Stress is part of everyday life. As much as we wish we could eliminate it completely, it will never go away. There is always something to stress about, especially for a college student.
But don’t worry, stress is actually a good thing. Without stress, how would you ever turn that homework assignment in on time or prepare for finals? Stress is a powerful motivator. Believe it or not, you need stress; but more importantly, you need to manage stress properly.
Stress is difficult to manage and many people let it get out of control. Learning how to handle stress is an essential life skill that you will need for the rest of your life. So why not learn now?
The first thing that you can do to beat stress is stop procrastinating. I mean it. STOP! This is usually where it all starts. Procrastination is like allowing pressure to build up on a dam until eventually, the whole thing collapses and a devastating flood of stress comes storming through.
Putting off an assignment is not necessarily a bad thing, but exercising good judgment on what to do now and what to do later is vital. Procrastinating everything until the last minute will lead to unnecessary all-nighters, missed assignments, bad grades and more stress. Not to mention a whole lot of missed sleep, which leads to my next point.
I am sure I don’t need to tell you this, but getting enough sleep at night makes a world of a difference. Start going to bed early instead of staying up for all those late night activities.
Sleep will help you recharge and refuel for another busy day; also, there is an abundance of research indicating that sleep helps your brain remember and recall information – so late night cramming sessions before a test are not exactly a good idea.
Further, exercising daily can help you to healthily beat that stress. I am not much of a fan of this one, but it is crucial. Some of us haven’t picked up a weight or ran a lap in years.
This can take a huge toll, not only on our physical health, but on our mental health as well. A lack of exercise can lead to a negative physiological response to stress. Getting out and exercising gives our bodies a healthy way to deal with stress.
Along with this, eating the right foods can help you to feel more alert, focused, and therefore, less stressed.
No, I am not telling you to go on a diet. What I am telling you is to stop eating all that junk and start thinking about healthier alternatives. Remember the last vegetable you had? Me either. Your stress might not be so much of a psychological problem as it is a physiological problem.
Eating right and exercising may be all you need to handle stress at this point in your life. Just start throwing some extra veggies and fruits on your plate and you will start to see a difference in how you feel.
The last tip for beating stress is to relax. Sometimes, when stress gets a little overwhelming, we are tempted to lock ourselves away in our dorm room or stare into our phones as a distraction. Next time you feel that temptation, get outside. Leave your room and go do something.
Go for a hike, read a book, go out with friends. Do something! Go to a movie with friends or play some video games with your roommate. Be social and don’t close yourself off from the world. Stress will try to defeat you and prevent you from enjoying yourself. Don’t let stress win.
Start managing stress effectively today and prevent yourself from having a breakdown in the future. Stress is something that faces us every day and will be with us for the rest of our lives. Put these tips into action and you will learn the skills to combat stress for the rest of your life.
Gregory Plathe is a Comment Contributor.