How To Deal With The Stress and Anxiety of College

College has been both the most fun and most stressful experience of my life so far. The pressure of getting perfect grades, maintaining a social life, working a job and taking care of both your physical and mental health can seem overwhelming at times. Sadly, many college students end up putting their mental health at the bottom of their list of priorities. This is unfortunate because poor mental health affects all other facets of life.


I struggle with anxiety and I have found that certain aspects of college have definitely made this worse. However, I have discovered a few tips and tricks that have helped me cope with the stress of college life.


First, talk to someone. I know this may seem simple, but it really works. Keeping your feelings inside and trying to deal with your problems on your own can be detrimental to you. I tend to keep things to myself, but after talking to someone I trust I always feel better. This could be as simple as calling your mom or talking to your roommate or making an appointment with the counseling center to speak to a professional. Sometimes simply hearing your problems vocalized can make them seem less daunting.


Second, create a routine that you go through every time you feel anxious. For me, that is listening to Taylor Swift music; it calms me down and distracts me from whatever I am dealing with. This could be going for a walk, meditating, putting on your favorite episode of Friends, or simply just taking a hot shower. If you find something that calms you, and you do it every time you’re dealing with anxiety, it will bring you back to reality and put things into perspective for you.


Third, get a good night sleep. It has been proven that bad sleep habits can negatively affect one’s anxiety. I know this is extremely hard in college; we pull all-nighters to finish a paper or stay up late with our friends just because we can. But this vicious cycle will never result in an improvement in your anxiety. Unplugging from technology, having an organized living space, and diffusing essential oils are just some of the ways you can improve your sleeping habits.


Finally, just breathe. When your brain is processing a million different thoughts about all the stresses in your life, sometimes simply focusing on your breathing can really help you. When you notice yourself getting overwhelmed, just take a minute to sit down and breathe deeply in and out. This will automatically calm your body and will also focus all your energy on your breathing, distracting yourself from the anxious thoughts in your head.


I know the pressure of college can seem daunting and inescapable sometimes, but hopefully using some of these tips will help you the next time you’re dealing with anxious thoughts.