Five Ways to Reduce Stress



As final exams, papers and projects quickly approach, it’s easy for college students to start to feel overwhelmed. Although students are particularly vulnerable to stress, there are ways to manage those feelings caused by high tension levels and low energy.

Here are a few tips from Everyday Health to help you relieve stress and stay healthy, focused and productive into the summer:

1. Get emotional support. Adjusting to college life can be difficult, and even upper-class students can fall victim to stress. It is important to vent your frustration to a trusted friend or mentor to keep stress levels under control. You can also get services and recommendations from the Wellness Center, located in the basement of Westminster Hall. 

2. Get enough sleep. While balancing school and a social life can cause students to stay up late and get up early, not getting enough sleep can increase your stress level, as well as contribute to serious illnesses such diabetes, obesity and depression. You need seven to nine hours of a sleep a night to function at your best. Avoid staying up until sunrise, and keep you internal clock aligned with nature.

3. Avoid unnatural energy boosters. When you find yourself getting tired while studying, don’t reach for artificial stimulants like coffee or Red Bull. Although they will help you stay awake a few more hours, unnatural energy boosters will result in an energy crash later, increasing stress.

4. Don’t give up on your hobbies. Although your schedule may be filled with lectures, homework and group projects, try to find a couple hours each week to do something you are passionate about. “Do something that feeds the peace of your soul in some way and stay connected with it,” J. David Forbes, a physician specializing in stress management says. “It promotes the anti-stress physiology of your body.”

5. Avoid relaxing with alcohol. It may be tempting to have a few beers to unwind after a long and hard day of work or studying, but this is not a sustainable way to relieve stress, as it comes flooding back after. Drinking can even add more stress by causing side effects such as headaches and nausea.

College is a stressful time, but learning to manage stress is an important skill that will help you beyond these four years.

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