If you’re a college student, then you are likely under a lot of pressure. You are dealing with multiple assignments and deadlines across several courses. You are working hard to maintain a high GPA while also thinking about careers and paying for school on top of the normal challenges of life. The stress of college can take its toll on your physical and mental health. It can impact your academic performance. When faced with high levels of stress, it is important that you take a deep breath and engage in activities that can take your mind off school and alleviate that pressure.
In case you don't know which activities you should try, below we have highlighted a few simple strategies you can consider.
Try writing a journal
You might think that journals are something for elementary schoolers, but you’d be surprised to find that writing a journal is actually one of the most effective methods for reducing stress. It seems that when people write down their worries, document their life events, and put their emotions into words, a weight is often lifted off their shoulders. It is one of the best methods used in therapy to reduce stress. For example, journal therapy is often recommended for patients suffering anxiety so that they can put their emotions and thoughts in order.
Even if you don’t think you have the talent for it, drawing can be one of the best stress-relieving activities when you’re alone. Anything you draw - from simple doodles to full sketches - can ease your mind into a state of balance and harmony. You’ll find yourself returning back to drawing every time you need to relax. You can also try coloring sketches. Adult coloring books have become a popular stress-relieving activity in recent years as busy people look for a simple way to unwind. You’ll even find coloring apps that you can turn to on your phone or tablet wherever you are.
One of the best ways to relieve stress and maintain your health is to do physical activities, for example by playing sports. Your college provides many sports facilities and organized activities. Chances are there are a range of intramural leagues in everything from soccer to basketball to rugby. Hopefully, there is something that matches your interest. If actual physical sports are not possible, you can try a home activity that involves the sports you like that brings you back to happier times. You can use a Wii or similar console such as a golf simulator if you miss putting around on the green. There are other games such as tennis, motorsport, football, basketball, and soccer available on almost any gaming system.
Another way to get your mind off deadlines and exams is to make the time to go for an extended walk or hike. The longer the hike the better to help you get away from the troubles of the world and into your zone. The change in scenery and the new environment will put you in higher spirits. You can pick a nice spot near school or home where you can go hiking. Depending on your location and weather, you can also try biking, kayaking or a walk on the beach if that is more enjoyable for you. In any case, you will be with nature and away from the sources of your stress.
For some students, Yoga might be the first activity that came to your mind, as it has been often associated with releasing stress from the body. But for many people, it is something totally new. Yoga has proven highly effective at maintaining both physical and mental health for centuries. Yoga mainly focuses on regulating your breath intake, increasing your flexibility, and strengthening the connection between mind and body. It can very quickly help put a person into a relaxed state and reduce the body’s physiological response to stress. By extension, it helps alleviate depression and anxiety. Since yoga is easy to do either at home or via nearby classes, it is one of the easiest activities a college student can utilize.
Listen to music
Finally, you should try listening to music more often. Music can be an excellent stress reliever. It will improve your mood, create a distraction, and will calm you down. Listening to the right kind of music can be inspiring and enhance your creativity. Start by compiling playlists. You should have several and use this opportunity to branch out with your music tastes. Perhaps classical or jazz are genres that you don’t normally listen to but can help as background while studying. Perhaps use your current playlist of hits on Spotify while jogging. Do you have a go to list if it’s a particularly bad day? How about party songs to push you over finish line on that homework assignment?
Whatever strategies you employ, remember that while it is good to be dedicated to your studies, you must also take care of your physical and mental health. Striking a balance between your academic life on the one hand and health and happiness on the other can be a challenge. The key to solving this is organizing your time. Please also remember that the time dedicated to managing your stress may also pay you back several fold if it increases your productivity throughout the rest of your day.