Tips For College Students To Stress Less
Posted by Stacey Whitney
College students feel more than their share of stress balancing classes, dorm life, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs and social lives. While you cant erase stress completely, you can fight it on two fronts, taking measures to avoid or minimize stress and developing coping skills to help you relax when college life becomes too stressful. ;
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another great stress reliever that can be used during tests, before bed, or at other times when stress has you physically wound up is progressive muscle relaxation . This technique involves tensing and relaxing all muscles until the body is completely relaxed.
With practice, you can learn to release stress from your body in seconds. This can be particularly helpful for students because it can be adapted to help relaxation efforts before sleep for deeper sleep, something students can always use, or even to relax and reverse test-induced panic before or during a test.;
Practice The School Night Routine Before School Starts
A week or two before the school year starts, begin settling down a bit earlier at night. Push your activities up 30 minutes or so to get your family re-acclimated to what the school nights will look like . They might complain at first, but itll benefit them in the long run. After all, practice makes perfect!
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Test Anxiety & How To Treat It
Most people get nervous before taking a test. In fact, feeling nervous motivates us to study so we can pass! But for some students, it goes beyond feeling nervous to the point that it causes them to freeze up and be unable to perform well. In this section, we discuss the definition and symptoms of test anxiety and how students can prevent it from getting out of control.
Stress Management Begins With Balance
Even the thought of creating balance in your life right now might seem unreasonable and impossible, but even a bit of balance now could have immense benefits in the future.;
The point of society placing all this stress upon you is to teach you how to relate to stress better so that once you are an adult and dealing with a lot more, you wont buckle under the pressure.
Use this stress as the jumping-off point, even if you hate homework and;never want to look at it again.;
Dont lose touch with your friends, make sure you spend time with family, and dont stop working on your pet projects. School stress becomes worse when your whole day becomes about school and nothing else.
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Listen To Calming Music
Music is a hugely popular thing to do when youre feeling stressed.
Choose some of your favorite, preferably calming music to switch on and get lost in.
Its one of the best things to do to relieve stress and get yourself feeling better.
In fact, make an entire playlist of stress-busting music filled with your favorite artists that you can put on in the car, while youre on your walk, or just to listen to before you wake up.
If youre looking for calming music in particular, there are plenty of playlists online of music to help you stop stressing out.
Talk With Other Families
If you or your kids are having anxieties about the school year ramping up, sometimes it helps to reach out to other families with kids the same age. Are they harboring the same kinds of stress? Do they have advice for your family that you maybe didnt think of? Plus, if the kids are friends, playing together before school starts might get them excited to start school together. Plan an afternoon where you get together with family friends to decompress and ease your worries. Parents, dont miss these;hilarious back-to-school photos that every mom and dad can relate to.
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Practice Deep Belly Breathing
You can practice deep breathing between classes, at lunch, or before and after school.
Schools Got You Stressed Out Here Are Some Tips For Teens Parents And Schools
Problem: Teens who feel like theyre under constant academic pressure are at greater risk of developing depression or anxiety. Pushing teens to excel also can hurt self-esteem and increase sleep deprivation.
These are things that teens and parents can do right away to make the stress of school better come from a talk by Lisa Damour, a psychologist, educator and author of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. She writes a monthly column on adolescence for the New York Times.
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Reach Out To An Advisor
If the stress is just too much, your school should have someone on hand who specializes in helping students be successful. Carrington College offers students and their family members access to a Student Assistance Program called ASPIRE.; Its a confidential service to help students with personal or school-related problems. No matter what, if things get to be too much you should reach out for help.
Juggling school and work is bound to be challenging, but with the right tools, you can set yourself up for success!
Use Stress Management Techniques
Chronic stress can impair your ability to learn and remember facts as well; stress management is one of the most importantand most overlookedschool necessities. Some effective stress management techniques include breathing exercises, taking a walk, exercising, and journaling.
Making relaxation techniques, or stress management techniques, a part of your daily routine can help your overall health and wellness and will help decrease the likelihood of going into a state of chronic stress.
