How To Reduce Stress In College
Have a “me” day (or night) at least once a week
In our busy school schedules, we often neglect ourselves. No matter how busy you may be, it’s extremely important to take care of yourself. Set a weekly spa night or have an afternoon set aside for yourself to do whatever you want. No errands, no cleaning and no work. Once I dedicated an entire evening to myself, I realized that my mental, spiritual and physical health improved. The effects of this “me” night lasted for the rest of the week! To reduce stress I take a nice bath and have a good night’s sleep, which makes me feel relaxed the next day. I paint my nails and exfoliate my face with a deep clay mask, which makes me feel refreshed and ready to tackle anything coming my way. I also watch some funny comedy or scroll through my Tumblr feed, which makes me giggle through out the rest of the week when I remember that funny video or meme. If you neglect your physical and mental well-being, you won’t be able to perform to your fullest potential in other aspects of your life.
Surround yourself with encouragement and positivity
It’s difficult to remain positive and upbeat when there’s energy in your life that’s constantly dragging you down. It’s important to make sure your close group of friends are encouraging and positive. There is a saying that your friends are a reflection of you and that is true. Even if you’re naturally a positive and stress free individual, if the company you surround yourself with thrives on drama and negativity, you will inevitably be effected. Have that friend who always boosts your self-confidence with their words of encouragement and that one friend that makes you laugh whenever you see them. Appreciate them and keep them close. Their company can improve your mental health in more ways than you think!
Get out of your funk
Even when we’re busy and have a million things going on in our lives, most of us turn into hibernating bears. We sleep all day and stay up all night on Netflix. We push our responsibilities away and somehow end up feeling more down, even though that was exactly what we were avoiding. We’ve all been there. Keep in mind that this “funk” is different than having a scheduled “me” time. The “me” time is relaxation and the “funk” is procrastination and oversleeping. This behavior actually makes you more lazy and tired, even if you’re already getting 10 hours of sleep! Sleep earlier, wake up earlier, take a shower and start your day! Being productive (even if you’ve been super busy all week) will increase your energy levels. You’ll feel happier when you’re out than when you’re in your dungeon of a room, under the covers.
There’s nothing worse than missing meetings, losing important things and overall being a hot mess. Take one hour, right now maybe, to plan everything out, clean around your work space and have a set place where you’ll always have your keys and phone. This will reduce stress and make your week go by smoothly since you won’t be flipping your apartment upside down to find your keys and you won’t miss your bus trying to find your favorite shirt. Also, by planning your week in a pretty agenda, complete with color coding tabs, you’ll be more excited to face your schedule! That calculus exam? Well now you know it’s not for another 3 weeks. You can plan your time accordingly and that flexibility you gain after organizing your time will make you feel like a boss.
Dream about the future
When I’ve spent hours studying for my exams and begin to feel discouraged, I often try to remind myself why I’m doing all of this in the first place. I Pinterest nice houses, cars and home decor (don’t judge me). This reminds me why I’m studying so hard, to build my awesome future. It only takes me less than five minutes and keeps me going.
While having something to look forward to definitely focuses you on your goals, living in the now and making the best out of your current situation directly effects your present happiness. You’ll never be as young as you are now. Deadlines, bills and responsibilities aside, don’t forget to have fun! Don’t let reality harden you. If you feel overwhelmed, instead of falling into a funk (#3), call up one of your buddies and cross something off your bucket list! That concert you wanted to go to? Go to it. That new food joint everyone’s been raving about? Check it out. Even if that means putting your responsibilities aside for one night. If you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, it’s okay to be selfish and have some fun! It’s better to take a break and put yourself first than trying to tackle all your responsibilities at once and having a mental breakdown.
Rania is a student at Carleton University.