A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 4: Stress Management and Sleep 82 7. Establishing margins. It is important to set boundaries in terms of your energy, time and resources so not to overextend. 8. Listening to music. Listening to music can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Exposure to soothing, lyrical music can help to lessen the effects of depression and anxiety. 9. Time management. Learning to effectively manage your time can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. Overcommitting and procrastination are significant stressors for many individuals. Here are a few strategies for improving time management skills: set priorities; budget enough time; consider doing least favorite tasks first; consolidate tasks when possible; and delegate when appropriate and/or possible. 10. Avoid self-induced stressors. Sometimes we are our own source of stress as poor personal habits can often lead to stress. Here are a few strategies for avoiding self-induced stressors: don’t procrastinate; don’t over-commit your time; set time limits on social media; establish a daily routine; and deal appropriately with anger. Anxiety, Depression, and Hope As previously mentioned, chronic stress, if left unchecked, can lead to severe anxiety and/or depression. According to a 2018 American College Health Association survey tailored to college students, they reported feeling: • Very sad (68.7%) • Overwhelming anxiety (63.4%) • Overwhelming anger (4.12%) • So depressed that it was difficult to function (41.9%) Similarly, according to the 2020 Healthy Minds Study, 37% of college students experienced depression and an additional 31% experienced generalized anxiety disorder (Eisenberg & Lipson, 2020). Anxiety is a state characterized by a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease as a result of an event that is either imminent or uncertain. Some of the different categories of anxiety include social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and various phobias. Physiological symptoms of these disorders include increased heart rate, sweating, nausea, panic attacks, nightmares or flashbacks, fatigue, and headaches (Walters & Byl, 2021). These disorders are usually treated through counseling and medications.