Ask the RD: Reducing Exam Stress

April is Stress Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge and relieve our day-to-day stressors. A moderate amount of stress can be healthy and improve your overall performance, but too much can be detrimental to your physical and emotional health.

A great way to manage your stress is through proper nutrition. Look for foods that contain stress-reducing nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin D: fish, mushrooms, fortified cereals
  • Vitamin B: leafy greens, salmon, eggs, lentils/legumes
  • Zinc: pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cacao, eggs
  • Folic Acid: broccoli, wild rice, peanut butter

It is also important to tend to other aspects of the self. Using the 8 Pillars of Wellness as a guide can help. Here are some things you can do to support each pillar this month:

  1. Physical: Sign up for a free fitness class with Campus Rec. or go for a gentle walk to appreciate Spring
  2. Emotional: Set aside 15 minutes to journal about something that has been on your mind
  3. Social: Schedule lunch with friends that you miss
  4. Spiritual: Take 5 minutes to meditate on something that you are grateful for
  5. Intellectual: Pause your studies to work on a puzzle, sudoku, or something else challenging yet relaxing
  6. Financial: Add some money to your long-term or short-term savings
  7. Environmental: Spend 30 minutes cleaning your living space
  8. Nutritional: Eat a variety of the stress-reducing foods we offer. Make your plate colorful and nutrient-dense!