President’s Message

Dear Psi Beta members,
Spring has sprung! Many of you are preparing for final exams and final projects. How is your stress level?

Students often report contracting colds during final exam week, a time when they need to be at their best. To stave off the potential cold, now may be a great time to put good nutrition, healthy sleep patterns and relaxation techniques into practice. These strategies are easily recognized as critical to a healthy lifestyle and modifiers to offset stress levels, yet they are usually low priority practices during finals preparation.

That all-nighter you planned for the night before the test? Cancel it! Instead replace it with shorter, more frequent study sessions in the evening followed by a good night’s rest. An article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School (2007), states that sleep after studying can consolidate memory and increase attention the following day. According to Diwakar Balachandran, MD, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas & the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, “The more all-nighters you pull, the more likely you are to decrease your body’s ability to respond to colds or bacterial infections” (Denise Mann, 2010, np).

Your emotional style can also affect your response to stress. Cohen and Pressman (2006) found that after being exposed to a cold virus in a laboratory setting over six days, those with a positive emotional style were less likely to develop colds than those with less positive affect. Examine your outlook and approach to challenging situations. Is the glass half full or half empty? To quote Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994), “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf” (p.30). Finding ways to positively approach problems or reframe them can lessen your stress response.

Finally, make time to socialize as a way of offsetting stress. Cohen (2005) and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University found that first year college students with smaller social networks had poorer immune responses to the flu vaccine than other students. Being active in your Psi Beta chapter is a great way to make connections at your college, participate in scholarly activities, become active in the community, and find peers with similar educational and occupational goals. And doing so maybe even help you avoid that cold and flu bug that is going around!

If you would like to download the entire 2011 Spring newsletter click here.

Have a happy and healthy end of term!

A message from Sheri Chejlyk, President

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