For the 26th consecutive year, April has been designated and has provided a platform to discuss a vital issue that impacts thousands across the globe.
As an initiative sponsored by the Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month has continued to inform peoples about the dangers of stress, coping strategies and misconceptions regarding the subject.
Within this awareness month, there is National Stress Awareness Day strategically placed right after taxes are due, April 16.
Jaelyn Benyard, a first-year doctor of pharmacy candidate, has found a balance in managing her stress throughout the entire school year, but especially as the semester comes to a close and exams clutter her day.
“The stress that comes with the life of a pharmacy student is difficult to manage on its own, but trying to manage a social life, as well as partake in extracurricular activists can be pretty challenging,” said Benyard. “I have realized that staying organized helps me manage my stress. In my bedroom, I have a giant calendar with all of the test and assignments that must be completed for the week.”
Benyard also stated that she makes a realistic to-do list every day before starting homework and studying. She makes it a goal to complete everything before the night is over.
“I have discovered that taking one day out of the week for myself every week has helped me manage my stress,” said Benyard. “Whether it’s catching up on sleep or hanging out with friends, I reserve Fridays as my days to neglect all school responsibilities.”
The American Psychological Association has five tips for people struggling with stress. The association suggests that individuals take a break from the stressor, exercise, smile and laugh, get social support and meditate. According to their research, it shows that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression, and obesity.
Najja Campbell, a junior biology student at FAMU, can testify to that. Toward the end of the semester classes, extracurricular activities and life in general, seem to present more stress.
“As we get closer to the end of the semester I worry more and more about being able to successfully juggle my classes. Awareness months like this provide an opportunity for people to seek help,” said Campbell. “Since learning about this awareness month, in 2012 I have attended numerous walks, fundraisers, and seminars related to this pertinent issue that impacts everyone in some way.”
Chika Ofuani-Hooper, a coordinator of clinical programs in the office of counseling services, said that due to the heavy demand for services as the semester comes to a close, she and her staff were not available for an interview. That speaks volumes.