There’s no doubt about it: college is a stressful time! The course work picks up and the teachers expect more from you. And, as if homework wasn’t enough of a struggle, you have to maintain your social life while keeping on top of all of the other things that come with being independent. With all of your new responsibilities, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But stressing yourself out leads to all sorts of health issues like insomnia and increased appetite (Did someone say freshman 15?), just to name a few. Don’t let the stress consume you. Here are some tips to help you handle stress in college:
- Make a checklist of all the things you have to do. After you make the list, you may become overwhelmed just looking at it. But, once you start to tackle things, you’ll feel so good when you start to check things off. Making a checklist and schedule make life so much easier because everything is laid out right before your eyes. And when you’re able to check off everything on your list, you feel that much more empowered and accomplished.
- Take a nap. When you’re too stressed out to function, bad things happen. You can’t do your homework because nothing is making sense anymore. You’re not acting like yourself anymore. You’re lethargic and boring. At this point, you must take a nap to recharge yourself. Trying to push through any assignment or situation while exhausted can be downright painful.
- Make sure you have a quiet space to work. One of the biggest stressors I faced this past year was the overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t getting as much work done as I should have been. And then I realized that doing homework with my friends was the problem. Yes, working on things in groups definitely helps because everyone has something new to bring to the table. But when the people you’re doing homework with aren’t in your major or in your classes, you might just end up goofing off and singing off key to the songs on your friend’s newest playlist. Take a break from the group and get down to business. The more productive you are, the less likely that your work will pile up. Less work= less stress.
- Socialize. Sometimes, the only escape from stress is to be surrounded by people who make you smile. When you do have time and your workload is manageable, schedule in some socializing time. If you spend every waking moment in the library, you will go crazy. If you spend every waking moment with your face crammed in a textbook, you will go crazy.
- Get some exercise. Working out makes you sharper mentally and it just makes you feel good. Hit the gym, listen to some music, and lose yourself in the workout. I find that the most relaxed I feel during the day is when I work out. It really is a great escape from the struggles of the real world and it keeps you in shape.
Stress is unavoidable. But I find that just taking time out to re-focus and re-energize does a great deal for the mind and the body.