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What To Do If School Makes You Depressed And/or Suicidal
If school is making you depressed or suicidal – there is nothing wrong with you. This is important.
The average school is not designed to be a pleasant environment… they’re not really even designed for real learning, only for passing tests and jumping through hoops to get qualifications to get accepted into colleges/universities so that you can jump through more hoops to get more qualifications, so that you can work for someone else who will pay you money, so that you can eat. It is a pretty depressing thought if you actually think about it… most people don’t really think about it that much.
Everyone Has Different Needs
For some people, face-to-face interactions are a must, for others video calls are better. Ive been perfectly fine with talking to my friends via the comfort of home, even though some might not be so comfortable doing that.
Parents;were also worried about the impact of Covid on their childrens education:
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Ask For Support From Your Administrators
The stress of burnout specifically is affecting many school workers, and this requires their place of work to reduce workload, to limit work hours, to permit hours after-work where they are truly off, and to create a safe workspace, says Saltz.
Teachers and other school employees, she says, should also know that their workplace will support and guide them toward help with mental health issues if they are struggling.
Remember The Situation Will Pass
Wuthrich has saved her top tip for last: “Remember that it’s not too long before lockdown will be over, and the HSC will be over, and all this will be in the past,” she says.
“If it’s feeling overwhelming, think: can you do this for another 60 days, knowing that’s the end of it?”
She says the same strategy can apply to lockdown, even if it drags on for six or eight weeks.
“This process works because it stops the catastrophising thoughts that say: this is a disaster, I can’t cope.”
Wuthrich says that it can also help to look how far you have come already.
“In lockdown, for example, we’re talking about something that’s going to go on for perhaps another three weeks you have already done three weeks of this; and you actually did this last year and it sucked, but you can definitely get through it again.”
Professor Viviana Wuthrich;is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and was part of NSW Education’s Expert Advisory Group developing student wellbeing resources including brochures to help students;manage HSC exam stress.
This article;was first published by;The Lighthouse, Macquarie University’s multimedia news platform, and is republished here with permission.
- This article contains a video
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How Is Anxiety Related To Stress
When it comes to stress, we know exactly where it is coming from: That deadline, the decline of a relationship, the argument with the boss at work. Anxiety is much harder to pinpoint, and can be a constellation of problems that seem to build up at the same time. Then the physical problems begin to set in. According to Melissa Cohen, LCSW, anxiety takes on a life of its own. We are less aware of what we are anxious about and the reaction we have becomes the actual problem, she said. We get anxious when we keep thinking about the same thing over and over. We develop a sense of uneasiness and since we dont want to forget, we fixate. Mild anxiety can actually be a positive experience for some but when it is prolonged and happens in the absence of a stressful event or begins to interfere with normal life, it needs to be addressed.
Tips To Help Teens Relieve Stress:
A teens capacity to deal with stress ranges from creating a detailed plan to alleviate stress to absolute inertia and everything in between.
Esme has found a way to manage her stress. Ive learned to stop what Im doing, and do some sort or exercise. Practicing yoga or going for a walk helps me feel better.;
But if a teen cant figure out what to do, parents can and should help them. Parents can help their teens work through their stress by sharing the following tips:
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What Are The Symptoms
The main symptom of test anxiety is an accelerated heart rate. However, there are additional physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that can occur. For instance, students may feel light-headed, have digestive problems and sweat profusely. It’s also common to become angry and scared and feel disappointed in yourself. All these symptoms make it impossible to concentrate.
Switch Up Your Routine
Sometimes, staying in one routine too long can actually cause stress rather than take it away.
Having a routine is important for many people to avoid stress, but what happens when you do the same thing day after day, eating the same dinner, waking up at the same time, taking the same train into the same job?
If possible, switch up your routine a bit.
Get up earlier to go for a walk before you go to work, bring something new for lunch every day, and pick up a new hobby that you enjoy to do in the evenings.
They say that one of the reason time feels slower for children is because theyre constantly learning and experiencing new things.
Go back to that childlike state of mixing it up and learning new things, and you may find that your life feels longer in a positive way.
