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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

Big Screen Temptations

Your family computer and TV can be terrific sources of entertainment, information and communication. But they can do more harm than good if family members become more absorbed in these devices than in one another. Ask any sports widow, child who waits for attention while a parent cruises the Internet or Dad whose daughter is more interested in after school kids' shows than in a promised golf lesson. Your relationships will grow tired of waiting when TVs and computers gain a foothold in your family.

Schedule family time and make keeping the commitment a priority. M
Set limits on how long the computer can be used or the TV watched on any given day.
Set standards as to what activities are appropriate for the computer and what shows can be watched on TV.
Place your computer and TV in common areas of your home so no one can be hidden away with the machines for hours while no one notices.
Look for fun family ways to use your computer and TV. Occasionally have computer game tournament. Or watch classic family movies such as "Old Yeller" together.
Take action if computer or TV use is out of control in your home. Sometimes it's best to turn off one or both of the machines permanently before they take a gigabyte out of your family life.

Make Room

Our society looks on busyness as positive, but too much work can be addicting and destructive to your personal life. Lots of people complain about being overworked, but they may create situations that demand it and secretly enjoy the work. After all, it sounds meaningful to be busy.

If you have little else in your life but busyness, it may be time to make a change.

Realize that idleness isn't a sin. It's okay to sit and do nothing sometimes. A pause now and then is a great way to clear your mind.

Don't always rate yourself by
how productive you are. Feeling you always must be productive can dampen your enjoyment of life and kill creativity.

Force yourself to slow down -- at least occasionally. You'll get better at "smelling the flowers" the more you practice.

Understand that you are replaceable. You're not the only one who can do the work. Use the freed-up time to refuel instead of taking on another job.

If you can't find ways to slow down a high pressure life, seek help. See your Employee Assistance Program counselor or a mental health professional.

The Weight of Depression
Depression isn't a character flaw. Clinical depression is more than just the blues or the normal response to grief and disappointment. Clinical depression affects a person's ability to function normally and continues for two weeks or more.

Experts believe it's caused by a combination of biological, social or psychological factors. It may be triggered by medical procedures as in post partum depression, for example. Or a medication, a physical condition or a significant emotional event such as the death of a loved one can spur it on.

You wouldn't dream of putting off treatment for a broken leg or other such medical problem. But when the mind is "broken," many people hesitate to seek treatment. However, ignoring this crippling problem often makes it worse.

Depression affects people in one or more of the following ways
a general dissatisfaction with life
reduced ability to cope or function in normal ways
an inability to find pleasure in anything
loss of interest in normal pursuits: hobbies,relationships, sexual desire
crying spells
feelings of worthlessness
neglect of responsibilities and appearance
lack of energy
a change in eating or sleeping habits
an extreme change in emotional response and level of irritability
feelings of hopelessness
an exaggerated sense of guilt or self-blame
ongoing physical complaints such as headaches, backaches and digestive problems

1. Visit with your family doctor to rule out physical causes for depression.
2. Reduce stress.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
4. Get plenty of exercise.
5. Get adequate sleep.
6. If symptoms persist, seek help from a mental health professional.

IF YOU FEEL SUICIDAL AT ANY TIME, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. Call a friend, family member, suicide prevention hotline (check your local phone book or call The Samaritans hotline 212-673-3000), a member of the clergy, your EAP counselor, your doctor, a mental health professional or 911.

For more information contact
National foundation for Depressive Illness

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