I’ve got a fever…

Sitting in class, staring at your course outline as your professor yammers on about how much work you will have and how little time you have to do it in, your heart skips a beat. Great, heart palpitations. Just what you need, a full-blown anxiety attack during your first weeks of university. Stop, take deep breaths and count backwards from ten.

Stress is inevitable when it comes to school. Not to mention that most students have financial issues and are working way more than the recommended 15 hours per week. A great way to deal with all the activities in your life that seem to be causing you a near brain aneurism is exercise!

Originally, humans associated stress and anxiety to environmental factors such as predators attacking them. Nowadays, the midterm is that predator. According to The Franklin Institute Online, the reactions we have during an exam are known as a “fight or flight” stress response. But instead of running for your life, or beating the crap out of your midterm you sit down and sweat, turn tomato red or, in some cases, draw a complete blank.

Because your body is being flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, The Franklin Institute Online recommends to get moving in order to diffuse them. Concordia offers a slew of activities for a reasonable cost. If you visit athletics.concordia.ca/campus/default.shtml, you can see a list of activities and intramural sports and you can check out the available facilities for all. You can join the gym or choose a low impact activity. There is something to do regardless of your physical ability, competitive spirit or level of intensity. If you have a larger budget, there are many private gyms in all areas of Montreal, which can cater to your exercise needs. For those of you with no budget at all, there is always the great outdoors. Getting some fresh air never hurt anyone. As far as time management goes, you can always choose to walk to school, take the stairs, or run for the shuttle bus in order to fit fitness into your very busy schedule.

Physical health is very important, but so is mental health. With all this physical activity, you won’t only be relieving stress, but teaching your brain to handle it in a much better way. According to The Franklin Institute Online, exercise helps fight depression if you do it on a regular basis. The website also stated that “The World Health Organization warns that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of death and disability in the world – primarily due to more stressful lifestyles.”

Concordia Health Services offers medical help in times when you have mono or a broken hand, but they also have Mental Health Services. Sometimes the stress is just too much to handle and Pilates may not cut it. If you check out www-health.concordia.ca, you can access information on their services and staff. There are also pages of useful topics and links that include self-assessment websites.

So when you feel like ripping your hair out, or throwing your laptop out the window, take a few seconds to breathe, go for a walk and keep in shape physically and mentally this year!


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