Keeping stress and anxiety under control is something that many students struggle with daily. When you know how to keep these feelings under control, you’ll feel free, feel more able to live in the moment, and perhaps even have fun while working to the best of your abilities. Working hard towards your goals doesn’t necessarily mean you have to feel miserable or stressed!
It isn’t just the feelings of stress and anxiety you should pay attention to. It’s the physical symptoms. Stress and anxiety can actually change your eating and sleep habits, make you grind your teeth in your sleep, change your toilet habits, and more. By using the advice below, you’ll be able to keep your stress and anxiety under control, all while making the most of your education. Let’s get started:
Don’t Leave Everything Until The Last Minute
Leaving everything until the last minute is something lots of students do. However, this understandably leads to a lot of stress. Staying up all night to do a paper might have a certain novelty to it at first, but you’ll quickly get tired of it. It just isn’t healthy! Assuming you are told what you need to do in advance, plan when you are going to sit down and do some work. A little bit every day is so much better than trying to do it all at once the night before it’s due!
Take Regular Breaks
There are many different ways of working. Some people like to sit for an hour and work before going to get a drink or a snack, while others prefer to work in much shorter bursts. In general, taking regular breaks is recommended, provided you don’t procrastinate where it counts. The key is to work smarter, not harder. You’re more likely to get things done if you sit down for say 20-25 minutes to work non stop, before taking a short 5-10 minute break and getting back to it. Try out different methods and see what works best for you. Remember, working for hours and hours at a time can actually be more of a hindrance and slow you down.
Remember, a short nap can often help you to feel more alert and even help you to improve your memory, so perhaps plan for one of those on a day where you plan to study, too.
Try To Prioritize Your Sleep
You should focus on getting the amount of sleep you need to feel alert and ready to learn. For most people, this is 7-9 hours per night. Pay attention to how you feel and see how many hours you think is right for you. Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling awful early on in the day, struggling to concentrate and unable to remember important things. Even getting too much sleep can be bad for you. Getting the balance right by getting into a great sleep routine will be a huge help.
Don’t Get Into Bad Habits
When you’re a student, it’s all too easy to get into bad habits to try to make yourself feel better, especially when you’re stressed out. You might spend your student loan or what little money you make from a part time job on things you don’t need, blowing it all and forgetting about bills and food. Maybe you start smoking, or eating junk food. By trying to avoid things you know aren’t good for you the majority of the time, you’ll feel so much better. When you’re healthier, you’re going to feel much less stressed and anxious.
The things we put into our body really do affect our mood. Junk food will make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Smoking can actually give you heart palpitations.
Cut Back On The Caffeine
If you rely on caffeine to get through the day, it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. A little coffee every now and again isn’t such a bad thing, but if you’re dependant on it, then you should work on cutting back. At the very least, don’t drink coffee later on in the day, as you’ll struggle to fall asleep at night.
Getting too much caffeine can be one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety.
Make Self Care Compulsory
Make taking care of yourself compulsory. Exercise can instantly help you to feel better, thanks to the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Drink water and make sure you stay hydrated, drinking at least 2 litres per day. This will keep you alert and help you to stave off headaches – no, soda doesn’t count.
Eat the right foods, including plenty of vegetables. Spend some time outdoors to make sure you’re getting enough sunlight, which is essential for your happiness. If you’re already feeling stressed, take a bath and relax, or try meditation or deep breathing. Make yourself a priority.
Know What Your Triggers Are So You Can Manage Them
Know what your stress/anxiety triggers are so you can manage them. Perhaps you hate walking to lectures alone – meet a friend and go together. Maybe you hate having your stuff unorganized – use this transparent backpack to keep it in one place and have peace of mind. Perhaps you hate the idea of being asked a question in front of lots of people. The only real thing you can do in those cases is ensure you’re listening to your lecturer and studying the material so you can answer to the best of your abilities. Remember, people aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think they are.
See If You Can Get Help On Your Campus
If you’re really struggling, there is likely help on your campus that you can get from a counselor or therapist. Do your research on it ASAP, before your stress and anxiety levels get out of control.
Keep Your Environment Clean And Healthy
A clean and healthy environment will feel like a weight off your shoulders, and give you a better environment to study/live in. Not only that, many people find that tidying and cleaning gives them some relief from anxiety!