Stress Reduction Tips for College Students
College can be described as a number of things and stressful is definitely one of them. However, just because college is stressful doesn’t mean that college students have to be stressed. According to registered nurse Kimberly Dellafosse, “Not all stress is bad. There are times when stress can be a positive force; motivating you to do well on an exam or during a job interview. However, chronic stress can be unhealthy and can lead to a variety of health conditions.” To reduce your chances of developing chronic stress, Kimberly recommends a few simple stress reducing strategies.
- Exercise—Even quick bursts of exercise can reduce your stress levels. Physiologically, exercise causes your body to release endorphins, your body’s natural feel good neurotransmitters. Exercise has also been proven to improve your mood. And just think, after a fast paced round of basketball, tennis or aerobics, you may find that you’ve forgotten about the day’s stressors in exchange for concentrating on your body’s movements.
- Get enough sleep—Studying for exams and reviewing course materials can literally cause college students to “pull all-nighters”. However, sleep deprivation limits your ability to deal with daily stressors. In addition, when you’re sleep deprived, your mind/body doesn’t get the rest it needs in order to rejuvenate itself. If 8 hours of sleep is not within your grasp, consider taking a few “power naps” throughout the day (as long as they occur when you’re not in class :D). Power naps are periods of sleep that last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes at a time.
- Avoid overscheduling yourself—For example, if 18 hours is too overwhelming, consider a lighter course load of 15 hours. If you are carrying a full load of classes, then participating in multiple extracurricular activities may be too much for your body to handle.
- Take time out to laugh—As simple as this may seem, people often overlook laughter and healthy relationships as treatments for stress. Spending time with friends, colleagues and family members is important to your well-being, and if time with these groups of people includes fun and laughter, then you will find that you don’t feel as stressed.
- Prioritize and plan—Waiting until the last minute to complete a project or to study for a test can cause stress of the highest degree. Set a goal of prioritizing and planning ahead so that you’re studying segments of your coursework in increments as opposed to waiting until the last minute to complete the assignment.
Make these strategies a part of your daily routine, and you will find that your stress levels are manageable and you’ll find that you feel less stressed.