Stress is a normal part of life, and no one is immune to it, but being a student, you often find yourself particularly vulnerable to it. Many stressors come with student life — Juggling part-time jobs, financial burden, worrying about assignments, heavy workloads, social pressure, you name it.
How Does Stress Affect College Students?
Dealing with such multiple sources of stress, all at once, can be debilitating for anyone. If you’re not careful enough, stress can have a serious effect on your wellbeing. Burning both ends of the candle and stressing too much for too long can lead to a “burnout” where everything seems bleak, and you feel like you have nothing left to give.
Not to mention the physical symptoms of stress such as insomnia, low energy, loss of motivation, decreased libido, headaches, obesity etc. So, if left unmonitored stress can do more than just tire you out.
6 Effective Ways for Students to Manage Stress
But the good news is that living a more stress-free life is entirely doable. Here are a few options that are relatively easy, effective and relevant to a student’s lifestyle.
- Engage in physical activities
Join a sports club or jog in the park or walk around the campus whenever you have the time. Exercising even once a week is the best way to alleviate stress. The reason why exercise is so effective is that it helps your body produce hormones called endorphins that act as natural relaxants. It not only enables you to blow off steam but keeps you both physically and mentally fit.
- Organize and manage your academic life
Procrastinating your way to a deadline is sure to bring tons of stress. Before you work on methods to alleviate stress, you have first to understand what causes your stress, to begin with. Create a proper daily routine where you dedicate specific time slots to not only your studies but other areas as well such as working out etc. Set daily goals and do your daily work regularly, so it doesn’t pile up to become a problem. Proper time management is also among one of the highly recommended and scientifically proven ways to manage stress.
- Get proper sleep
Sleep is our body’s natural restoration system for both mental and physical exhaustion. Students are notorious for bad sleeping habits. Operating in a sleep-deprived state is sure to put you on a disadvantage. Sleeping is as essential to your body as is eating and breathing. With low quality of sleep, you are less productive, less energetic, find it challenging to learn and are more prone to stress. So develop a consistent sleeping schedule where you get proper 8 hours or more of sleep each day.
- Watch your diet
You can’t put bad fuel in a car and expect it to perform it’s best. Similarly, what we eat can have a direct impact on our performance, mood and stress management. Students are especially neglectful towards what they eat and when they eat. Don’t consume too much junk food, alcohol, nicotine or any other drugs as they can tamper with your body’s natural ability to relax. It might seem obvious, but improving your diet can have a tremendous effect on improving your mental state and helping you stay less stressed.
- Relaxation techniques
Progressive muscle relaxation techniques (PMR) involve tensing the majority of your body muscles and then releasing them and repeating this process until all of your body is relaxed. It is a quick and effective technique to tackle stress instantly. With practice, you can learn to diminish stress from your body within a matter of seconds. You can also try breathing relaxation techniques in which you use calm and deep breaths to ward off any tension in your body. Mindfulness is another easy option. Mindfulness meditation (in which you focus on your breathing and ignore distractions) is another easy yet highly fruitful technique that not only wards off stress but gives you tons of mental advantages as well.
- Treat yourself.
Working non-stop is a sure recipe for stress. Once or twice a week take some time out and spend it enjoying things such as socializing with your friends, going out to eat your favourite meal or even watching a movie. Also, whenever you find free time during the day, watch funny videos online or listen to music as it too has several psychological benefits that can brighten your mood and relieve built-up stress.
Stress is a common occurrence in student life, and even the brightest students experience it from time to time. But it can be surprising how easy it is to reduce stress by implementing certain positive behaviours into your lifestyle. So analyze your life, detect and correct your major stressors, get a healthy routine and find ways to be easy on yourself so you can diminish stress and make your student life much better.