In college, our stress levels are constantly reaching new heights. With four or five classes, multiple activities and clubs, internships, jobs, and trying to constantly build up our resumes; we have a lot on our plates.
Maybe you feel like you’re handling it, maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s important to have your own set of remedies to prepare you for when a stress spell hits.
Working out is a great way to burn energy that stress creates. When you’re worrying, your body creates negative tension. The best way to get rid of that is to work out.
Go for a run, hop on the elliptical, take a yoga class – just do something. You know what you enjoy, so make time for it. I know it can be difficult to fit the gym into a busy schedule, but you won’t regret doing it.
Spend time with your friends
Any time you’re feeling overloaded with stress, text a friend. They can instantly cheer you up and take away the stress that’s building up.
I do my homework with my friends, and every 30 minutes, we take a 5-minute dance party break. They motivate me to get my work done while also ensuring I stay sane. It’s a win-win.
Make sure you have downtime
I understand that it’s difficult to find downtime when you’re bogged down with seemingly endless amounts of work. Even with piles of homework and hours of meetings, you need to schedule time for yourself.
I schedule an hour every day where I turn my phone off, put my homework away, and watch an episode on Netflix. Once it finishes, I’m refreshed and ready to continue on with my day.
Go to counseling
A lot of people shy away from taking advantage of their campus’s counseling center for various reasons, but they’re mostly misguided. Your school counselors are not paid to judge you; they’re there to listen and help guide your decision-making.
I see a counselor weekly, and I use it as a rant session to let out steam. It makes a huge difference for me.
Visit someplace off-campus
A friend of mine goes to Starbucks every Tuesday to do her homework. She says it helps her because she’s in a place where she’s able to focus on her work and not get distracted. Find your happy place and take advantage of it.
Write out your stress
If you find your mind racing with thoughts of things you need to do, write them down. Make a list, add some side-margins to notes, do whatever it takes to get the thought out of your head. You can revisit these thoughts later and deal with them, but it’ll help you get your mind back on track.
Get enough sleep
It sounds silly to mention this, but sleep really is important. You can’t stay up until 2 in the morning and then wake up for an 8 a.m. You won’t function as well, you’ll be in a haze, and your overall performance throughout the day will suffer. Find time for your homework in between classes or while you eat. You need to prioritize your sleep.
Being stressed is inevitable, but there are ways to minimize it. I have found that by using these tactics, I’m able to get my work done, have a social life, and get sleep. My stress levels are controlled, and I’m much happier because of it.
Heather Ianuale is a sophomore at Muhlenberg College double majoring in accounting and finance. She dreams of becoming an entertainment accountant and plans to achieve this goal by interning at as many different places as possible while in school.