When you’re a college student stress can feel like it’s a part
of the package—but there are healthy ways to deal with it. Keeping your stress
at a low, manageable level will ensure you don’t burnout and can even improve
your academic performance.
1. Exercise, eat
well, and get enough sleep
These three activities are a surefire way to lower your
stress. When you’re stressed out you may think that you don’t have time to
exercise or get your 8 hours of sleep, but it’s important to your health that
you take care of yourself. Even a few quick walks outside can make a difference.
2. Identify your
An important part of managing stress is knowing what
triggers stress for you. The causes of stress are different for everyone.
Knowing your stressors, whether it’s public speaking, taking exams, or
something else, can help you to mitigate your stress in the future.
3. Plan ahead
If you know that you have a paper due in one class and a
test in another on the same day, plan ahead. Write the paper early so that you
have time to study before your exam. By planning ahead (as much as possible)
you can avoid stressful situations all together.
4. Don’t multitask
Did you know that multitasking actually causes you to be
less efficient and effective? Multitasking has been shown to increase the
production of cortisol, also know as the “stress hormone”. To avoid stress,
focus on one task, class, or assignment at a time.
5. Think positive
It’s not always easy to stay positive, but it can really
help your stress levels. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts like, “I
didn’t study as much as I should have. I’m going to fail for sure,” try to
think of each situation positively. Instead, think about all of the new material
you’ve learned and remind yourself how hard you’ve been working.
6. Assess your
Sometimes you just can’t do it all, and if you try you can
end up stressed out and underperforming. It’s helpful to evaluate what you need
to do and prioritize. Usually there’s places where you can take a step back so
that you can focus on more important priorities.
7. Dance it out
Ok, so you don’t have to dance if you don’t want to, but you
should let loose and have some fun. Shifting your focus to something you enjoy
for a little while can help you come back to your work with renewed energy. Don’t
worry—you won’t be graded on this one!
If you ever find that your stress is reaching an
unmanageable level, you should seek help.
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