College students are under a lot of pressure at school. Shelling out hundreds of dollars for each class we take really puts the pressure on making sure we pass, otherwise we not only wasted money, we wasted time. And finding out we didn’t pass a class, or an important test, can only add to the stress. It can be a vicious cycle.
Whether you are going to be a freshman in college this fall, or you are just continuing on as an undergrad, there are plenty of ways to help manage your stress levels this school year.
1. Essential Oils
Lavender is one of the best scents to have around you in the morning, before a test, or even before you fall asleep at night. It’s known for its calming capabilities to decrease anxiety and provide a natural stress relief. You can inhale the scent through a diffuser, you can squeeze a few drops into a warm bath before bed, or you can add a few drops to your morning/evening cup of tea. Essential oils are available at most health stores.
2. Breathing Exercises
I know, I know. Breathing techniques don’t usually get an overwhelmingly positive cheer. Most of the time, that is because a lot of people have trouble forcing themselves to pause and really focus on their breathing. In a yoga class I took this summer, I learned a really helpful technique: alternating breathing through each nostril. SHAPE magazine explains this technique here.
3. Take Care Of Business Early
When I was in college, often times I worried about having enough time to get things done. I was working two jobs and always had at least three classes to manage. Early on, I figured out that getting homework or studying done early was the key to not feeling overwhelmed and preventing stress headaches.
4. Get A Massage
Check your health center for massage deals they have for students. Usually it will cost a lot less than going to a regular massage clinic in town. At my campus, it was about a dollar a minute, sometimes less! Your campus also has counseling centers, which can be really helpful if you just need to someone to talk to about your worries. Counselors always have great insight.
It will also help that in addition to all of this, to eat healthy, get in exercise (even if it’s just a brief walk in the evenings), and go to sleep early! Do not cheat yourself on sleep! When you are tired and not taking care of yourself, things tend to seem worse than they are since your anxiety increases as your patience decreases.
Stress is not good for your health, so treat yourself to some relaxation and be sure to take it easy!