The harsh truth is that these types of anxieties we get when trampled with responsibilities don’t ever leave. However, as we get older, we learn which actions work best for ourselves to diminish these feelings. Here are a few recommendations that I take part in whenever I feel overwhelmed, and hopefully can help you too!
I think the biggest factor that can make college students way more stressed than usual is trying to accommodate hanging out with friends or a partner when slammed with homework. But an important thing to remember is that you can say no! Most of the time, we agree to go out with friends because we don’t want to miss out on anything fun going on, but we fail to remember that it’s hard to enjoy your time out when you have a paper or test hanging over your head. Passing out on a party to study or turn in an upcoming assignment might be the thing you just have to get out of the way. Or even better, try to work on your assignments earlier in the night and join your friends a little later. There have been a few times where I had to apologize for not being able to go into town on a weekend, but I ultimately felt more relaxed knowing that I was able to complete a handful of assignments instead. However, also make sure you allow yourself some free time as well. The key is finding your own personal balance between academics and your social life, which can be different for everyone.
If you find that you do in fact already have a good balance in your everyday life, but just have lingering anxieties, meditation or yoga can be one of the most effective ways to relax your mind and body. Due to this, I love starting off my day with a five-minute meditation sit. When you first wake up, put on soothing music, stretch and completely empty your mind. It should hopefully reenergize your body and in return, jump start your day with a freeing feeling. If it’s a nice temperature outside, I would definitely recommend taking the extra few minutes to walk outside, set down a towel and just breathe in the fresh air.
Take a walk
Another option when the weather gets warmer is to walk around our beautiful campus or town. It will give you some time to be alone with your thoughts to breathe, take in your surroundings or even listen to music. I am a firm believer that nature is one of the strongest healers for our souls.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health but a huge aid in your mental health as well. Through running or lifting weights, you reduce the built-up adrenaline that is causing you stress. Additionally, wearing yourself down at the gym will calm your body and help you get a night of better sleep, which is an important factor in feeling more motivated and calm.
This may sound like a weird recommendation, but I always find that just standing under the warm shower head will give me some time to think by myself. Something that I also find helps are HydraAromatherapy shower bursts that you can hang in your bathroom. There are multiple scents that you can choose from, however in this case the “relax” burst would be the most helpful, and when it gets wet, the smell will put you at ease.
Talk to someone
Lastly, talking to someone is probably one of the more important steps to reducing your stress. When you push down your feelings of stress, they will ultimately resurface at another point in time. Confiding in your friends, family or Fairfield University counselors can be more beneficial than you think. I highly suggest trying at least one session to get any anxieties off your chest. Even if you don’t find any of the approaches they offer to be helpful, just having a person to validate your feelings can often be the only thing you need to feel better. You can sign up for a counseling and psychological appointment at fairfield.edu.
After trying this list of activities, I hope you are able to find a way to ease your mind when times start to feel overwhelming. Just remember that you are not alone!
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