10 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Stress Levels in College
Managing coursework, a social life, jobs, and more can be tough, and many students experience stress and anxiety throughout their time in college. Here are some ways to help mitigate these feelings:
Get enough sleep.
While eight hours of sleep is recommended, the average college student receives a fraction of that. More sleep leads to better productivity, an improvement in mood and less stress, and numerous physical health benefits.
Practice self care.
FaceTime a friend or family member, watch a movie, listen to music, play with your pets, or create something artistic. Taking time for yourself is so important, so be sure to save time to do what makes you happy and take care of your wellbeing.
Meditate and monitor your breathing.
Use a planner and break up your homework workload.
If you have a big project coming up, do a little bit of work on it each day leading up to the due date so you don’t need to rush to complete it last minute. When your professor assigns a project or task, write it down. You’ll always be prepared for class and on top of your workload, and planners can be fun to write in and decorate as well!
Therapy can be a very effective way to talk out problems and receive advice, and there are many options for in-person and online help. Therapists are available with and without insurance and will often work with patients out-of-network. Colleges usually have therapists on campus as well for students to see, and they may refer you to a recommended therapist.
Communicate with your professors.
If you’re overwhelmed, let your instructor and academic advisor know; they’re there to help you and want you to succeed. If you have anxiety or another disability, let them know so they can work with you, and they’re often understanding and flexible with academic adaptations.
Balance your classes.
If you know you need a day off each week to catch up on work, schedule classes around that. If you need more time to sleep in, consider taking later classes as opposed to early morning ones. Taking a few classes per day instead of a full day’s worth can be beneficial as well, but everyone is different and what works for you may not work for someone else. If you work a job or jobs, letting your professors know can be beneficial as well, as they will have a better understanding of your background and schedule outside of class.
Whether you have a free hour or five minutes, yoga is a great way to move your body and find peace, and it can require no or minimal equipment. There are many YouTube videos that teach the basics (Yoga with Adriene and Blogilates are my favorites) and many colleges also offer yoga classes at little or no cost.
Having a journal to keep track of your thoughts and emotions and what happened throughout your day can be very beneficial. Journaling allows you to release your feelings and you can go back and see how you felt at a particular time, which can help you better understand the root causes of your stress and what solutions you can put into place to reduce your stress levels.
Create a comfortable environment.
Light a good smelling candle (or essential oil diffuser, if you’re in a dorm. Lavender is a great stress reliever!), clean your room, and add plants if you can. The use of the color green can be calming as well (or looking at photos of greenery), and create a space that feels open with copious amounts of sunlight. If you have a small space, adding mirrors allows it to feel more open as well.
Niche ambassador Marlon gives his take on how to ease anxiety
in a demanding college environment.
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