5 Self-Care Tips for Busy College Students
Stress is a disruption of your daily peaceful existence. We all desire a life of order and peace, but in our hectic and busy lives, stressful situations are inevitable. Stress for college students can be triggered by many sources: an assignment due tomorrow, an upcoming test you know will be hard, or maybe even an upcoming Tinder date. If left unmanaged, stress can negatively affect your physical, mental, and emotional health, which could lead to headaches, sleep problems, appetite issues, and anxiety.
Regardless of the source of your stress, it is important to control your stress before it controls you!
Here are some simple and practical ways that college students can use to control stress:
1) Exercise—It’s no secret that staying physically active improves overall well-being, including mental health. Exercise boosts your endorphin levels, which elevates your mood and self-confidence, improves your sleep, and decreases your stress. Most college campuses have a multi-million dollar student exercise center—your student fees are paying for it, so go take advantage of it!
2) Meditation—Meditation is a quick and easy way to calm your nerves and give you a new perspective on stressful situations. There are many different types of meditation, including guided meditations, prayer, and mindfulness, all of which incorporate controlled breathing techniques, focused attention, and contribute to a relaxing environment. If you need a place to start, I recommend downloading the app Stop, Breathe & Think and using promo code “FrameworkPsych” for 1 month free.
3) Communication—Lots of stress can come from internalizing issues. If you allow this stress to build up, it can have negative impacts on your personal mental health as well as your relationships with others. Sharing your concerns with people you trust allows you to feel heard, understood, and validated, which also helps to relieve stress. Whether you talk with a friend, a family member, or one of Framework’s psychologists, it is important to remember that you are not alone in your stress or anxiety, and there are people who are here to help you. If you’re currently living in California, you can videochat with one of Framework’s psychologists from the comfort of your dorm room! Click here to book an online videochat appointment today.
4) Journaling—If you do not have someone readily available to talk to or are not comfortable with sharing your feelings with others, journaling is another way of alleviating stress. By getting your thoughts out on paper, you stop internalizing your emotions and instead take a step back to reflect on your stressors and how they make you feel.
5) Aromatherapy—Some research shows that certain scents can calm the mind and body and decrease stress levels. Aromatherapy essential oils are made up of highly concentrated oils extracted from various plants. These can either be inhaled using a diffuser or absorbed through the skin. These scents stimulate the limbic system, affecting emotion and behavior, and the nervous system, regulating heart rate, stress, and breathing. In particular, scents like lavender, lemon, orange, and ylang-ylang have been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
There are many other ways to manage your stress, but overall, the key to preventing stress is by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. In the busy life of a college student, it’s important we all make sure to carve out time for to exercise, relax, and have fun throughout time in college in order to maintain a happy and healthy life.