You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed and stressed out while you are in college. Balancing classes, tests, projects, extra-curricular activities and work is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, especially when it seems like exams are perpetually around the corner. Stress relief will not only be better for your overall well being, but for your grades.Feeling less stressed can be dealt with simply, but sometimes you just need help figuring out where to get started. Here are ten things you can do today that will make you less stressed tomorrow.
Sounds simple right? Well it is. But it’s also super effective. This will help calm your mind and you can do it just about anywhere. Try it when you are feeling stressed, getting distracted in class, or when you are feeling really impatient. Try taking breaths that come deep from your abdomen and not just your chest. Take deep and slow breaths; make sure you mindfully pay attention to your breathing.
Take a Break
Have you been in class and studying in the library all day? Stop. The key to stress relief is stop worrying about things out of your control. Don’t push your stressful thoughts out of your mind completely, but you don’t need to think about it all the time. Go outside and take a walk and get a change of scenery. Take a hot bath and relax your mind and your muscles. Taking a break may help you look at your problem in a new way.
College student have enough reasons to be stressed and when your body does not have enough sleep it is much more sensitive to stress. Those late nights and early morning classes are not good for your body. You need a set sleep schedule of at least seven hours in a night. Getting a good amount of sleep will help keep your mind focused, recharged, and energized.
Do you eat a lot of cheap, greasy foods at odd hours of the day and night? It is very likely that if you are like the average college student, your eating habits have become far less healthy since you started. Eating a balanced diet will keep your stress level down, get you healthy, and your waistline down.
Get Some Exercise
I know that your excuse is that you don’t have time. I know, I’m pretty sure we have all used that one before. Just a 30-minute walk while listening to music can be good stress relief and will get you healthier. Exercise releases endorphins, “feel-good” brain chemicals, that protect you against depression, decreases stress hormones, relaxes your muscles, and helps you sleep better.
Make Your Life Easier
For the most part, you control your own schedule and you know what works best for you. If you know you are not a morning person and that you would never show up to a class before 9 a.m., don’t schedule any morning classes. The longer sleep or actually having time for breakfast will give you a better start to your day. Starting your day off by pressing the snooze button repeatedly and then rushing will just be a stressful start, so don’t put yourself in that situation.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, and eating it releases endorphins in your brain that will make you and your brain happy. Even if you don’t like dark chocolate on its own, try dark chocolate covered fruit so you it is not as bitter. So the next time you are feeling stressed or tired, reach for dark chocolate instead of for coffee or an energy drink.
When you know that you have an exam and a big paper due in two weeks, don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Try to plan for delays and unexpected things to get in your way of studying and working on your paper. If you start doing your work as soon as you get it, you will feel a lot less stressed when the test day or due date come around. You don’t want to rush yourself when you are studying, it will just stress you out more than necessary.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
In the grand scheme of things, don’t freak out over things that you have no control over. Sometimes something may seem like it’s the end of the world if it doesn’t go right, but if you think of things in perspective it probably is not that big of a deal. Just breathe and think about the big picture.
Learn How to Say No
Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t know how to say no to people and work just gets more and more piled up. If your friend wants to go out and you have a big exam in the morning or you friend wants to study together, but you study better on your own, don’t be afraid to say no. You need to make the right decisions for yourself. You need to know your limits and relieve stress, not add to it.
- Drinking too much
- Using pills or drugs to relax
- Overeating or under eating
- Withdrawing from friends, family, commitments
- Zoning out for hours in front of computer or TV