4 Tips for Stress Relief in the Avalanche that is College
It’s so easy to get caught up in school and forget about what’s most important in life, which is keeping your body and soul happy and healthy. School is important too, but it shouldn’t rule your life to the point of running down your body and mind. Here are 4 helpful (hopefully) tips for decreasing your college stress levels.
Get enough sleep when possible
Of course those all nighters will happen and it’s unrealistic to suggest you can avoid them all together. Maybe you have a huge exam the next day or you have a big project due that you haven’t finished. These things will happen and sometimes you need to sacrifice a little sleep to ensure a good grade. However, don’t make it a habit. Some assignments CAN wait and you should let them wait. If you run down your body too hard, you’re going to find it even harder to get those assignments done because your brain literally will not function properly without rest. Maybe it’s not just an assignment keeping you up, maybe you’ve been at school all day and you just want to stay up, watch Netflix, and let go. That’s okay sometimes, but listen to your body when it tells you it’s had enough. Also, don’t be afraid to embrace daytime naps, perhaps in between studying.
I know this is another typical “stress killer” tip, but it is really important to make sure you eat regularly and of course make good food choices. Too many times during the semester I find myself starving all day and then getting home late feeling ravenous so I end up eating a lot all at once. This is a problem for several reasons. Letting your body go unnourished throughout the day puts it under a lot of stress because your body is running out of fuel. Furthermore, eating a lot of food at once, especially a heavy meal, is hard on your body as well because it can shock your body and raise your blood pressure. Eating a lot of food late at night contributes to weight gain and sleep disturbance, making this habit even more of a problem for stressed out students.
Do things that aren’t school
It is important to have outlets that can take your mind off your school stress and remind you that there are still great things in life. It’s wonderful if you can find a way to exercise that you can at least enjoy a little bit. Exercise is great for stress relief because it makes your body happier. When your body feels healthier, so will your mind. Exercise also creates endorphins and will help you sleep more deeply. Also important is not forgetting to keep up with the hobbies you are passionate about. Sure you won’t have nearly as much time for them as you did before college, but throwing them out completely will crush your spirit and you may start to lose your motivation in life. Another great outlet is keeping up your social life. Even if sometimes that just means studying together, having someone to vent with can be so therapeutic.
Throw away the guilt
We’ve all been there. You tell yourself you’re really going to study this time, you get out your book, and then you find yourself doing everything but studying. Give yourself a break, don’t feel bad. Sometimes this means that you are overloading yourself and you just need to do something else right now and that’s okay. If you feel guilty whenever you try to do something that’s not school then my suggestion would be to get more organized. Make yourself a schedule that designates a specific study time and a specific you time. Why is it okay to give yourself time to relax and have fun? Because your happiness is more important than getting an A in Introductory Physics.