By Gabrielle Blanchard, Assistant Editor
It’s no secret or surprise that college students seem to be under endless amounts of stress. A paper for this class, a project for another, going to games, participating in club and group activities, and for some, the addition of homesickness: it’s a lot to deal with for months on end, with the pressure only growing from month to month. Sometimes, it feels like college students are just trying to survive and get through the day, more than they are enjoying their lives.
Remembering to take time to slow down, breathe, and unwind can be hard and actually doing it can be even harder, with focus on deadlines, schedules, and trying to fit everything into limited amounts of time. Self-care isn’t often prioritized and is pushed to the bottom of the list of concerns.
This really isn’t much of a way to live life. What happens is college has long term effects and impacts as it shapes and prepares students for those post-college years, and this includes de-stressing through self-care and allowing yourself to put those deadlines and schedules to the side in order to hit that mental reset button.
There are the typical ways of managing stress: sleep better, eat well, exercise, take a shower/bath get organized to have a better space to live and work in. These are all tried and true methods, but there are some other good and useful ones as well.
First of all, unplug. Ditch your electronics, just for a little while — at the very least, ditch social media, messaging, the news, etc. Take some time to be away from all of that noise, even if it’s just for a little bit. The constant flow of information that comes from our phones, tablets, and laptops (and for some, even their watches) can be an overload on the brain. College students get enough of that with their workloads and the brains deserve some type of break.
While you’re unplugging from social media, listen to some music. Music is a great way to let your brain unwind and apps like Spotify can provide playlists with gentle music geared towards unwinding. Don’t just listen to music, either. Dance. Not only is dancing good for you physically, it also boosts self-confidence/esteem, improves mental functions, and is good for general psychological well-being, according to the Better Health Channel. Do it alone, do it in a group, in a class or in your dorm, but don’t be afraid to let loose.
You can also watch some TV or a movie — for students, Hulu paired with Spotify and Showtime, is only $4.99 a month. Lots of networks offer streaming services now for the lower price of having cable, with lots of options for TV and movies to binge on and being able to just veg out for a few hours can help beat stress.
Finally, treat yourself. It’s okay to indulge sometimes and to allow yourself something to make you feel a little bit better. The important thing here is to not go overboard, but little treats and rewards here and there for achieving goals, or just because you’ve been working hard, can help destress and boost moods.
College is a difficult time, but it shouldn’t be a miserable experience and it’s important to take care of mental well-being as much as it is to achieve academic success.
Original Artwork by Mimi Albon