We’re firm believers that college should be about living your best life — not a stressed life! While feeling stressed from time to time is inevitable, there are definitely quite a few actions you can take to manage it. Check out the simple ways we suggest keeping your stress in check.
Take regular “timeouts.”
Life in college feels like it’s always “go, go, go.” It’s fast-paced! That’s why it’s important remembering to take a timeout every now in then. This applies to a few aspects of college life. It might mean spending a night in after a long week of social outings, or even just squeezing in some “me” time during a day of back-to-back classes.
This makes sense while studying, too. (Hallelujah!) Overexerting yourself is a recipe for burnout, and studying for too long at once can actually hinder your performance, causing more stress. In fact, studies even show that taking short breaks while learning will help improve your focus. So, for the sake of keeping stress in check, take timeouts when they’re needed!
Organize your schedule.
A hectic schedule is sure to leave you stressed. While you may not be able to tone down the number of responsibilities you have, you can find ways to better manage them. Keeping an up-to-date planner is probably the most common way to stay on top of a busy schedule. If that’s not your cup of tea, how about going digital and using an app? Keeping your schedule organized might seem like an extra responsibility in itself, but it’ll definitely save you from the stress of forgetting responsibilities and scrambling to complete last-minute tasks.
Find an effective outlet.
Where you channel your stress matters. It’s incredibly helpful having a go-to activity where you can release any tension you’ve accumulated throughout your day. Some people swear by getting in a good sweat session, and that’s no surprise! Exercise is a great way to get those feel-good endorphins flowing. Even five minutes of exercise, according to ADAA.org, can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
If you can’t convince yourself to start exercising regularly (no worries…we’ve been there.), how about finding a creative outlet, instead? Participating in a creative activity, like writing or sketching, is shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. Goodbye, stress!
Take advantage of campus resources.
Did we mention that college life can get overwhelming? That’s why colleges offer an abundance of resources to help you out. You can put a lot of your stressors in check by taking advantage of these. Struggling with a class? Look out for tutoring services on campus. Unsure about your future? Career services can help you out. Falling off track with your major? Make an appointment with Academic Advising. It doesn’t end there, either. Check out our full list of campus resources here.
Get enough sleep.
Is it safe to say everyone loves sleeping? We think so. But then why is it ridiculously common pulling all-nighters in college? As we mentioned (a few times), college life gets crazy. Skipping sleep to catch up on schoolwork or spend a night out with friends might seem like NBD at the time, but it might be contributing to your stress. According to APA.org, adults who sleep less than 8 hours per night are more likely to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and lose patience with others around them.
Look, we’re totally not saying to call it a night at 9 PM and give up your fun plans with your friends. We’re just saying to prioritize sleep a little more often. If you know you’re more of a night owl, you might want to nix those 8 AM lectures from your schedule next semester!
How do you keep stress in check? Share your suggestions in the comments below.