Education Week: Managing stress in your schedule

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BYU adjunct professor Tana S. Page discussed roadblocks causing stress and how to address them in an Education Week presentation on Aug. 21.

Stress is an inevitable part of life that people cannot avoid, Page said. By understanding stress and its coping skills, stress can be helpful and make one more confident.

There has been an increase in children with anxiety, stress, depression and other responses to stress in recent years. Whether it stems from grades or relationships, competition and comparison can become very overwhelming, according to Page.

She said social media and its influence on perpetuating an idea of perfection also impact the amount of stress on an individual. The culture of always being “happy” creates expectations and stress to live up to.

The culture puts pressure on how people present and judge themselves. Page also said social media has created a “me” culture, which makes people less empathetic and lose the understanding of interaction queues.

“The whole reason for the atonement is because we aren’t perfect. We don’t know what DNA, skills or experience we came with,” she said.

Amid the daily pressures, Page noted the importance of self-control. While some people may be more prone to addictions or being overwhelmed with stress, self-control is critical to managing stress.

Page said time, finance and relationships cause stress. Page said understanding what causes stress and the response one may experience to it will help people reduce, cope and relax.

Page shared the analogy of fitting rocks and sand in a jar to illustrate managing daily tasks and responsibilities. If one were to put the sand in before the rocks, all the items will not fit. However, if the larger objects are placed in the jar first, then the space between can be filled with sand.

“The best ability is availability,” Page said. “By doing my jar and minimizing what I’m trying to do, it makes me available.”

Page suggested comparing tasks to see if they are important and urgent. She then encouraged attendees to write down up to seven roles they could embody through the most vital tasks.

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