By Brooke Randolph, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Stress management doesn’t seem to be so something that is taught formally, but I believe it is a life skill (like effective communication and parenting) that should be. Stress impacts us every day, and how we manage stressors makes a major impact on every area of life, including our health and ability to succeed. The first year of college would likely be the ideal time to teach stress management skills. While I don’t think stress management is likely to become a part of liberal arts curriculum, wise students can seek out the information for themselves from a variety of sources. One intended directly for college students is The College De-Stress Handbook: Keeping cool under pressure from the inside out.
The College De-Stress Handbook immediately notes that it is not just for the traditional student or freshman, but it is also intended for non-traditional students of all ages. The examples used prove that non-traditional students were considered throughout the development of this book. The writers’ use of humor makes it a fairly easy read, even as somewhat technical information about the impact of stress is explained. The focus seems to be slightly more on providing information than on teaching stress management techniques.
At the end of each chapter, there are questions to ponder that can help students make the information presented more personal. The techniques presented are not particularly difficult, so it is likely the majority of people could utilize this guide independently. The format would also lend itself for this book to be used as a part of a psychoeducational group. There does seem to be a bigger focus on cognitive-type techniques than on anything else. I prefer to start with a base of teaching physical relaxation and energy-building skills when teaching clients about stress management.
This short book may appeal to a college student that feels stretched too thinly. Graphics, illustrations, and humor all make it easy to read. It could be a good start for some, but I believe it may be most effective for those that prefer workbooks and cerebral consideration. Those who want to learn to relax primarily may not find all that they desire. I suggest students pick this up book at a local store and flip through it to determine if it is a good fit for them.
Buy The College De-Stress Handbook Here