By Lucia Rossi
Stress. Some people handle it very well and others not so well. But that’s okay. Stress is a part of life and everyone feels it sometimes, especially when you’re a student.
Everyone handles their stress in different ways, hopefully healthy ones. As a student, you may be quick to make impulsive or convenient decisions over the healthier ones. Let’s go over your options.
Let’s start with the basics. Sleep. You know you need it, at least 7 to 8 hours of it. Lack of sleep leads to memory problems, less alertness, irritability, and risk for injury. You need your beauty rest no matter how stressed. You don’t need everyone to see the evidence with those big bags under your eyes and falling asleep at your desk. Taking naps when you’re really stressed will help you relax as well.
Another basic is eating regularly and properly. As a student, I know full well we hit those snack machines more times than we’d like to remember. I know how it feels in class to hear your stomach growl louder than how the teacher speaks. Don’t skip meals and don’t eat convenient junk everyday. You should bring plenty of healthy snacks with you from home or buy healthier snack packages to munch on through out the day until you get home. Eat fiber filled foods so you can feel full for a longer amount of time. You can also save money by bringing food from home, which is helpful because you probably need money for books.
If you’re feeling stressed, don’t resort to drinking, smoking, or drugs to comfort and relax yourself. You know full well those are bad habits and you will be a stronger person by dealing with your issues without them. They are temporary releases that will only make your worries go away for a while, but when you wake up, they will still be there. Don’t repeat the cycle, get moving and get working!
It’s time to work on your manageability skills. Try to break down everything you need to do into smaller pieces. Get a planner or a small notebook and organize everything you need to do in a list so you remember. Go through each task one by one and cross it out. As you check things off, the weight of your stress should be lifted little by little. Start yourself off with the hard tasks and then make your way to the easy ones. That way you’ll feel better sooner.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself either. Yes, it is good to encourage yourself and push yourself into doing your best to get that A, but if you lower your standards and expectations, you won’t feel so stressed to be the best. Don’t think about being the best in the class, just worry about passing. You’ll get through your work in a more calm mood and when it’s done then you can worry about all the small kinks.
Also, don’t burn yourself out, take breaks, but not too many and not for too long. You should give yourself a break if you’ve been working on assignments for hours no matter how important it is. Give your brain a chance to recharge so when you go back to work you’re refreshed. This will help you get more ideas and look back on your work with a new view. Keep a water bottle nearby so you are constantly hydrated as well.
Use your free time effectively. You can study, read, or do research on the bus going to or from school, on your break time at work, in between classes etc. Take advantage of that time so you have less to do later and you are better prepared for assignments and exams. Your time is precious. If you’re apart of many clubs, teams, or have a demanding job, try to let something go or find ways to change your schedule so you have more free time for you and your work. Figure out a routine and stick to it.
Having YOU time is important as well. Take time to do the activities you enjoy because this will ease your stress. Make free time for your friends who make you laugh. Laughter reduces stress so the more you have that, the better.
Do not forget or ignore your passions. Remember to keep yourself occupied and happy by doing what you love. Whatever you love is a priority because that is your escape from stress. Whether it’s cooking, reading, listening or playing music, writing, playing a sport, video gaming, working out, dancing, knitting, drawing, you need your you time.
By working out at least 30 minutes a day, not only will you get in shape but you will let out your frustration, let go of stress and tension, boost self-confidence and be in a better mood. Endorphins will be released in your brain and make you feel better because your mind takes cues from your body. So do your chores, follow an at home workout on YouTube or a DVD. Knock out two birds with one stone.
If you’re in a relationship, sex is a great stress reliever as well. Just saying.
Don’t use that as an excuse to procrastinate though. Procrastination is your worst enemy. The sooner you get things done the sooner you can bask in the glory of your freedom. Improve your sense of self-control by making yourself do the work you know you have to, sooner.
Sometimes stress is all about changing your thinking. You are making you stressed by believing your worst thoughts. If you build that negative thinking pattern, you will be stressed. Its all about being and thinking positive. Don’t believe you will fail, repeat the mantra that you can get through it. Even if you don’t believe it, if you keep telling yourself you can do it, you may start to. Just when you think you can’t go anymore, keep going.
Not only you can cause yourself stress but there’s also peer-induced stress, parent-induced stress, and teacher induced stress. So it may not even be just you that’s the problem. Know what is the source of your stress and do your best to squash it. Not them, but ya know the situation.
If it’s your peers, avoid them or certain conversation topics, Worst case scenario, switch classes. If it’s your parents, try to communicate with them about the issues you’ve been having. If you believe that won’t help, study in peace in the library or some other quiet place. Find a space that can be yours where you can relax and not be disturbed. If it’s your teacher, try to work out the situation privately by speaking to them or switch classes.
Don’t be afraid to talk to an adviser or counselor. They can be very comforting and encouraging. It’s their job to help you after all. Sometimes it’s nice to get an unbiased opinion from someone who isn’t a family member or close friend. They can be helpful, so get yourself acquainted.
Lastly, don’t let your stress get the better of you. You can’t allow yourself to become your stress. You are stronger than that. Keep that in mind.
Categories: Livin' La Vida Lucia