We can all agree that college is stressful. Sadly, many unhealthy coping mechanisms are developed during the college years, but they don’t have to be. Read on for healthy and effective options for coping with stress as a college student.
Talk to others about the things that stress you out.
Chances are, your friends and classmates feel the same way. Not only is it helpful to vent and get your feelings out in the open, but discussing them with others can open you up to potential suggestions and solutions. You’re likely to find that others not only understand what you’re going through but are willing to be there for you in the future as well.
Take productive breaks.
It’s common to scroll through social media when taking a break from studying or class assignments. But in reality, social media doesn’t have too many benefits–or, at the very least, there are more productive ways to spend the study breaks that can actually help you to reduce stress and tension. Some quick breathing exercises or a brief guided meditation can help you stay calm and refocus before going back to studying. You could also stretch, tidy up your study area, prepare a healthy snack, take a short walk outdoors, or splash some water on your face to refresh your skin and your mind.
Opt for healthy snacks.
As awesome as it is to sit and munch on a bag of chips or a package of cookies, choosing fruits, veggies, and nuts to fuel you instead will have positive effects on your stress levels. If you’re a coffee or energy drink fanatic, try drinking green tea or water some of the time to stay hydrated and avoid excess sugar and caffeine. Staying hydrated and eating healthy can decrease stress and provide your body and brain with the nutrients they need to stay focused and take care of all of your responsibilities. Emotional eating is one way that college students often cope with stress; for more information on this and other mental health topics, check out BetterHelp.
Natural light and fresh air, plus the beauty of nature, can have positive effects on your mood. Spending time outdoors, or even looking at photos of nature, decreases fear, anger, and stress. It also reduces the production of stress hormones as well as lowering muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure! Even spending just a few minutes outside can make a difference in your stress level.
Find your outlet.
Look for a way that you can release tension and stress. For some, this is exercise. For others, it’s being creative by writing or drawing. Your outlet might be meditation, tai chi, yoga, or another activity that incorporates movement with breathwork.
PEMF is the acronym for a procedure called Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy and is also known as Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy. Many users have reported that just a few minutes each day using a PEMF mat has vastly improved their mental health.
Take the time to figure out what type of outlet is most effective for you, and engage in that activity whenever your stress levels are getting out of control. It can be extremely empowering to know that you have an effective outlet to turn to whenever things are becoming a bit too much to handle.
Handling stress as a college student can be difficult, especially when some of the people around you are dealing with their stress in unproductive, unhealthy ways like consuming copious amounts of alcohol. But there are plenty of better options for you to use if you’d like to take control of your stress in a healthy way. Talking to others is one method of getting things off your chest; using your study breaks productively is another way to reduce stress. Choosing healthy snacks, spending time outdoors, and finding an outlet that works for you can all play a part in lowering stress levels as well.
About the Author: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.