Have you ever obsessed over the desire to avoid failure or judgment from others? You could be a perfectionist.  You may have a fear of failure, be highly critical of yourself, and may have unrealistic standards that are difficult to reach. Perfectionists sometimes challenge themselves with being perfect or the best instead of their personal best.  Some studies show that perfectionists actually tend to achieve less and stress more than regular high achievers.  While striving to do one's best can be very healthy, seeking perfection may lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

  • Setting standards that can never be attained
  • Being unsatisfied with anything other than perfection
  • Becoming depressed when faced with failure or disappointment
  • Being preoccupied with fears of failure and disapproval
  • Being intolerant of mistakes and seeing oneself as unworthy
  • Being unable to take respectful criticism
  • Setting standards that are high but within reach
  • Enjoying process as well as outcome
  • Bouncing back from mistakes or failure
  • Accepting anxiety as something to be expected at times
  • Viewing mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning
  • Reacting positively to helpful criticism

 It is common for perfectionists to become paralyzed by their unrealistic expectations, and they begin putting off tasks so that they don't have to face their fears of imperfection. If this sounds familiar, please see these tips for avoiding procrastination.

  • Break your work into small steps
  • Give yourself deadlines
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes
  • Be accountable to someone about your goals
  • Minimize your distractions and time wasters
  • Just get started 

If you need help with perfectionism or procrastination, contact the Health and Wellness Center for information about counseling 479-968-0329.


Relaxation Tips

  • Make time for some fun.
  • Set aside relaxation time. Relaxation time should be included in your daily schedule. During your relaxation time, this should be a time where you take a break from your responsibilities and a way to recharge.
  • Use the relaxation room in the Health and Wellness Center. 
  • Connect with others. Spend time with people who act as a positive influence on your life. By surrounding yourself with a strong support system, it can take away a lot of the stress in your life.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities which make you happy. A lot of people can do this by finding a hobby.
  • Keep your sense of humor, laugh. Studies have shown that people who laugh, live a better life.
  • Drink a relaxing drink at bedtime.

Relaxation Techniques

  • Take a deep breath and count to 10.
  • In addition, take a moment to step back. Some ways to step back from a situation include:
    • Standing up and stretching
    • Taking a short walk
    • Or anything that changes your focus
    • Stop and smell the roses
    • Take the time. Take one part of your day where you can recognize the good things in your life.
    • Sleep on it. Every issue has it's pros and cons. You can list them both, or just think about them. The look at the list tomorrow, you will feel much better.
  • Every cloud has it's silver lining. Find the good things in your stressful situation.
  • Know your limitations
  • It is okay to say no. Don't be afraid to say no
  • Be pro-active in finding peace
  • When you need help, get it.


University of the District of Columbia · Relaxation Exercises Audio: Progressive Relaxation Exercise | Combination Relaxation Exercise 

Relaxation Exercises

  • Click on the button above to go to UDC's relaxation exercises page. There you will find the progressive and relaxation exercise audio files underneath the "Relaxation Exercises" heading. Here are a few tips to get the most out them.
  • Try to practice whichever exercise you prefer at least once or twice a day. Expect your ability to relax to improve as you continue practicing, and expect to practice two or three weeks before you become genuinely proficient. Once you learn how to do one of the exercises, you may no longer require the recorded instructions, and you can tailor the exercise to your own liking.
  • Avoid practicing within an hour before or after a meal (either hunger or feeling full may distract you). Also avoid practicing immediately after engaging in vigorous exercise.
  • Sit quietly and in a comfortable position, with your legs uncrossed and your arms resting at your sides. This is especially important when you are first learning the exercise.
  • Adopt a calm, accepting attitude towards your practice. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing or about possible interruptions. Instead, know that with repetition your ability to relax will grow.
  • When you are ready, close your eyes, begin listening to the recording, and follow the directions. As you complete the exercise, you can expect your mind to wander a bit—when this happens you can simply re-direct your focus back to the recording.
  • Once you’ve finished, stretch, look around and remain still another minute or two.
  • As you become skilled with either of the exercises, try applying them to specific situations that might otherwise be anxiety provoking, such as tests, oral presentations, difficult social situations, job interviews, insomnia, and so forth. If you need help learning or applying the exercises, consider meeting with a counselor.

body stretches