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Dangers Of Drugs Alcohol And Other Harmful Coping Mechanisms
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a national helpline that is also available to teens. Their number is 1-800-662-HELP . The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has a parents helpline that provides helpful informational services and guidance to parents concerned with their teens potential or current drug use. Their number is 1-855-378-4373. They can also be reached via text at 55753.The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens also provides helpful blog posts, videos and infographics that can benefit teenagers who may be facing stress as a result of substance abuse.
How To Handle The Stress Of School And Work
Going to school is stressful by itself, adding in the real world makes it even harder.
If youre one of the millions of college students who has to work while going to school you know it isnt easy, and sometimes it might feel like the stress of work and school is just too much!
Adding in the stress of life itself, juggling kids on top of work and school can seem impossible. Its important for students to find a way to cope so they can be successful in the real world and in the classroom.
According to a U.S. Census report, over 70 percent of college students work and go to school. That means most students have to worry about more than just their classes. Its not the end of the world, but some students might find the stress of dealing with both can feel overwhelming. Here are some ways to handle it when you feel like you have too much on your plate.
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Recognize And Accept All Emotions
Turovsky says kids and teens need to understand that coping skills do not mean that all negative emotions, such as feeling unhappy, irritated, frustrated, deflated, or anxious, will be eliminated. Instead, coping skills should allow them to recognize these emotions, label and validate them, and engage in behaviors to ease them.
How Do I Avoid Stress
You may be surprised to hear it, but you can control much of the pressure in your life! Often, we create work-related stress for ourselves through bad planning or by setting unrealistic expectations.
Its easier said than done, but having some basic techniques at your disposal can help you avoid many of the stressful situations that a lot of people experience:
- Dont leave things to the last minute.
- Dont say “yes” whenever youre asked to take on a new piece of work.
- Take steps to motivate yourself;and avoid procrastination.
- Learn to plan ahead and prioritise.
This last point is perhaps the most important of all. If you have two weeks to revise for an exam, and try to learn the whole syllabus, youll go into the exam hall feeling stressed and worn out. Far better to use your time to learn the most important content thoroughly.
And of course, an even better example of good planning would be to start your revision earlier and make sure you do have time to cover everything!
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Encourage Them To Stay Connected With Others
We are social creatures, and;social relationships are really important to our general wellbeing. Its OK for young people to take time out for themselves. Encourage your young person to maintain strong social connections ;;when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, as their friends and family can help them through these times.
Stay Healthy And Get Plenty Of Sleep
If you dont focus on your health, your performance in school and work can suffer. Exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting the right amount of sleep have been linked to better academic performance. Plus lets face it when you take care of yourself, you just feel better! If you feel tired, depressed or strung out, focus on eating healthy and getting some extra zzzs. Maybe walk to work or class instead of driving to get some exercise in, and avoid things like alcohol and tobacco.
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Yoga Exercise And Additional Physical Health Strategies
Yoga Journal provides an extensive list of articles that can help college students use the practice of yoga to reduce stress and increase mindfulness. An article from Harvard Health Publishing dives deep into how various types of exercises, from participating in sports teams to vigorous workouts, help to bring enhanced peace of mind to a person. The article encourages college students to embrace exercise, in whatever form they choose, as a means of reducing stress.
Finding The Right Balance And Support
Fallon, 16, said, “Finding time for everything is going to be a challenge!”
Daniel, 14, agreed. “I play sports so I have to keep my grades up to play.” How does he keep the balance? “Work really hard and lean on my parents for lots of support. If you have parents around that actually take an interest in you, take advantage of that and let them be there for you.”
Relying on other people for support and advice can help balance all the pressures school can bring.
Claire, 15, depends on her brother. “He is 18 and has been through it.”
Dana, 14, advised, “Use the guidance counselor. That’s why they are there.”
Chelsea, 16, said her teachers were a big help when she was trying to catch up in school: “Since I asked for help I’ve felt more relaxed and more normal so that now it doesn’t bother me as much as it did.”
Balancing school with life’s other demands means staying healthy. Lots of people told us their goal for the school;year is to eat well, get plenty of exercise, and lots of sleep so they’ll be primed to succeed.