How To Manage Your Stressful Life

Tips and Tricks For the Overwhelmed Student

By: Beren Sabuncu

Woman stressed over a large stack of paperwork. (Credit:

Life will only get busier- this is a reality that is hard to face.

We as students all have school. Some of us have jobs, and some of us even have kids. It is so easy to overlook what one deems their “redundant needs.”

It seems counter-active to read a book when one already has so many to read for school. It feels so repetitive to take a few hours to rest and renew yourself because you feel as though that one episode of your favorite show is rest enough.

To always focus on sleeping 8 hours can be quite a challenge, as those countless essays need to be finished, as well as homework and studying for exams.

The sad part is that we do not realize how terribly vital that hour of rest, or that extra hour of sleep,really is.

People are always  “connected” and feel the need to “keep in touch” without actually following through. Our spare time is spent on multiple apps to see “who ate what”, and “who wore what.”

We tire our eyes and mind under the illusion that this is our downtime and add on to all the stresses we face throughout the day.

As a student, it’s known that when exams come up, homework is assigned, and the pressure of a social life arises, your mental space is compromised. The time for “luxuries” disappears, like alone time,  going out, or even having an hour to put aside responsibilities.

What most don’t realize is what we deem redundant is what’s most important. Of course, responsibilities are vital,  in that tasks are to be finished to get to where you want to be professionally.  Taking care of yourself is crucial in order to enjoy life once you get where you want to be.

Food is another topic of discussion. We either don’t eat enough, or healthy enough. It may always be easier to get fast food, or skip meals. Though people tend to overlook the importance of food, its value can affect everything.

Food influences the way you look, feel and think, as it acts like fuel. Your personal state of being is most important, and it’s illogical dismissing whatever needs you might have as being redundant.

That being said, if we were to all take long breaks having lavish meals, nothing would get done.

Imagine being 50 years old, and along with having successfully attained the career desired, a myriad of medical issues and you’re not really happy. At that point you might think it’s about the life you have chosen for yourself, when in reality, it’s the way you got there.

So how do you balance it all? What is the one thing you can do to ensure you are responsible for  yourself?

If you want to enjoy your success once you achieve your goals, give yourself time. Pamper yourself, and if you don’t have time to do so, simply give yourself the treatment you would a child that depends on you.

If you had a child that depended on you, as some of us do, you would feed the child properly no matter how short on time you were. You would bathe that child often, and ensure that they’re clean, as well as make sure that your child sleeps enough.

In a way, you are your own child. You don’t deserve anything less than the nurturing a child should get.

There are quite a number of tips and tricks that work for overwhelmed students. We are all different, as these will work for some, but not all, and can be tweaked to fit your needs.

Tips and Tricks for the Overwhelmed College Student


Experts say that the average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep per day. Even if you can’t sleep an uninterrupted 6-8 hours, take little naps throughout your day to elevate your mood and heighten your senses.

A well-rested mind is the best mind for projects and exams! You are helping yourself achieve your goals and taking care of your well-being at the same time. It’s a win-win!

2- Eat a lot of small (and healthy) meals throughout your day.

Your metabolism needs attention every couple of hours. You could carry a tiny snack bag which include nuts, fruits and little veggie sandwiches. Your body will thank you, and feeling lethargic can be eliminated!

3- Keep clean.

It is common courtesy to smell nice, and it will absolutely make you feel confident. In return, you will be more assertive in both classes and amongst your friends. Just take short showers when you can, use natural/common deodorants, and use perfume if you prefer to.

4- Read non-curricular sources every week.

Begin to read or glance over newspaper articles, nonfiction or fiction. Reading something not related to your curriculum will take your mind off your coursework. It will also broaden your horizons and make you look at the world in a different way.

5- Squeeze in a morning workout.

Though life is hectic, and probably won’t have time for a full-blown workout session, simply stretch for 10 minutes to get your blood flowing. This will help pump up your blood and “wake” your mind up.

6-Make time for friends.

If you have a best friend who lives near you, meet up for coffee and talk for an hour. It will strengthen your bond with them, and make you forget what stresses you out. If they don’t live nearby, Facetime or Skype them. Technology isn’t all that bad!

7- Make lists. Lots of them.

As students, we are used to having to do a flurry of things all at once. Make a list: organize, prioritize what’s urgent, and conquer those assignments! It helps greatly to see all of your tasks on paper.

8- Call your family! (Or whoever you consider to be family)

This will remind you that people have your back no matter what happens.

9- Less screen time!

Limit your screen time during the day, and especially at night before bed. We are all guilty of obsessive nighttime scrolling, but it really isn’t helping us.

10- Create.

Whenever you have the time, doodle, write or paint. Get those creative juices flowing! It will make you feel rested and sharpen your talents

11- Hydrate.

Drink water throughout the day, at least eight normal sized glasses. This one’s a no-brainer!

12- Take yourself out on a mini date.

Even if you have an hour, just grab some coffee, walk around, and think. If you do have more time, take yourself out to your favorite restaurant or store and just enjoy your day. Your body and mind will thank you for that mini break!

13- Give yourself ten minute breaks by doing absolutely nothing.

Whatever you’re doing can wait 10 minutes (except timed exams- do NOT take a 10 minute break). If you’re disciplined enough to take a 10 minute break and not turn it into a two hour TV show marathon, you and your work will both benefit from it.

Life might be hectic, it might be busy, but it’s only as hard as you make it for yourself. Try these tips and tricks, and see if life gets easier for you, as it has for many others.

Never forget that you are the single most important person in your life. Take care of yourself first, and no feat will be too challenging for you!

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