While many people consider their years in college as the best time of their life, many would also say that it is the most difficult. There is no contradiction here, as college can be both. It is the time when young people find lifelong friends, prepare for a future career, and develop independence and knowledge of the outside world. But it is also a time of attending endless classes, studying for tons of exams, and writing countless papers. In short, being in school can be an extremely stressful experience.
So how do you deal with stress? What can you do to maximize your happiness and minimize your stress levels? In this post, we look at some of the ways you can deal with stress in college and improve your quality of life.
Why Is Stress Bad For You?
Some forms of stress can be good for you. Jogging for a mile or two, for instance, is a form of physical stress. But it brings a lot of health benefits. Practicing a difficult piano piece is also a form of stress. But it enhances talent. Even writing a college essay is good exercise for your brain. Mild levels of stress sharpen the senses, heighten alertness, promote quick learning, and improve skill and performance.
But when it becomes too much to handle, it can negatively affect your overall health. For one, stress is associated with an increased risk for various health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It has also been associated with a multitude of non-specific symptoms such as headaches and migraines, insomnia, fatigue, lowered immunity, anxiety, and depression.
Because of its effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health, stress can eventually cause you to become less effective. It can cause you to lose precious sleep, interfere with your concentration, and prevent you from accomplishing your tasks. In short, too much of this is definitely detrimental to your academic performance.
Tips for Managing Stress
Although studying in college can be a demanding experience, this does not mean you are completely powerless. There are ways for you to manage stress, which in turn helps you perform better in school. The tips below can help you bring down stress to tolerable levels.
1. Improve your time management
Many are hesitant to admit it, but it is true that one of the common causes of stress is poor time management. Students tend to procrastinate so much that by the time they get to working on their projects, they have far too little time to produce excellent work. Always take advantage of the time professors give. Do not wait until it is almost the deadline before starting. You will save a lot of trouble by managing your time well.
2. Prioritize your tasks
Observing good time management is just one side of the coin; the other is learning how to prioritize your tasks. The sense of paralysis often comes from realizing that you have a lot of work to do. But if you know which tasks require your attention now and which tasks you can put off for later, your mind will feel less cluttered and therefore less pressured. The sense of order you get from organizing your workflow and schedule will relieve you of significant amounts of stress.
3. Eat a nutritious balanced diet
Hectic schedules often result in poor eating habits. Some students resort to eating healthy food while others are forced to skip meals. But food is your body’s fuel, and like a machine, the body needs quality fuel to operate. Eating unhealthy food will fill you up, but it will not give you the nutrients that you need to cope with the demands of studying. Consume fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meat to ensure that you meet your dietary requirements.
4. Exercise regularly
Most people hate exercising. Who wants to wake up early just to jog around the campus? Just thinking about it can make you feel tired, but trust us when we tell you that there are great benefits once you get the hang of it. Regular physical exercise not only improves health and builds endurance, but it also promotes positive emotions. Physical exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are hormones associated with feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
5. Reward yourself with breaks
No one ever succeeded in managing stress by taking on more pressure. Like everyone else, you need a break once in a while. Do not feel guilty about taking some time off for much-needed rest and relaxation. Go see a movie, get a massage, do some shopping, and treat yourself to a nice meal. The time you spend freeing yourself from the pressures of college life is time well-spent. Do this reasonably and regularly and you will soon enjoy the rhythm of working hard and giving yourself a reward in between spikes in productivity.
Spending quality time with friends and family can be an uplifting experience. Being with loved ones gives you the opportunity to bond, lend each other emotional support, and participate in entertaining activities. It could be a simple dinner, a night of board games, or even a group study session. When you are surrounded by friends and family, the pressures of academic life temporarily fade away, leaving you feeling lighter and refreshed.
7. Get professional help
Academic loads are increasing every year, and students are simply no longer able to keep up. If you find yourself doing everything you can to ease the stress, but you still feel overwhelmed, it just means that it is time for you to enlist the help of professionals. For instance, there are writing firms from which you can buy custom essay papers. These firms specialize in assisting students like you. By taking some of the burden off your shoulders, they help you save time and energy, which you could use for what matters most to you.
The years you spend in college will be among the most formative yet also most exacting periods in your life. Anyone who has been through college can attest to the importance of this stage. As a student, you want to make the most of this time without sacrificing your health. If you are facing a lot of stress, follow these tips to improve your situation. Sometimes, it is the little things that can make the biggest difference.