Figuring out what situations might cause stress is only half the battle for college students. Fortunately, there are several tricks you can use to help you avoid getting stressed out, reduce how much stress you feel, and improve your ability to cope with and ultimately eliminate stress.
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting both quality sleep and enough sleep offers a variety of health benefits, including reducing stress and improving your mood. What’s more, students who sleep well are less likely to get sick, have better memory recall, and enjoy a clearer mind.
- Eat Well
Make an effort to eat nutritious meals and avoid eating on the run so you can avoid indigestion. You may also look for foods that are known to combat stress and boost your mood.
- Exercise Regularly
In addition to keeping your body healthy, regular exercise releases endorphins and improves your overall cognitive abilities. Exercise can even help you fall asleep, thereby reducing stress. Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous — yoga, short walks, and stretching can all lead to immense mental health benefits and help relieve tension.
- Don’t Rely on Stimulants
Drinking coffee and energy drinks to fuel your late-night study sessions will inevitably lead to a crash later on. These stimulants boost cortisol levels in the body, increasing the physical effects of stress.
- Set Realistic Expectations
Consistently having too much on your plate can lead to a lot of stress. Try to manage your workload by setting realistic expectations and picking a class schedule that gives you plenty of time to study and relax.
Communication with professors is key — if you’re swamped with work, you might be able to get an extension on an assignment by simply asking and explaining your situation.
- Avoid Procrastinating
Procrastination might feel good in the moment, but it often leads to stress. By managing your time wisely, you can avoid spending all night catching up on coursework. Additionally, habitual procrastination may be a sign of ADHD or anxiety.
- Identify a Stress Outlet
Stress can never be completely avoided; however, finding a healthy way to reduce stress can go a long way toward keeping it from overwhelming you. Common stress outlets include exercise, spending time with friends and family, and getting massages.
You can also try relaxation techniques such as deep abdominal breathing, concentrating on a soothing word (like “peace” or “calm”), doing yoga or tai chi, and visualizing tranquil scenes.