The Aspen Institute Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 150 2017
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Resources for Success

Stress Management

3 Minute Stress Relief


Want to learn more about this concept and other strategies to alleviate stress in your life? Enroll in the following course today!

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Stress Management Tips

50 Ways to Manage Stress

  • Laugh
  • Play a game
  • Learn to say “no”
  • Dance
  • Try yoga or Tai Chi
  • Enjoy aromatherapy
  • Stretch
  • Take 10 deep breaths
  • Exercise
  • Take a nap
  • Listen to music
  • Watch the clouds
  • Practice meditation
  • Take a stress management class
  • Take a walk
  • AVOID procrastinating
  • Share jokes
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Think positive
  • Take breaks
  • Make someone smile
  • Count your blessings
  • Hug someone
  • Be honest
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Express your love
  • Trust yourself
  • Seek balance
  • Have a plan
  • Forgive
  • Be silly
  • Get a massage
  • Read a book
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Take a quiet day
  • Laugh with your friends
  • Daydream
  • Use positive self-talk
  • Get a hug
  • Stop self-sabotage
  • Create artwork
  • Play with your pet
  • Watch aquarium fish
  • Sing/dance along with music
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Take a mini-vacation
  • Play music and cook something wonderful
  • Grow a garden
  • Watch relaxation videos
  • Watch relaxation videos

Ways to Destress your Life

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For many community college students life can become overwhelming at times. Juggling work, school, personal commitments and life in general can become more than one person can handle. Here is some advice on how to destress yourself to make the most of your time on campus and ultimately your education! But first and foremost, you must know the signs!

Slow Down, Keep Calm, Be Positive, Take it Easy, Unplug, Enjoy Life, Have Fun, Breathe, Relax, Go Outside, Smile, Meditate

Signs You're Way Too Stressed Out

While it’s true that a little stress in life can be good for you, the constant presence of it is not. But minimizing levels of it is easier said than done, as it can be difficult to notice when you’re overdoing it—most likely because you’re so busy!

But if you identify with any of the following five signs, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate:

  1. You’re Snapping at Everyone (for No Good Reason)
  2. You’re Thinking About School/Work All the Time
  3. You Can’t Focus Enough to Actually Be Productive-easily distracted
  4. You Aren’t Sleeping Well (or at all)
  5. Your Entire Body Feels Sore/constantly sick

Adopted from 5 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (and You Don't Even Know It)
By Abby Wolfe Writer The Muse


Seven Ways to Destress yourself while on campus

  1. Treat yourself: The Bear Bistro in the Curtice-Mott Complex and Applewood Café in the Prahl College Center give you a variety of dining options to keep you motivated while enabling you to take your mind of your troubles.

    The Bear Bistro features daily and weekly food specials, soup bar, salad bar and coffee. Make your choice, then grab a table, setup your wireless laptop and catch-up on the latest news on one of the four 50 inch LCD TVs.

    The Applewood Café offers a unique dining experience complete with white linen and professional service. Meals are prepared by the culinary art students for an affordable dining experience.

    Food On Campus
  2. Take a deep breath: The Durham Natatorium offers affordable fitness classes with a variety of class options and times to choose from as a student.

    Durham Wellness and Physical Education Center is a Physical Education Classroom and Fitness Center on the MCC Main Campus, which provides a safe, educational environment for individual fitness evaluation and training. Microfit Fitness Profile testing aids participants in setting realistic, personal fitness goals. Workout programs utilize Nautilus equipment for strength and cardiopulmonary/aerobic programming.

    Durham Wellness and Physical Education Center
  3. Clear your Mind: Did you know that MCC has a full service salon and spa right on Main Campus? That’s right you heard me A FULL SERVICE SALON/SPA – IT’S CALLED TRANSITIONS!

    A full service salon and spa right on MCC’s main campus. Open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. All services performed by senior students under the supervision of licensed, professional cosmetology, esthetic, and nail technology instructors.

    Our talented MCC Cosmetology students can design hairstyles and treatments, and care for your tired hands, feet and nails. They provide the most sought-after treatments at a fraction of the cost of traditional salons, all under the supervision of our highly qualified instructors.

    Our talented MCC Esthetics students can perform facials and skin resurfacing treatments and remove that unwanted hair. They provide the most sought-after treatments at a fraction of the cost of traditional salons, all under the supervision of our highly qualified instructors.

    Transitions School of Cosmetology Careers Salon
  4. Walk Around: Did you know that the Applewood Estate sits right behind the MCC Main Campus? Don’t know what the Applewood Estate is? Charles Stewart Mott built Applewood in 1916 as a family home and gentleman’s farm. Today, it’s a vital community resource open to all. In addition to an elegant home with an attached greenhouse, the 34-acre estate includes an apple orchard with 29 heirloom varieties, extensive gardens, a gatehouse, barn, and chicken coop. Applewood Estate is a Michigan Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

    Visit Applewood
  5. Listen Up: Even if you have no rhythm there are many musical venues to check out in and around the greater Flint area or check out one of the clubs and organizations that offer a musical variety such as the Ballroom Dancing Club or how about the Dance Club.

