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How To Cope With College Student Stress

How to Cope With College Student Stress

There are always some forms of stress that affect everyone during all phases of life. Yet, young people ready to move to college are most vulnerable to the effects of stress. Following a period of relaxed childhood where keeping pace with school was quite easy and you had your parents to support you both in terms of financial and emotional needs, suddenly, you are on your own most likely away from the comforts of home and you are flummoxed.

Being out of the jurisdiction of adults, you could feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Stress is a result of tension levels exceeding energy levels. So, if tension is high and energy is low, then it results in a state of a feeling of being overwhelmed, of depression and anxiety. Here are a few tips on how to cope with college student stress:

How to cope with college student stress

Get ample sleep – It is easy to get carried away with socializing and partying and sleeping at 4 AM and then getting ready for class at 8 AM. This should be an absolute no-no. Reduced sleep has an immediate effect on your energy levels and you will not be in a good condition to take in the challenges of college work.

Insufficient sleep has the potential to cause other health-related disorders like depression, obesity, and diabetes. You need about 7-8 hours of sleep every night to lead a healthy life and manage to handle all stresses of life. It is also important to align your sleep pattern with your biological clock. It is quite imprudent to stay up till 4 AM and then sleep till 12 noon. This is not a healthy pattern at all. Go to sleep before midnight and wake up by around 6 or 7 AM in the morning.

Get good nourishment – Follow a healthy diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. Avoid too much of pizzas and other fast foods and junk foods as these kinds of foods lower your energy levels and hence lower your ability to manage stress well. Eat regularly and do not wait to feel so ravenous that you fill your stomach with short-term comfort foods that are rich in sugars and salts. You will get into a wretched food cycle and getting out of this unpleasant cycle will add to your stress levels. Enhance intake of good foods and avoid junk and fast foods as much as possible.

Exercise well – Even if you are not into too much of sports, ensure you get at least half an hour of some physical activity every day. The daily physical activity could be in the form of a brisk walk, a slow jog, a comfortable combination of the two, swimming or yoga, or anything else that you enjoy. Physical exercise has the potential to reduce stress considerably.

Get emotional support – Getting used to a new circle of friends and lots more of study and coursework can get very difficult to cope with and having a trusted ally with whom you can release some bit of the pent-up frustrations can help you a lot. Remember, a lot of your classmates would also be going through the same stress and difficulties that you are going through. Do reach out to someone trustworthy and have a strong set of shoulders to cry on occasionally. If you believe you cannot trust anyone in your social circle, reach out to a professional counselor. Your college would definitely have a couple on board.

Avoid artificial energy boosters – Avoid artificial stimulants that falsely promise you immediate energy boosts. Artificial energy boosters to avoid include caffeine pills and/or prescription drugs that promise to keep you awake at night. While they may work initially, they will result in an energy crash and this, in turn, will reduce your stress-handling capability. Someone, very cleverly, compared the intake of artificial energy boosters to the act of cutting off the fire alarm when your house is actually on fire. Cutting off the alarm does not stop your house from burning down. You will have to find the means to stop the fire, not cut off the alarm!

Do not overload yourself – While it is good to work hard, know when you are crossing limits and overloading yourself. You must remember juggling college, work, and extra-curricular activities can be a lot to handle. You could unwittingly have taken on more than your capacity. Do not hesitate to cut down on some coursework or drop a subject when you realize that you are feeling overworked. Remember your parents may not always be around to see the effect of your overwork on your health. It is up to you to take care of yourself on your own.

Take rest breaks regularly – Depending on your convenience and time availability, ensure you take regular breaks away from study and work and extra-curricular activities. Take a day off; follow your passion; take a fishing trip; pursue a hobby or passion. Do anything else other than your college-related activities during that break. You will definitely feel a reduction in stress levels and you will feel energized to get back to the grind after such wonderful breaks.

Do not treat alcohol- and drug-laced parties as relaxation techniques – These kinds of socializing techniques only help you with a false sense of buzz and once this buzz subsides, the unresolved stress will come with added intensity not to mention along with the nasty side-effects of drugs and alcohol. Watch yourself on the alcohol front. If you feel you are getting alcohol-dependent, please do not hesitate to approach a professional about this problem. You don't want to waste your college years, do you?

Final thoughts

College students are always batting with stress. It is quite common. However, with prudent planning and some bit of help from friends and professionals, it is not very difficult to manage and cope with stress.

We at Prescott Papers are here to help you with custom papers, homework, and more. This will help you manage your time well and also lower your stress levels.

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