With boring lectures, assignments being due on the same day, studying, extracurricular activities, sports teams, clubs, internships, work, and trying to maintain a social life, college life can get pretty stressful. There’s always something that has to be done, someone you have to see, or somewhere you have to go. It’s tough to catch a break while juggling so many things all at once!
Stress impacts your body emotionally, physically and behaviorally, so it is crucial to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we got you covered with a few easy tricks and tips!
1. Get Organized!
Getting organized is super important especially if you have a million things to keep track of. Get a planner and make note important dates. Do the same thing for the calendar on your phone. Consider marking down when papers are due, when you’re going to have a quiz or a test, when you have days off, and days you have any schedule changes (i.e. a Monday schedule on a Wednesday). Make sure you also write down the class that coincides with each assignment. Once you have all your important academic days highlighted, be sure to do the same for the important days concerning other aspects of your life too, like what days you have work or what day you’re meeting up with your friends to hang out. It’s super easy to forget these kinds of things, so it also helps to have a to-do list! Having a whiteboard with a list of what you have to do for the week really helps you visualize what needs to be done and when. It also feels great to check off the things you’ve completed.
Cleaning is linked to being organized. Once your mind is de-cluttered, it’s time to do the same to your room and workspace. Having miscellaneous items throughout your space can have a negative impact on your emotions. Whereas, cleaner and tidier spaces are linked to positive emotions. This also helps you locate things faster to reduce frustration. Be sure to use cleaning products that have your favorite scents. Having your favorite aroma in the air can make you feel better and more relaxed. To keep your favorite scent lingering even longer, invest in a candle.
3. Let’s Get Physical!
I know what you’re thinking, when are you possibly going to find time for the gym? Working out it extremely beneficial, especially to those suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression. Physical activity produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers that can make people happier. Endorphins also improve the ability to sleep, which leads to reduced stress levels. Even if you don’t have access to a gym or simply don’t have the time, these simple exercises can do the trick. Regularly exercising keeps you looking and feeling good.
4. Listen to Music
Listening to your favorite songs will automatically put you in a better mood. Music helps relieve stress and for some, even helps them focus better. It can get you really hyped up and full of energy or it can calm you down, your choice of music of course. If you’re also someone who doesn’t like exercising, then blast the volume to your favorite song and dance your heart out!
5. Make Time for Your Loved Ones
Hanging out with loved ones can be a big stress reliever. It might be a little hard since everyone’s schedule is so hectic, but finding time for the important people in your life can boost your mood. It can be something as simple as going to the movies or grabbing dinner. Getting away from the stress of schoolwork or a job can be refreshing. Try to set aside time for your friends and family at least once a month. Do something fun with them. It’s okay to put off your responsibilities for one day to spend time with someone that makes you happy. Once you don’t become a procrastinator, giving yourself breaks from all the work on your plate can be truly beneficial. While it’s important to hustle and build a foundation for your future, you should also sprinkle in some time for fun so you can have great memories to look back on.
6. Treat Yourself
When it comes to being an adult, there are a lot of bills and expenses to be accounted for. It’s also a good idea to put some money aside and save it for a rainy day. Responsible money management is vital as a college student, however, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a little treat now and then. For example, if you studied your butt off and got that A+ you were hoping for on that really hard midterm? It’s safe to say you deserve a little something for your hard work and efforts. Personally, I like to treat myself to a milkshake every time I’ve done well on something I worked really hard on. Don’t splurge and buy everything you set your eyes on, make sure you can afford it and you won’t take a hard hit financially. If there’s something you really want, but can’t afford at the given moment, learn to budget yourself! It might be hard without your daily large iced coffee, but you’ll be surprised how much you can save if you tweak your spending habits a bit.
7. Healthy Eating
Eating healthy makes your mind and body feel less stressed. Relying on junk food and caffeine won’t help you feel or do your best when it comes to juggling numerous responsibilities. Drink plenty of water and try foods proven to fight stress, such as avocados, berries, nuts, tea, oatmeal, and bananas. Instead of buying chips or candy to snack on, try getting a fruit bowl. Buying fruits and making your own fruit bowls at home can help you eat healthier as well as save money too. If you’re looking for a healthier meal option, try eating salads, rice, beans, and vegetables. If you still love your junk food, then try cutting down on how many times per week you eat it. Maybe have a designated day of the week for you to pig out on whatever your heart desires!
8. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep can impact your day immensely. It can improve your mood and make you feel energized. Whereas, if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t have the motivation to get things done since you you feel so tired and sluggish. Give yourself a bedtime to make sure you get the designated 7-8 hours of sleep. Falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day benefits you more than you think. Even if you have class at 9AM one day and then have the next day off, don’t sleep in! Waking up the same time every day helps your body keep a natural routine. Waking up early regardless if you have a class or not is also beneficial because it gives you more time to do any assignments that are piling up. Waking up early and getting your work done is far better than staying up and pulling an all-nighter. You’ll also be able to fall asleep around the same time every night.
9. Make Preparations the Night Before
This does not mean do your homework the night before it’s due. Making preparations the night before means doing whatever is necessary to get yourself ready for the following day. Iron your clothes and lay them out instead of wasting time in the morning looking for the perfect outfit. Put everything you’ll need for the day in your backpack: if you need your laptop for class, make sure it’s charged and already in your backpack. Keep your phone, wallet, and phone in the same area so you won’t waste time in the morning looking for it. If you’ve got a day packed with classes, pack some snacks to have. Invest in a refillable water bottle! It’ll hold more water than your standard plastic bottle, and it’s better for the environment too. Doing little things to get yourself ready for the next day can save you so much time in the morning. You won’t feel so rushed, and you’ll have everything you’ll need so there’s no room for forgetting something important.
10. Talk to Someone
If you’re doing everything you need to do to stay on track, but still feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, then talk to someone. Talk to a counselor at school or consider seeing a therapist. Therapy is a great way to let out all the thoughts and frustrations in your mind. It also provides guidance for when you feel lost the most. Simply talking about things and expressing them to someone can help you feel better. Being a college student is hard to keep a firm grasp on, but anything can happen in life that can hinder academic performances. Getting help and talking to someone can help you manage your thoughts and emotions which can help you be on a better track to succeeding in school.