Life gets stressful! Things start to pile up, you get busy, and sometimes it can get difficult to manage everything going on in your life. As a student, it seems like anxiety and stress are things that just come with the territory. Any yes, that may be partly true, but there are ways to manage this stress and anxiety. I’m going to give you some self-care tips that I try to follow to keep my stress at a minimum.
Go to bed early (or as early as you can)! Getting enough sleep is important because it allows you to stay sharp. Sometimes it can be hard to go to bed early because you feel like you need to stay up and study, or hang out with friends. However, if you do that you’re sort of just ruining the next day for yourself. Instead of pulling an all-nighter, go to bed early and wake up and study. It can also be helpful to make an assignment and work calendar so you can plan ahead and not feel the need to pull an all-nighter.
Eating well as a student is sometimes hard and expensive. However, it is still important to try and have a balanced diet. If you’re having a hard time finding cheap produce or fruit, look for local farmers markets, or split the cost with a friend and share that healthy food. Also, it is important to limit the amount of times you eat out. Going out for lunch and dinner is fine sometimes, but try not to make it a habit. Eating out at restaurants and fast food places is typically not healthy and extra spendy. When you eat good, you feel good.
If you’re in college, it is likely that your college or university has a gym and fitness center. Utilize it! Block off specific times during the week that you go to the gym. If you do not have access to a fitness center, walk home from class once a week or go for an evening stroll after class. Sometimes you can even find workouts online that you can do at home. It can seem hard to find the motivation to exercise regularly, but once you get into it, it’s super fun and helpful.
This support can come in the form of family, friends, advisors, etc. Having people to talk to things about can really help ease stress and manage anxious feeling. Being able to talk out your issues, worries, and feelings is such a great way to avoid stress that piles on and affects other parts of your life.
Being able to find an outlet is incredibly important. I find that it is really helpful to have something to focus my energy on when I want to take a break from school work . These hobbies can act as a way to reduce stress and make you feel happy and productive.
This one is especially important for me. Sometimes, yes, it is hard to have a positive attitude about class and work and everything else in your life that adds to your stress. However, in times that I have felt anxious, my positive attitude has helped me kind of overcome those moments of stress. I urge you to just try this method. Try staying positive in the face of stress and see what happens, I think you’ll be happy.
Feel Your Feelings
If you are over-the-top anxious or stressed about something in particular, be stressed, be anxious, be nervous. Do not bottle these emotions up. If you feel like you need to cry and let it out, cry. I think this can kind of tie into the importance of a support system. Feeling these emotions, and showing these emotions or talking about these emotions with friends and family can help you to not bottle up your emotions and allow stress and anxiety to pile on. Don’t be ashamed to be stressed, let your emotions out and talk to someone about them.
These are a few things that I do to manage my stress and anxiety, especially during school. And I know some of these things seem hard to do, or are not realistic, but I promise you they can be. I have found that keeping a written schedule of my life (assignments, work shifts, gym time), is really helpful in making sure all of these things can happen. Self-care looks different for everyone, but I think if you try some of my tips you’ll find your own set of things that work for you.
Adapted from: Elizabeth Scott MD, 2017 https://www.verywell.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729
By: Claire Mueller, Anxiety In Teens Contributor