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Stress isn’t all bad – it often provides needed motivation to get things done – but too much can cause mental and physical harm. Dr. Wendy Killam, licensed professional counselor and SFA associate professor of human services, offers these pointers for managing stress in our lives. Take a Time Out: It is important to set aside time for yourself to do something fun. Whether it’s going to a movie, eating out or just spending time with a friend, a short break can help you get more enjoyment out of life and refocus your priorities. Set Boundaries: Most of us enjoy helping others, but often these outside commitments take over the calendar and lead to unnecessary stress. It is important to observe the limits of how much you can realistically get done. Learning to say “no” more often can reduce stress and help you find more time for the things that are important to you.

left Matt Adkins ’06, winner of the recent #BattleAxe competition, chops the log on the field at Reliant Stadium in Houston at the start of the Battle of the Piney Woods game against Sam Houston.

lawn and at several special events organized solely for this purpose. The SFA athletics department encouraged participation by sponsoring a #BattleAxe social media campaign in which students and alumni posted pictures of their decorated axe handles to Facebook and Twitter. A picture submitted by Matt Adkins ’06 received the most likes, shares and re-tweets. He was rewarded with the honor of chopping the log on the field at Reliant Stadium at the start of the Battle of the Piney Woods game against Sam Houston State University. “To be down on the field in front of 28,000 people for a rivalry game like that was surreal,” Adkins said. “Taking the axe from (defensive end) Willie Jefferson and slamming it into the log as the team ran out was something I will always remember. It was an honor to be

Winter 2012

a part of such a great SFA tradition.” Jacks’ Charge and related activities have brought new excitement to SFA football games, and the increased involvement and support means a great deal to the student athletes, according to John Branch, assistant athletic director for external affairs. “Our student leaders have done an amazing job of immediately getting our freshmen involved in our football tradition at SFA by creating Jacks’ Charge and encouraging them to decorate axe handles, bring them to the games and cheer on the Lumberjacks from the Purple Haze section. We look forward to these traditions growing, not only surrounding football, but also with our other athletic programs.” –AMY ROQUEMORE

Get Organized: Chaos and disorder often lead to stress. Keeping things organized can help you maintain a calming sense of order. Making a to-do list and crossing off tasks as they are accomplished also can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of a busy day. Eat Right: There is truth in the old saying “you are what you eat.” Without proper nutrients, your body cannot function at its optimal level. When you are stressed, it is tempting to go for junk food; however, good nutrition provides your body with the energy needed to handle all of life’s demands. Get Enough Sleep: The average person needs eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, but many settle for much less and find themselves relying on caffeine to stay alert throughout the day. With adequate rest, we are better able to cope with life’s challenges. And the energy boost from extra sleep helps us fight off illness, as well.

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Sawdust Winter 2012  

Sawdust is the magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University

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