Carnegie Mellon University

Be Well at CMU

At Carnegie Mellon, practicing wellness is a daily, iterative process that helps you intentionally create a sustainable, productive and value-driven life. Cultivating healthy habits and relationships that support you will become the foundation that helps you manage life’s challenges.

Stress

Stress is a natural part of our lives and can be a helpful signal that something we care about is at stake. Begin to notice your daily stressors. What happens to you - physically, emotionally, and mentally - when you are running late for your next Zoom meeting or trying to meet a deadline? Noticing your personal reaction to stress is a good starting point for identifying how to best respond to it.

In addition to daily stressors, major life events and transitions can be stressful, even when they are positive. Moving to a new city, starting a new academic program or job, building a new relationship or beginning a leadership role can be exciting and stressful.

At CMU, asking for help is a sign of maturity and strength. There are many people, programs, and resources to help you face challenges and overcome stress.

 The Jed Foundation

JED reminds us that it is okay to feel overwhelmed right now at this stage of the pandemic. Here are some helpful strategies that can support our well-being:

Identify what parts of your routine are helpful and turn them into consistent practices.
Maintaining a schedule of activities and taking care of your usual responsibilities can help you engage in being present and re-establish a sense of normalcy. If your schedule is overwhelming, consider what no longer serves you and if it’s something you can let go to further invest time and energy into what matters to you.
Take care of yourself.
You will feel better if you get enough sleep, eat properly and get regular exercise. This can be done in bite-size pieces. Even 10 minutes of walking outside or taking a shower can provide immediate, positive effects. Build in small breaks throughout your day to increase productivity and focus.
Turn your complaint into a commitment.
If something continues to challenge you, identify what options are in your control that can help you redirect your energy. This is often at the heart of social justice work. What can we do to influence the world around us? It can be as small as signing up for office hours and receiving support for an assignment to becoming an active volunteer for a cause that matters to you. When we focus on what is in our control, what was once a complaint can become a powerful motivator for change.
Engage in fun and meaningful activities.
Take some time to do something you usually enjoy—taking a walk, watching a movie, connecting safely with friends. Engaging in activities that help or support others can increase your sense of well-being and enhance your optimism.
Practice relaxation.
Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can help you let go of stress and tension. Visit Press Pause for some mindfulness ideas or check out our Be Mindful page to explore opportunities we offer to CMU community members.
Limit your social media and news time.
Constantly checking news feeds or other social media may increase stress. Set aside specific times to check news and social media. Too much time online can also interfere with sleep.