Student life can be stressful. From heavy assignment workloads to extra-curricular activities and the pressure of achieving your academic goals, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all these demands. In some cases, students have experienced burnout and even dropped out of college due to overwhelming stress.
However, you don't have to be a victim. Good stress management practices can help you stay focused on your tasks, get better grades, and even improve relationships with family and friends.
If you're looking for ways to manage stress proactively, this blog post will show you 10 stress management tips for students to help keep burnout away.
How to manage stress in college?
Effectively managing stress helps you care for your mental health and well-being.
What are the 5 stress management techniques?
The most effective stress management techniques include exercise, relaxation methods like yoga and meditation, journaling, talking to someone, and time management. Different people find different techniques helpful, so it’s important to find what works best for you.
What are the 4 As of stress management?
The 4 As of stress management are:
Awareness is about being aware of the things that are causing stress. Avoidance is about avoiding or eliminating sources of stress. Alteration is changing the way you respond to stressful situations. Adaptation is making lifestyle changes to help you cope with stressors.
Here are some of the best stress management strategies to help you maintain your mental sanity in college.
Prioritize tasks and set realistic goals
One of the best ways to manage stress is by prioritizing your tasks and goals. Trying to do everything at once is a recipe for disaster.
When you have a lot on your plate, note down everything you need to do, then prioritize the list from most important to least important. Once you've done that, you can start setting goals for yourself. But be realistic—if you set goals that are too high, you'll only feel more stressed.
Get adequate sleep daily
Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing stress. You can think clearly and handle stressful situations better when you're well-rested. Therefore, prioritize getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, even if it means cutting back on social activities.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try to establish a bedtime routine. Some best practices include disconnecting from screens like phones and computers an hour before bedtime.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It’s not only good for your physical health but also your mental health. Exercise also helps to improve your mood and gives you more energy to face the day.
Even if you don't have time for a full workout, try to fit in some form of exercise every day. For instance, you can take a walk around campus, do some yoga in your dorm room, or go for an outdoor run. You'll be surprised at how much better you feel after just a few minutes of physical activity.
Eat healthy food
What you eat greatly affects how you feel mentally and physically. When stressed, it's easy to turn to unhealthy eating habits like junk food or alcohol. But these substances will only make you feel worse in the long run.
Instead, fuel your body with healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Eating nutritious foods will help improve your mood and give you the energy to power through your day.
Listen to music or watch a movie
Sometimes, the best way to manage stress is to take a break from everything and relax. Make it a habit to spare time to relax and recharge after a long day.
One of the best ways to unwind after a long day is to listen to your favorite music or watch an interesting movie. Put on some calming music or curl up with a good movie in your room. You can watch a movie alone or invite your roommate to join you. This will take your mind off the stress and allow you to relax.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone you trust can also be a huge help if you're feeling stressed. Talk about your feelings with a friend, family member, counselor, therapist, or anyone you trust. Getting your thoughts and feelings off your chest can help you feel better.
These people can help you work through your feelings and figure out a plan to deal with them. Sometimes, knowing that someone cares about what you're going through can make all the difference.
Spend time with friends or family
Spending time with loved ones is a great way to relax and forget about stressors. Whether you're going out for coffee, taking a walk in the park, or just sitting and chatting at home.
Spending quality time with those who care about you can help improve your mental state. Have fun together and talk about the things that make you happy.
Even if you can't spend hours with your friends or family, try to schedule some quality time whenever possible. This will help you offload stress from school and make you feel energized when you return to school work.
Take regular breaks throughout the day
When you're constantly going from one task to the next without taking breaks, it's easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.
To avoid this, schedule regular breaks throughout the day to relax and rejuvenate. Step away from your essay or studies for a few minutes every couple of hours to clear your head and relax.
During the breaks, you can do something you like (e.g., reading, listening to music, or sneaking into social media). Regular breaks will help you stay refreshed and avoid stress as you handle your schoolwork.
Celebrate small successes
It's important to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may be. When you're constantly being bogged down by stress, it's easy to forget all the good things that are happening in your life.
However, when you take time to acknowledge even the smallest successes, it can boost your confidence and help you manage stress better. So, next time you ace that test or get a good grade on an assignment, take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
Keep a journal
Finally, keeping a journal is among the most effective stress management tips for students. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, have a journal to vent your frustrations and worries.
Journaling can be an alternative outlet to get everything off your chest. It also allows you to step back and see your problems from a different perspective—which can be helpful when finding solutions.
Additionally, journaling is a great way to track your progress and see how far you've come. So, grab a pen and paper (or open up a Word doc) and start spilling your guts!
What are the 5 most stressors for college students?
College students experience stress due to various reasons. Before implementing the stress management tips discussed, it may be best to find out the root cause of your stress first.
Here are the main factors that make students experience stress in college.
Heavy workload and short deadlines
The workload in college can be intense and often comes with tight deadlines. This can create a lot of stress as students juggle between attending classes and trying to complete assignments on time.
Academic demands and pressure
The academic demands placed on college students can also cause stress. While professors are constantly pushing them to perform, family members also have high expectations. Handling this pressure can get overwhelming and stressful.
Studying away from home
For many college students, studying away from home can be an isolating experience that leads to stress. This is especially true for international students who can’t often travel to see their family.
Financial challenges like student loan debt or lack of enough financial resources can cause significant stress to students. Students who survive on financial aid may feel stressed if they can’t meet some of their needs in college.
College is an opportunity for people to form meaningful relationships. However, when these relationships go sour, they can cause stress to students and affect their studies. Student conflicts, such as disagreements with classmates or disputes between roommates, can also lead to increased stress levels.
Stress is an unavoidable part of college life. Though it can get hectic and burdensome, you don’t have to bear intense stress and suffer from burnout. With the stress management tips for students discussed, you can take the necessary measures to protect your mental health and well-being.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing stress. What works for others may not work for you. So, it’s important to experiment and develop an individualized plan that’s best for you.
Most importantly, feel free to reach out if something feels overwhelming— there’s always someone ready to help!
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Last edit at Jul 27 2023