Stress Relief for College Students

Cameron Allen, Staff Reporter

The amount of stress college students endure isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Juggling school assignments, family, friends, and work can be extremely stressful on a student. It leaves students feeling they are always trying to catch up in every aspect of their life. College is also a time where students try to figure out their own identity and what career they are going to pursue, which can lead to more stress.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, approximately 3 out of 4 college students face some level of stress. This study was conducted in 2018 at over 100 colleges with around 67,000 participants. The amounts of stress coincided with mental health issues, including depression.

While stress may seem unavoidable at times, there are several ways to relieve stress and get your mind off your worries.

1. Exercise can relieve stress immensely. Regularly exercising can boost your confidence and self-esteem while producing endorphins that reduce stress and make you feel positive.

2. Eating healthy can impact your health and the amount of stress that you have. Studies have shown that consuming large amounts of caffeine can induce stress in certain individuals, so make sure to watch how much caffeine and sugary snacks you consume.

3. Improving your sleep schedule can heavily affect the amount of stress you experience. Having an inconsistent sleep schedule alter your judgement and leave you feeling exhausted. Making sure to go to sleep around the same time every night and have at least 7 hours of sleep.

4. Make time to hang out with loved ones and friends. We are all social creatures and need friends and family to provide necessary emotional support. It is important and healthy to get a reminder that you matter to others.

5. Listening to music can reduce stress in a number of ways. It can take your mind off stressors in life and allow for you to relax. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces the amount of cortisol in your system.

6. If you’re feeling extremely stressed, breathing exercises can help to immediately relieve stress. A three-minute breathing exercise is a sure way to reduce stress and clear your mind.

7. Find something that makes you laugh. Humor has been shown to reduce tension and make people feel more relaxed.

8. Avoid binge drinking. Having small amounts of alcohol can actually help to reduce anxiety, but if it is consumed frequently and in large quantities, it can have the opposite effect. So if you do drink, make sure to drink responsibly.

These tips and exercises should be able to provide much needed relief in times of stress. The effectiveness of these methods may vary from individual to individual, but this list should have a solution for everyone. The most important thing to remember is to always insure you have time to decompress from the stressors in life. Stress can be unavoidable in adult life, but it can also be manageable.