Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Healthy Ways To Reduce Stress in College

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

College at any stage can be extremely stressful. Whether you’re entering your last year or your first semester, it is always easy to get overwhelmed. For many college students, the pressure to succeed can become far too much leading to increased levels of stress and anxiety. These factors are what lead so many students into alcoholism and drug abuse. Using substances is very common among people with elevated levels of stress, as many times these substances can aid us in forgetting about our responsibilities for a few hours or just help to allow people to loosen up and relax, which is something that every college student needs every once in a while. But, eventually, these habits can become detrimental to the functions of college students, and they may become reliant on these substances as a way to cope with their stress levels. And while a drink or two can be fun from time to time, there are much healthier alternatives to coping with stress in college.

Get Organized

        Mark important dates in your calendars, buy an agenda, set reminders on your phone… Writing down the things you need to do is a much better way of keeping up with them, rather than attempting to remember them off the top of your head. It is natural for us to think that we’ll remember everything, but that is far too unrealistic. As college students there is so much to worry about; making it to class, doing homework on time, passing exams, working, extracurriculars, social lives, relationships and more can all play a part in why college students are so stressed out. There is just so much to remember and keep up with but being organized can be so beneficial in reducing and coping with stress. Create a schedule for yourself, choose what days and hours you can set aside for studying, and mark down important due dates and events to ensure that your days are always manageable. There are many ways to log your day-to-day activities and upcoming events, whether electronically or on paper, having reminders for what’s to come can help to prepare you for the future and avoid panic to later on. By getting organized, you help yourself to not only be more responsible but also put less strain on your mental health in the long run and allow yourself room to breathe and get everything done in enough time.

Form Healthy Habits

          It is important to keep up with your physical and mental health in college. Although this is true at any stage in life, many students often neglect their needs for the sake of making grades and avoiding failure, but this can cause one to enter a vicious cycle that will then lead to burn out and a lack of motivation within themselves. Meditation is a good way to keep yourself balanced through your college career. Meditating for ten to fifteen minutes at the beginning and end of your day can help you to clear your head or organize your thoughts. It’s also a good time to work on your breathing and release any negative energy that you may have been carrying with you. After a long day just go home, light a candle, turn on some relaxing music, close your eyes and take some deep breaths in and out and just completely let go of any baggage that you accumulated throughout the day.

Another healthy and positive way to deal with stress is journaling. Writing down the things that may be troubling you can help you come to terms with them. Journaling is a way to vent privately, in case you don’t want anyone else to know what you are going through, it is a positive and productive way to release any feelings that have been weighing you down.

Your eating habits can also play a huge role in your overall health. Adding more foods that contain vitamin b; like chicken, eggs, and beef, or foods that contain magnesium like; avocados, bananas, and spinach can greatly reduce your amount of stress and anxiety. Avoiding high amounts of caffeine and extremely sugary foods can also aid in reducing stress since consuming high amounts of these things can cause stress. What you put into your body is eventually what you are going to get out of it, so make sure you feed it well. Eating well consistently can have a positive impact on your stress and anxiety level.

Exercising and getting enough sleep greatly contribute to the reduction of stress levels. If your body does not get enough rest at night, you will not be able to operate at your fullest capacity throughout the day, making you more prone to stress that your body will not be prepared to handle. Don’t over-exert yourself, college students are notorious for pulling all-nighters to get an ample amount of time to study but neglecting your sleep can make your brain work at a less effective pace than usual. Finding time to exercise will also help to regulate your hormones and reduce stress levels. By moving your body for as little as fifteen to twenty minutes a day you can help your body get rid of all the stress hormones in your body. Your mind and body work together in making sure you can function optimally, so when talking about stress it is important to remember to treat your body with kindness, respect, and love. Health is wealth.

Lean on your Friends  

When all else feels hopeless and you feel as if the weight of college is becoming too much, lean on the people around you for support. Your friends in college understand what you’re going through better than anyone else so don’t be afraid to tell them about your situation. They may be able to offer advice to help you, or they may even be able to help you with your assignments. The people around you should want the best for you and your health so never feel hesitant to call on them. Everything doesn’t even have to revolve around school or assignments, sometimes all you need to get you through the day is to share a laugh, a meal, a hug, or even just occupy the same space as someone you love. Their energy can give you a much-needed serotonin boost and decrease your level of stress. It is always fun hanging out with friends and sharing a laugh, but it sometimes goes unnoticed how much of a positive effect the people in your life can have on your mood and overall mental health. Use the people around you as an outlet, friends in college are your home away from home, and honestly, they eventually become more like family, they’ll be there to help you get through anything.

Stress is inevitable, but there are ways to make sure that you’re doing what you will to not feel overwhelmed or bombarded by too much stress. Getting organized, eating and sleeping better, meditation, and journaling are just a few ways to deal with stress as a college student. College isn’t easy and your experience is all that you make of it, but by taking the right steps and making the right moves you can greatly enhance your circumstance. Taking care of yourself should be a priority, no matter what. So if you’re ever feeling too stressed out, sit down, take a deep breath and maybe revisit this article for some healthy and positive ways to ease that stress. And remember, never stop practicing self-care. You deserve it.

enjoy <3.