7 PERA-Tested Tips to Help You Handle Stress

landscape shot of wellesley
November 7, 2018

November 7 is National Stress Awareness Day, so the Daily Shot reached out to Connie Bauman, Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics (PERA) professor emerita of the practice, for some tips about how to cope if you’re feeling anxious (about the midterm election results or anything else) and how to incorporate stress-busting techniques into your everyday life.

Bauman has spent over 30 years at Wellesley researching and developing exercise and wellness programs. She co-teaches Live and Learn: Understanding Mind-Body Connections with Jeannine Johnson, senior lecturer in the Writing Program, in which students develop successful ways to mitigate stress. Here, they offer seven suggestions to help you do the same:

1. Explore the landscape around Wellesley and identify your places of serenity. Research shows that fresh air energizes the body, and when grass is freshly cut, the chemical released actually makes you happier and more relaxed.


LAndscape gif


2. Come to a group fitness class in the Keohane Sports Center (yoga, spinning, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training) or work it out at the fitness center with a friend.


Two Corgis on a treadmill


3. Did you know Wellesley has a climbing wall? Give it a try!


a panda climbing a ladder


4. Find a quiet place near the boathouse. Listen to the lakeside sounds and meditate. Oh, and leave your phone at home.


clip from mean girls of girl on phone


5. Take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment, and then release anxiety and body tension with long, slow exhalations. The practice of deep breathing helps reframe the mind and gives a sense of control, perspective, and peace.


Cat wearing a lion's mane yawning


6. Take a long stretch break and let your body unwind.


baby in carseat lifts arms up.


7. Turn to your community when you need some support. They’ve got your back.


two otters holding hands.


You’ve got this!!


Red fox on exercise equipment.


BONUS: Wellesley’s Stone Center also suggests some stress management techniques that use visualization and guided imagery to help relieve tension and promote relaxation.