Service Oral Assessment and selection process.

The information sessions are free and open to the public.

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