Stress is a part of our daily lives. From time constraints, work conflicts, and an overflowing list of to-dos, it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, we don’t realize that, while some stress is expected, we should not allow it to take control of our lives. This includes not only parents and those in the workforce but also students.
College students are under an immense amount of pressure. They are often expected to meet unrealistic expectations and cater to their academic needs above their own mental, physical, and emotional needs.
While many have been able to find a balance, others may still struggle with college and its demands. Here are some ways you can cope with college stress as the end of the semester rapidly approaches.
Manage time effectively
Everything needs to get done. But how you get it done is what makes all the difference. College can be very stressful with all the assignments you have to turn in and the mountain of reading. Remember, work smarter, not harder. We all receive a syllabus at the beginning of the semester; use it wisely.
Plan your assignments with plenty of time. Don’t leave things until the last minute – this will cause more stress in the long run. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you “work better under pressure.” Doing things ahead of time will also leave you prepared for any emergency or curve balls life may throw at you that could impede you from turning in an assignment.
Look, life is not so black and white. Not everything can be work and school. You need to make room for things that bring you joy. Without adequate rest and relaxation, you won’t have the energy to fulfill all your duties, further increasing your stress levels. This is why it is important to practice self-care.
Self-care looks different for everyone, and it could be anything from slathering on a face mask, hanging out with friends, practicing fitness, or watching your favorite show — the list is endless. All that matters is that it transports you to a world away from all your responsibilities. Even if for a little while.
In fact, a study conducted on medical students found that “self-reported engagement in self-care activities is associated with a decrease in the strength of the relationship between perceived stress and quality of life in medical students.” This shows how self-care is vital for your mental health and stress levels.
Be mindful of your health
The bottom line is that we all want to ace our classes. But you cannot expect to do this easily if you do not adequately fuel your body. As a student, eating well is essential to coping with stress. We are not saying that you shouldn’t indulge in your favorite sweets or have a rigorous diet, but what you eat genuinely makes a difference. It was even found that “stress has been associated with poor eating behaviors and diet quality, as well as high body mass index (BMI).”
According to a study, “students who had breakfast on at least five days per week reported a significantly higher GPA than students who had breakfast on three days or fewer.” It was also found that “students who had fast food at least seven times in the past week reported significantly lower current GPAs than students who had eaten fast food less than four times or not at all.”
This shows that what you decide to feed your body will impact your physical health and your mood, energy, and concentration, to name a few. While you may be used to chugging red bulls to survive your all-nighters helps, your body will be on edge and experience stress.
Here’s to reclaiming your life and taking control of your stress!