Ways to Manage Stress (and Get a Good Night's Sleep)
As the semester winds down at Murray State and across the region and finals week approaches, the topic of stress may be on the minds of many. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte and Dr. Michael Bordieri of the Murray State University Department of Psychology discuss finding various ways of dealing with stress and how to get a good night's sleep.
Dr. Michael Bordieri says we're all going to experience stress in some part of our lives and some stress is good. The absence of stress can lead to boredom and other negative outcomes. So the key is balance - a performance curve. Everyone has a level of optimal physiological cognitive arousal. To have demands placed on us when it comes to things we feel we're good at that puts us "in the zone" can be a good thing.
The manage stress comes down to noticing and being aware of when you are stressed. Many of the skills come down to common sense, they're things your grandmother may have told you, Dr. Bordieri says. When you find yourself too busy, slow down and make sure you're taking care of yourself: eat balanced meals, get enough sleep, set time for exercise, go for a walk. It'll pay off in the long run.
He offers some good strategies for sleeping without worries: set a regular routine, avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day (or all together), if you're lying down and can't sleep - get out of bed. Lying in bed and unable to sleep can make it less likely you'll actually get to sleep. He suggests going into another room, not looking a screen (which can make it worse) but reading or finding a quiet activity that will help you relax. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but it's worth trying.
Dr. Michael Bordieri is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Murray State University and a Clinical Supervisor at the MSU Psychological Center. The Psychological Center is staffed by graduate students in clinical psychology at MSU who provide therapy and assessment services under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists. The Center is open to MSU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members from the surrounding area. The Center's number is 270-809-2504.
Our next discussion with Dr. Bordieri will be May 5th.