Exams. College. Assignments. The very thought of them might be enough to strike fear into the hearts of the bravest. Now I’m not one of the brave ones and I get…I get really stressed. But I’m not alone in dealing with college stress! So how about we try to find out some ways to deal with the college stress?
Let’s take a look at what stress is, and how it works.
Stress is a feeling we all experience every time we are challenged or overwhelmed. Rather than just a feeling, it is also an innate physical response. So it makes sense that when it’s triggered too often, it could have adverse effects on our mind and body. Our primitive fight or flight response, while being helpful in case of an encounter with an aggressive bear, is not effective when it comes to that assignment that’s due in two hours. Maybe it would be helpful to actively try to find some ways to achieve enough peace to sleep at night.
Spending time with yourself
Stress is closely linked with exhaustion. After a long day, you might want to take some time out and refuel by spending time relaxing. Anything from watching Netflix or K-dramas, taking a bath, washing the dishes, putting on some music, dancing maniacally.
Take a moment to appreciate and treat yourself! Be sure to schedule this time into your timetable.
Filtering social media
Ever felt stressed while scrolling? We unknowingly spend way too much time contemplating our socials. Come to think of it, a lot of things on our feed might be triggering our stress too. Ruthlessly filtering our timeline, and limiting time spent online could help.
A great tip is to only access the apps on our laptops or desktops and delete them from our phones entirely. Out of sight, out of mind!
Set realistic goals
While it may be tempting to list down everything you need to get done and start right away, it’s better to chunk things down. Finishing your task list brings about a productive feeling, and also helps keep stress at bay.
There are many mental and physical benefits of movement. I’m not talking about abs workouts or anything like that. You don’t need to do much to get your blood pumping. Walking, jogging, or dancing (however ungracefully) are great for movement. Exercise releases happy chemicals, ’endorphins’ in our brains that accentuate positive feelings.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Journaling, whenever you feel worried or stressed, can help you figure out what exactly is making you feel this way. It also gets your emotions out on paper and provides a healthy and introspective outlet. It doesn’t even have to be on actual paper; pull out your notes app and get typing! It’s also effective to track your tasks.
Every time you feel something worrying you, maybe an exam or an assignment, just sit down and do something. It could be as small as just opening a document and naming it; at least you don’t have to bug yourself about it and you’re one step closer to finishing the task. This is one way to use logic in the face of worry.
Spend time with friends and remember to have fun! Online and socially distanced, of course. (For now, at least) This can help you unwind and talk your feelings out. It could also be helpful to talk to your friends or family whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. It helps put things into perspective so you don’t feel like the world’s going to end.
Not everyone’s a morning person. This means that everyone has different times of the day where they can be productive, the crack of dawn or the stroke of midnight. So, plan your day the way you want to. That said, it is important to get a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation is prone to increasing your brain’s anticipatory function, which might mean more stress.
These are just some of the ways you can use to consciously be aware of your mental stress levels. Most of all, remember that exams or college are the farthest from the apocalypse. You are definitely more than just your grades, and there are a lot of things out there waiting for you. So take a deep breath, and keep your chin up.
About the Author: Ananya Ananth is a Media and Communication student who writes, dances, and pets cats. Will be found vibing to music and instant coffee at all hours.