How to balance stress with health

Alternatives to reaching for comfort food

Stress eating can contribute to stress instead of reducing it.
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We’ve all been there: the readings are piling up, the assignments are coming at you, exams are just around the corner, and on top of that, you haven’t done your laundry in weeks. You’re overwhelmed with stress, so you do what seems logical – eat. 
 
Soon one cookie becomes a row of cookies, which turns into a box of cookies. 
While it’s okay for us to indulge in our favourite foods here and there, when it comes to dealing with stress, there are healthier alternatives. 
 
Talk to someone
 
Let it all out! Sometimes all you need is a good cry, scream or venting session. 
Queen’s has a lot of great resources on campus to turn to if you ever feel stuck, such as the Peer Support Centre and the Student Wellness Services (formerly known as Health, Counselling, and Disability Services).
 
Exercise
 
Have you gotten your weekly 150? 150 minutes of exercise a week is a good starter to maintaining both physical and mental health. Exercise has been shown to help relieve stress, aid memory and boost your immune system. 
Whether it’s heading to the ARC, signing up for a class or just taking a walk around our beautiful campus, remember to set aside time to break a sweat. And as Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make 
you happy!” 
 
Relax and recharge
 
When you’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown, it’s best to take a break from work or school. Sometimes all you need is some downtime with tea and Netflix to put your mind at ease. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, in fact it’s healthier for you to do so. 
 
Try something new
 
Let’s face it –  university is a lot more reading than hands-on learning. Take a bit of time out of the week to get outside of the library walls and try something new. It’s a great way to meet new people and take your mind off school, even if just for a little while. 
There are lots of different clubs and teams on campus that are more than happy to take newbies. Have you always wanted to learn to knit? How to breakdance? The difference between pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc? You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish in just a few weeks.

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