Everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time with all the tasks they have on their to-do list. Stress is normal, but when stress is never treated, it can begin to affect relationships, performance in school, physical, and mental health. For college students, being in a new place, adjusting to new classes, workloads, and peers can heighten stress. To avoid having stress severely affect your emotional, physical, behavioral, or cognitive health, learn how to cope with and manage your stress.
Sleep is crucial for everyone, but especially students who need time to process information and keep their memory functioning at full capacity. Sleep deprivation can heighten your stress levels and make you feel worse. Make sleep a priority by doing homework earlier in the day, if possible. Set goals for yourself and aim to have your homework completed by midnight each night to allow you more time to rest.
Many colleges and universities have a gym with free access for students. This is a great amenity that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Take time each week to visit the gym or to attend a fitness class. Exercising will help you relieve stress and feel more motivated to complete your work. Plus exercising is also beneficial for physical health.
In college, it can be difficult to plan, shop, and cook for yourself. Buying healthy ingredients comes at a cost that not everyone is willing to pay. However, a well balanced, nutritious diet can help you maintain energy levels which can help you perform better in your classes and refrain from feeling stressed. While it’s okay to splurge on a pizza now and then, living off of junk food will make you feel more sluggish and stressed.
When you’ve got a long to-do list, you might feel as though you are being irresponsible when you take time to socialize. While you should make your classes a priority, it’s also important to interact with others. Taking time to socialize with others, whether it’s a nice conversation, meeting up for dinner, or attending an event together, socializing can help reduce stress.
College can be an adjustment. When you feel stressed with your workload, roommates, or classes, it can feel therapeutic to express your feelings to a trusted friend or family member and receive advice. If your stress is debilitating, you should meet with a counselor. As a student, your health center may have counselors there you can meet with and talk to for additional emotional support.
Staying organized is an easy way to reduce stress. Tasks can seem overwhelming when they are scattered, so having a planner or making use of your phone calendar can be beneficial. Making notes of what assignments you need to work on and when they are due can help you visualize what needs to be a priority. You can also increase your organization by keeping your workstations clean and knowing where you can find the tools you need to complete your assignments.
Stress in college is normal, but it shouldn’t become a habit. By prioritizing your health, making time for socializing, and staying organized, you may begin to feel more relaxed and ready to take on the challenges of college life.