As much as it is fun, college can be extremely stressful sometimes. Based on a 2018 survey of the American College Health Association, around 50% of students suffer from constant stress, while over 85% said they felt ground down with all the workload they were supposed to complete. Below in this article, we will cover the Stress Management Strategies for College Students.
The worst is: stress symptoms only put you down into more stress. Digestion problems, sleep disorder, migraines, and never-ending fatigue may be the signals of stress, such as anxiety and depression. Trying to escape from this feeling, students often turn to alcohol, drugs, or unhealthy food that only aggravates the problem and – exactly – gets into more stress.
Balancing between studying, work responsibilities, family, friends, and other life demands is hard. However, learning some stress management tricks can help you overcome these challenges and return control over your life and emotions. Here’s what you can do:
Stick to a Healthy Diet
The famous saying “we are what we eat” exists for a reason. There are tons of experiments proving that nutrition can influence a person’s behavior, emotions, choices, and even contentment with life. Healthy food brings cheerfulness, clarity of mind, confidence, and a positive attitude. On the other hand, overindulgence with fat and sugar-saturated products leads to health problems, a sense of guilt, disappointment with how you look – and, yes you got it right, more stress.
So once you feel stressed, cleaning your diet is the first step to take. Add more veggies and fruits to your meal plan, eat enough protein and healthy fats, and replace those thousand cups of coffee with plenty of fresh water and sugar-free juices. In no time, you will notice improved health and a boost of energy to go about your college life and fight stress.
Add Physical Activity to Your Routine
Exercising has plenty of benefits. It helps you stay fit and healthy, boosts confidence, stimulates social interaction, and fosters self-pride. Also, it’s the best way to fight stress.
The thing is: behind all the sweating, and panting, and suffering, there’s a huge hormonal work when happy hormones endorphins are released, and the level of the stress hormone – cortisol – is decreased. Endorphins are also natural painkillers; that’s why after good training we feel euphoric satisfaction instead of pain.
It doesn’t really matter what you do: this can be tennis, brisk walk, jogging, yoga, or something else. Just find what you like and make it regular.
When the world is falling apart and all your efforts seem in vain, the best you can do is to take a break. In contrast to what the world translates these days, people can’t be productive and efficient every minute of their life, and taking some time to relax and recharge is crucial for their mental health. So get busy with a hobby, go in the mountains, binge-watch “Friends”, or finally, have enough sleep – do something that helps your let go of the tension and restore energy.
Find Someone to Have Your Back
Whether you’re a bit of a loner or a typical life of the party, having a strong support team is a sure way to have a good college experience and a joyful life. These may be your family, close friends, professors you get along with, or even your odd job pals. Surround yourself with people who like you, who can encourage and support you when you need it, and who you can vent to without being judged or reprimanded.
While college is stressful itself, students often back themselves into a corner by unreasonable choices they make: taking more tasks than they can handle, failing to use time management practices, and ignoring that they are people and they need rest.
Learning the right way of prioritizing the tasks can significantly offload your day and bring more peace and satisfaction into your daily routine. This means learning to distinguish important tasks from those that can wait, delegating what can be delegated, and abandoning what doesn’t have any value to you and your goals.
“If you don’t want to wake up in the morning, perhaps, it’s time to take a day off from your work, skip a few classes to get some sleep, or even order a term paper online. Rather than fall into a deep depression, it’s better to cheat a little”, thinks a sophomore student from MIT.
Alternatively, you can ask your professors and teachers to give you a leg-up here. They might extend the deadlines, help you organize your day properly, or give you a different assignment that suits your goals better.
When you can’t take it easy, meditation can be an option. If you don’t know where to start, try some meditation apps or online videos. There are plenty of lessons for beginners that explain how to position your body and breathe properly. At first, it may be difficult to let go of all the bothering thoughts but as you go on this, you’ll start enjoying these practices. Also, try to add aroma candles and nature sounds as additional methods to relax.
Consider Writing a Journal
Paper can be a good listener, and writing a journal is an excellent way to lower stress and structure your thoughts. In the process, you may come up with original ideas or even realize that your hardships are not as challenging as you think, let alone that it’s a perfect opportunity to boost your writing skills. Some studies even show that venting out on paper strengthens immunity and eases asthma symptoms. Whether it’s true or not, writing is a good distraction from destructive thoughts and it’s worth the shot.
Everyone goes through stressful times every now and then. But right choices, organized daily routine, and a vibrant social life usually help overcome the challenges. However, if the tension doesn’t go anywhere, consider professional therapy or ask your student advisor for help.