There is no way around it. Being a college student can be stressful. There is constant pressure to get good grades, impress your instructors, and work towards a bright future. When you are on your own and away from home, it is easy to try and cope with stress through unhealthy behaviors like drinking or hanging out with a bad crowd. However, it is important to manage that stress in a healthy way. We’re here to tell you that there are many wellness activities that you can try that can help to quell some of that unwanted anxiety. Consider some of these helpful tips and see what works for you.
1. Look Inside Yourself
The first activity that you should try is to take an honest look inside of yourself and decide if you are becoming mentally drained or burned out. Sometimes, something as simple as your college major could cause you stress. Recent research shows that some of the most stressful majors are education, psychology, and science. So, if you are entering one of those programs, then you need to already have a plan of action to maintain your mental health.
Sometimes, we may try to convince ourselves that we are happy, but inside, we may be struggling. The first step is to understand the signs of burnout, which can include trouble concentrating, reduced energy, or a general lack of motivation. If you notice that you’re having consistent issues, then you should try one of the activities below.
2. Get Creative
It is not uncommon to focus on your schoolwork so intently that you forget to take breaks and rest your mind. As a solution, consider intertwining your work with some new creative hobbies to get you back on track. There are many fun hobbies that can help with your memory and concentration, including painting, playing a musical instrument, and learning to knit and crochet.
These hobbies can be helpful because they allow you to put schoolwork aside while you do something that you enjoy. It is easy to get lost in a painting or to fall in love with playing the trumpet and watch as your anxieties melt away. Playing an instrument has also been found to reduce cognitive decline. So, if your school has a band, consider joining.
3. Go Out With Your Friends
Another way to get the healthy mental breaks that you deserve is by going out and keeping up with your social life. Getting out of the dorm and meeting up with friends is a great way to do something completely different and take your mind off of your work for a few hours. Plus, your friends likely have similar issues, so you can talk with them and learn the methods that they use to handle their stress.
Consider the idea of combining your school work with your social life by forming a study group where you can meet up, attend to your studies, and improve your social skills along the way.
4. Spend Time With Animals
Many people deal with their stress by adopting a pet. A dog or cat will act as a constant companion that will give you a purpose and a sense of responsibility. Since many colleges may not allow pets in the dorms, you can try a different approach.
Look online and see if there is a stable or equestrian center nearby and ask if you can ride or work with the horses. There are many benefits to riding horses. Among them is the ability to strengthen your core, legs, and back as you ride. Horses can also have a very calming presence for people, and riding through the wilderness can bring you back to a more natural place where your worries can drift away. If you are able to care for one of the horses, then you could also get a sense of routine and companionship that can help you to ease your mind.
5. Get Your Feelings Out
If you don’t find healthy ways to cope with your stress, then your anxieties can escalate over time. A good way to find peace is to get your feelings out. If you have mild stress, then you can clean up your mindset by talking to a friend or consider journaling. Writing all of your feelings out can do wonders for your psyche. The best time to do so is before bed. By writing out your anxiety and stress of the day, you can get it out of your system and ensure that you get a good night’s rest.
6. Reach Out for Help
Finally, if you try the activities above as well as your own relaxation methods but you are still feeling stressed, then you may want to join a group or speak to a professional. The fact is that if you are feeling mentally drained or upset, you are not alone. Student mental health is a priority on many campuses these days, so school officials are making it a point to provide services that can help young people in need. Look at local bulletin boards, speak to your resident advisor, or talk to your counselor about groups on campus that can help.
In the end, if you are a student who is coping with anxiety at school, then know that you are not alone. Consider the activities discussed here, and seek extra help if you need it so you can thrive during your college career.