Stress Less in the Chaos of College

 

 

Stressful. One word I can safely say sums up many of our lives currently. Although this is supposed to be the best times of our lives, it can also be pretty hectic. No matter how involved you are on campus and in other activities, stress is still stress, and it can get the best of all of us at times. With the end of the semester right around the corner bringing finals, papers and projects, it can be extremely overwhelming. Here are a few tips that have helped me de-stress in the chaos of college.

 

The most important: Find time for yourself –

Note that I did not say take time for yourself, I said find the time. You are probably thinking you don’t need me to tell you to make time for yourself, but you do. We all know that we’re supposed to, but when life gets busy, taking time to do the things you enjoy doing can get put on the backburner. Even if you can only find 20-30 minutes in your day, you are going to feel more refreshed than if you did nothing at all. Do one of the face masks you’ve been wanting to use forever, start reading a new book, go for a quick walk, paint your nails, journal. Whatever you help you to clear your mind, do it!

 

Besides finding time for yourself to relax, here are a few other activities that will give you the clear mind you need to take on the rest of the semester.

 

Exercise –

Getting physical activity is a great way to not only clear your mind, but it also can make you feel happier, increase your energy levels and make you feel more relaxed. A few of my favorite ways to get exercise would be weightlifting, walking at an incline, exercise classes, yoga and running. A lot of people dread exercising, start by finding out what is most enjoyable for you and go from there.

 

Get enough sleep –

We all have heard this at some point I am so tired today, I was up until two last night finishing up my paper and I had to wake up at six. To which the person they’re talking to responds something similar to I know how you feel, I only got three hours of sleep because I got off work late and still had a ton to do when I got home. Sometimes I feel like the amount of sleep people get at night, or should I say the ~least~ amount of sleep people get, is talked up almost like a contest in college. While it’s important to get things done, getting enough sleep at night is essential to reducing stress.

 

Learn to manage your time –

Quit procrastinating! This is way easier said than done, but if you can get the things that might cause stress down the road done ahead of time, you are going to make life a little bit easier for yourself. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to take a break from my phone. A productivity app that has really helped me stay on track is Forest. The app allows you to set a timer to stay off of your phone, and if you don’t use it, you gain credit. With enough time off of your phone, you can gain credit to plant a tree. It’s good for your to-do list and the environment! Another way to manage your time better is to buy a cute planner that you are going to want to write it. I like to start off my week on Sunday by planning out how I am going to spend my time. Keep your planner on you and make sure you are spending your time effectively doing things that need to get done.

 

Listen to music –

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and listening to music is actually proven to reduce stress!

 

Declutter –

When I get overwhelmed at home, it typically happens if I’m surrounded by a mess in my apartment. The best way for me to solve this is to stop what I’m doing and pick up whatever is laying out and finish any cleaning I might have started earlier. Just by putting yourself in a neat environment you’ll be setting yourself up for success in whatever else you have to get done.

 

Spend a night in –

I feel like there is a lot of pressure for college students to go out every weekend, which is fun, but nights in with your friends, or by yourself, watching a movie, having a spa night or just relaxing can be just as much fun! This gives yourself some time to reset and enjoy a stress-free evening.

 

Last but not least: Breathe

This is one of the hardest for me because I am a busy body. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tiny details of life, but it is necessary to take time to breathe and affirm yourself that everything will work out and something that seems like a big deal now, will more than likely not be a big deal in a few weeks.

“The day she let go of the things that were weighing her down, was the day she began to shine the brightest.” – Katrina Mayer

 

For some students, the transition of moving to college can be stressful in itself. Others are juggling activities with school, a job and a social life. No matter where your stress stems from, too much stress is unhealthy. I wish I could say I am a stress-coping queen with these tips, I am not, but I am closer to it than I would be by not doing anything at all. It’s all about finding out what works best for you, and sticking to it!