    Flint Institute of Music
  6. Laugh out loud: Ok I know this sounds weird but when was the last time you laughed so hard it hurt? Sometimes it is necessary to laugh at oneself when a silly mistake has occurred. It’s ok and actually helps you gain a different perspective of yourself. In the winter, stop and make a snow angel (when weather permits). In the summer, stop and smell the flowers blooming. Another suggestion, join one of our many clubs and organizations. Like minded people doing things together provides commraderie.

    Clubs and Organizations
  7. Talk it out: While attending college, students often encounter confidential, personal situations and life crises that interfere with their ability to be successful as a student.

    Our licensed professional Counselors are available to help students deal with those situations. Confidential individual counseling is available, where appropriate, or a referral will be made to other professional specialists.

    Counseling and Student Development offers online mental health screenings. Similar to many physical illnesses, early recognition and treatment offers the best opportunity for recovery from mental health concerns. The anonymous and confidential screening tool is designed to help students examine any thoughts or behaviors that may be associated with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, substance use, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder. After completing the self-assessment, students are connected with MCC’s resources and educational articles. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a counselor after completing the screening please call (810) 762-0111 or stop by PCC2030. It may be beneficial to bring a copy of your screening results to your first appointment. If you are off campus and experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911.

    Personal Counseling

10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast

By Jeannette Moninger
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

Relax. You deserve it, it's good for you, and it takes less time than you think.

You don't need a spa weekend or a retreat. Each of these stress-relieving tips can get you from OMG to omm in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Meditate

    It's simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting -- out loud or silently -- a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds.

    Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She's a certified life coach in Rome, GA.

  2. Breathe Deeply

    Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

    Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She's a certified life coach in Rome, GA.

  3. Be Present

    Slow down. Really slow down and become aware of your environment.

    “Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness,” Tutin says. Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.

    When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.

  4. Reach Out

    Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others -- preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what's going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.

  5. Tune In to Your Body

    Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels.

    Simply be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything,” Tutin says. For 1 to 2 minutes, imagine each deep breath flowing to that body part. Repeat this process as you move your focus up your body, paying close attention to sensations you feel in each body part.

  6. Decompress

    Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Remove the wrap, and use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away tension.

    “Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball, and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot, and apply pressure,” says Cathy Benninger, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

  7. Laugh Out Loud

    A good belly laugh doesn't just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.

  8. Crank Up the Tunes

    Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. “Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece,” Benninger says. You also can blow off steam by rocking out to more upbeat tunes -- or singing at the top of your lungs!

  9. Get Moving

    You don’t have to run in order to get a runner’s high. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.

  10. Be Grateful

    Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life.

    “Being grateful for your blessings cancels out negative thoughts and worries,” says Joni Emmerling, a wellness coach in Greenville, NC.


Succesful Time Management

Class Load, Working and College

Class Load

Class load is the total number of credit hours in which you enroll for a semester. When deciding how many credit hours you should take, consider any restrictions imposed by financial aid, scholarships, and your own commitments. Academic Advisors suggest that full-time new students stick to around 12-15 credits during their first fall or winter semester.

Semester Full-time Part-time
Fall/Winter 12-18 credits Less than 12 credits
Spring/Summer 6-9 credits Less than 6 credits

You may not take more than 18 credits in a fall or winter semester or nine credits in a spring or summer without special permission from the Academic Dean over your program of study. If you are receiving financial aid, you should check with Student Financial Services on class load requirements.

Class Load Recommendation

It is important to remember that there are only 24 hours in each day and only 168 hours in each week. It is common for college students to try to participate in more activities than their time allows and as a result, perform poorly in many of the activities. Unfortunately, this poor performance often includes school work. Make your choices wisely and consider all possible variables. We recommend that for each credit you take, you spend two to three hours studying outside of class. For example, if you are registered for 12 credits then you should study 24-36 hours per week.

The course load that is best for you depends on a variety of factors, such as other commitments, study skills, time management skills, and self-discipline. If you take less than a full-time class load it may take you longer than two-years to complete your program. To determine the course load which is most appropriate for you, please refer to the guidelines indicated in the next section and discuss with your Academic Advisor.

Working and College

If you are working, please review our credit suggestions when planning your class schedule.

Hours per week worked Suggested credit load
40 3-5
30 3-9
20 6-12
Less than 20 12-18

Full-time 16 Credits Weekly Schedule SamplePart-time 9 Credits Weekly Schedule SamplePart-time 6 Credits Weekly Schedule SamplePart-time 3 Credits Weekly Schedule Sample

Adapted from University of Michigan-Flint Student Success Center:
https://www.umflint.edu/advising/surviving_college.htm


January 27, 2017
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