The Collegiates Guide to Handling Stress

We have all been there: 3 readings, a 2000 word research paper, a presentation, and two quizzes all in a week.

We have all had those weeks, and they are the worst. I have always handled stress…poorly. I am a little embarrassed to admit it but a few symptoms of extreme stress for me are forgetting to eat, feeling like I can’t breathe 24/7, and my eyebrow hair starts to fall out – no, really! Basically, stress is the worst. I just finished my most intense week thus far in my college career, and while I can’t say I was calm, cool, and collected – I definitely had a few go-to coping mechanisms that I thought I could share with you all

Check out www.mostlymorgan.com for the best tips on how you can handle stress!

Schedule.

I made the most intense schedule on my Google Calendar. I scheduled when I would sleep, wake, eat, study, write, etc. If I did it, that’s because it was on the schedule. This kept me from procrastinating because the thought of being behind schedule puts me into panic mode. If you do choose this method, keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t set how much you have to accomplish on the schedule; only say that you need to work on it. Putting the pressure on yourself to finish in a set amount of time will only add to your stress.
  • Add breaks! The first day of my intense schedule (I did this for three days) I didn’t schedule any breaks and it was the worst! After that I tried to schedule 3o minutes of ‘me time’ where I could do whatever I wanted every 2 hours.
  • Be realistic. Do not over-schedule yourself, making accomplishing each time slot impossible. Realize what you’re capable of and don’t try to push yourself past that.

If the idea of a schedule stresses you out more than you already are then skip it! The ‘super-schedule’ is not for everybody!

Eat.

I mentioned that when I am stressed I forget to eat – I just stop feeling hungry, check the time, and whoops I missed lunch. Do not do that! A hungry stomach can make you feel light headed and unfocused which is going to show in your work. Plus, skipping meals is bad for you! If you have a lot to do it is so important to keep yourself fueled. Get some granola bars, fruit, or other snack to keep with you when you are working.

Take Breaks.

So, embarrassing confession: Last year a friend and I were reminiscing over our childhoods and Neopets came up and we both logged into our old accounts and instantly I felt like a third grader again. I don’t know what it is about that site, but it carries so many memories for me and it just transforms how I feel.

If you are feeling super stressed I highly recommend finding something that you can connect to a time in your life before you even knew what stress was. Hillary Duff’s Metamorphosis soundtrack also brings me back to being a little kid. Listening to any song from that playlist is an instant destresser.

Shower.

Ok, so there is the obvious reason of hygiene. But beyond that I recommend taking one as soon as you wake up from a super late night. If you haven’t gotten much sleep and there is still a ton to do it is easy to decide against the shower and just jump into work. Personally if I take a super quick, super cold shower I am so much more productive. Really, I can’t function without sleep unless I do this.

At the very least try using cold water on your face to wake yourself up!

Caffeinate Wisely.

For some people – coffee is their study drink of choice. Personally I can’t do it. I much prefer semi-caffeinated tea. Because I don’t drink caffeine regularly, it still has the desired effect without making me feel too on edge. I am able to stay awake and focus, but I don’t feel anxious (or more anxious than I already was.)

Complain.

My boyfriend and roommate were so tolerant this past week. I whined to them far more than I am willing to admit, and their support made me feel better. Feeling alone is a terrible feeling, so if you are stressed let someone know and talk it out with them. Even if in the back of your mind you know it’s going to be better in a week, it’s still nice to hear somebody else say it, too.

Reward yourself.

You are kicking butt, so do something for you! Whether it’s getting ice cream, doing a face mask, or doing whatever it is that makes you happy, just make sure that you are having just a little fun during this terribly stressful week.

Be thankful.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to think about just how lucky you are. You’re at a great institution getting an education so that you can take your life where you want it to go. Yes things are stressful now, but they are going to get better and you have such a bright future in front of you. And that’s awesome!

I hope this helped give you some ideas of how you can handle your stress! Remember all stressful situation will come to an end, and if you ever need anyone to talk to shoot me an email and I would be more than happy to help!

Have a great day, and don’t let the stress get you down!

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  • Tyana Teat

    Definitely need this!