School got you stressed? We’re here to help! Check out these four most important stress relievers for students.
Saying college students are stressed is like pointing out the sky is blue…
There’s a report from The Jed Foundation that says half of all students say they’re always stressed and a third say they’re stressed and don’t know how to fix it1. It probably doesn’t help that more college students are taking on extra responsibilities outside the classroom. Florida International University says students spend 12 hours a week in class, but 35 hours a week working and 48 hours a week studying2!
That’s a lot of pressure, and college students need to find better ways to cope. Here are four great tips to help kick stress to the curb:
You’re in a rut – school, work, home responsibilities, repeat. If you have any free time you’re probably trying to catch up with friends or catch up on sleep! The Guardian says more students need to make time for regular, weekly exercise3. Getting off the couch and working out produces chemicals called endorphins. They cut back on stress and make you feel calm and happy. It doesn’t take much either…a 30-minute walk once a day can be a great stress buster. And how about yoga? Everyday Health says it’s great for your mind and can help with muscle strength and balance4.
Just Say No
College students have crazy schedules. You’re trying to balance school work, work-work and having a social life! If you’re trying to keep everybody happy, you might end up hurting yourself. Campus Calm says more college students need to learn to say no5. Do your friends want to go out but you have a paper to write? It’s ok to tell them you can’t because you have a ton of homework. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it means you’re setting yourself up for success by making sure you get stuff done before you go have fun. That kind of focus can be a great stress reliever.
Manage Your Time
Campus Calm also says 66 percent of college students put things off til the last minute6. Procrastination is not the way to cut back on stress. Instead of putting off your work, why not tackle it in a new way? Time management is all about balancing what you have to do with finding the best way to do it. First, make sure you take plenty of breaks…it actually helps you get more done if you give your brain a breather. For every 45 minutes of work you do, give yourself 15 minutes to watch tv, take a walk or talk to a friend. You know how hard it is to be productive when you’re just not feeling it? Try to do your work when you’re most energized and focused. It’ll help you finish what you’ve got to do faster and with less stress.
Give Yourself an Attitude Adjustment
It’s way easier to feel good about what you’re doing if you have the right attitude. The University Health Center at the University of Georgia says use more positive self-talk…just don’t do it in public (people might look at you funny). If you’ve ever psyched yourself up in your head before a big event or meeting, you already know how! It can help reduce stress by putting things into perspective7. Like instead of saying you’ll never finish your term paper and you’re probably going to fail the class, tell yourself you’ve got this, and commit yourself to a deadline for finishing the assignment. In many ways, you and your thoughts can be the greatest source of stress in your life.
Knowing you can help reduce your own stress is a big stress reliever! Use these techniques to help keep everything in perspective.
1 “Students Who Feel Emotionally Unprepared for College More Likely to Report Poor Academic Performance and Negative College Experience,” The Jed Foundation. October 7, 2015. https://www.jedfoundation.org/press-room/press-releases/first-year-college-experience-release
2 “Surveys show increase in stress among college students,” FIU News. April 7, 2015. https://news.fiu.edu/2015/04/surveys-show-increase-in-stress-among-college-students/86911
3 “Students: 10 ways to beat stress,” The Guardian. November 6, 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/nov/06/students-ten-ways-to-beat-stress
4 “11 Unexpected Health-Promoting Benefits of Yoga,” Everyday Health. February 11, 2015. http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/10-surprising-health-perks-of-yoga.aspx
5 “5 Time Management Tips to Calm College Student Stress,” Campus Calm. January 2015. http://www.campuscalm.com/time_management.html
6 “National College Health Assessment Spring 2007,” The American College Health Association. March 2008. http://www.acha-ncha.org/docs/JACH%20March%202008%20SP%2007%20Ref%20Grp.pdf
7 “Managing Stress: A Guide for College Students,” University Health Center. April 2014. https://www.uhs.uga.edu/stress/attitude.html