Noticing Signs of Distress in You and Your Friends

students reading outdoors

After the excitement of the new semester, things are finally winding down and the reality of midterms are looming on the minds of many. A lot of emotions can be felt during this time: excitement, nervousness, stress, and so on. These feelings along with the impending colder weather can create the perfect combination for getting overwhelmed. It can be easy to dismiss the warning signs that we might be heading down an unhealthy path. How can we cope with stress during these intense times? Make sure to support yourself and your peers and reach out to help if needed.

Here are some signs of stress that you may not have thought of:

Academic Indicators:

  • Missing lectures
  • Forgetting assignments or tests, or simply just not doing them
  • Doing less of your work, or your work not meeting your usual standards
  • Being overly concerned with grades
  • Needing to excessively¬† ask for deadline extensions

Physical Indicators of Distress:

  • Not attending to appearance or hygiene
  • Feelings of fatigue or exhaustion, maybe even sleeping during lectures repeatedly
  • Changes in your appetite and/or sleep patterns
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • Changes in eye contact (i.e. difficulty making or maintaining eye contact)

Behavioral and Emotional Indicators

  • Being unreasonably demanding or dependent on someone
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Withdrawing from social contact or social obligations
  • Difficulty to control emotions; maybe feeling emotions a lot more intensely

For more information and details about indicators of distress, visit more feet on the ground.

If you are noticing any of these signs in yourself or one of your peers, take the time to step back and assess your emotions. How are you feeling today? Why are you feeling that way? Is there any way you can reorganize or reorient your priorities to give yourself some time to rest and recuperate?

There are a number of resources on campus to help you with this. Some you should consider are:

Remember to keep your health a priority this midterm season. Good Luck Warriors!

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