As a recent college graduate, you can be assured that I have experience in dealing with the stress that comes with it. Between going to classes, keeping up on homework, balancing internships and finding time for friends, the stress can become overwhelming. Throughout my four years of classes at The University of Scranton, these are the 7 ways I have been able to reduce stress in my own life. I hope you find them helpful!
Classes, internships and jobs can leave you cooped up inside all day. The fluorescent lights and lack of fresh air can make you feel confined and uncomfortable. Try finding time to sit outside throughout the day. Doing homework at a picnic table, studying on a bench or just reclining on an open green can refresh your mind and leave you ready for the next task at hand vent to someone you trust.
It can be a close friend, your mom, or even a professor you feel comfortable with. Sometimes getting things out of your mind and into the air can help you feel better about tackling all the things you have to do this week. It might even help you realize that it’s totally doable and you’re stressing out over nothing!
In times of stress we tend to make bad food choices. We turn to caffeine products, sugary sweets, and carb-filled snacks to hold us over until the next meal. Unfortunately, these kinds of foods can you leave you groggy and falling asleep during classes. If hunger hits and you need something quick before class, grab a piece of fruit or string cheese from the POD. These snacks will leave you energized and ready to take on your busy schedule!
This goes along with my previous point. A cup or two of coffee is great in the morning to get you going, but the real secret to staying alert and energized is water. When your body is hydrated, it performs at its best and you will be able to think more clearly. Next time you feel drowned in school work, put down the energy drink can and reach for the water!
Take a fitness class
One of the best ways to reduce stress is taking a fitness class. Exercise release happy hormones in your brain that can let you escape your problems even if it’s just for an hour. Exercise can also help you feel more energized and excited to get back to your work AND it’ll help you sleep at night. So, whether it’s dancing, lifting weights, basketball, or kickboxing, get your butt out there and sweat the stress away!
Get enough sleep
We all hear it, and we all refuse to believe it applies to us, but sleep is SO important. Without sleep you can become irritable and sluggish, leaving you feeling too tired to get anything done. It may seem like a good idea to stay up late and get those extra hours of studying in, but that time would be better spent sleeping. Try to get your 6-8 hours per day and schedule your homework for a better time.
Use a planner
Now you might be thinking, “How am I supposed to exercise, sleep enough, AND get all my school work done?” Well, you’ve asked the right person. I am a firm believer in using an agenda, planner, schedule, or whatever you like. I find writing everything in a planner keeps my to-do’s organized in one place and keeps me accountable for finishing them. Crossing off things as I finished them was a surprisingly awesome feeling that motivated to get my work done!
And there you have it. Those are just seven ways you reduce stress throughout your college experience. Keep your mind and body healthy and get organized. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after trying just a few of these tactics. Good luck and have a great semester!