College can be an exciting time, filled with new experiences, opportunities, and the chance to learn and grow in ways you never imagined. However, it can also be a time of intense pressure and stress, as you navigate the demands of coursework, social life, and personal responsibilities. For many college students, this can lead to feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout.
But the good news is that there are many effective strategies for managing stress and anxiety that can help you thrive during your college years and beyond. Today, we will share a few tips to help you take care of your mental health, reduce stress, and build resilience so that you can succeed academically and enjoy your college experience to the fullest.
10 Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety as a College Student
1. Make your self-care a priority
It can be easy to neglect self-care when you’re busy with schoolwork, but taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for stress and anxiety management. Now, there are many ways to practice and prioritize self-care.
Some of the most important ones include making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, eating a balanced diet, and exercising. If any of the three or all three are particularly challenging, creating a routine or trying different strategies will help.
2. Rely on relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques can help when you feel like stress or anxiety threaten to get the best of you. Fortunately, there are many strategies you can try. The key is finding what works for you. Some people practice deep breathing, and that works. Others prefer to meditate and practice yoga every day.
Find what helps you, even if it means trying something new each week. Whether that’s deep breathing, meditation, yoga, journaling, coloring books, guided imagery, listening to classical music, jogging, painting, reading, etc., you need to have something to turn to when you need to focus on just one thing and slow your mind down.
3. Take breaks throughout the day
We know it’s hard to believe, but taking breaks is a part of being productive. Your mind and body need rest. Denying them that rest will only make you less effective at whatever you’re doing.
Instead of waiting until you feel like you’re about to lose your mind, take 30-minute or 1-hour breaks throughout the day. Use that time to just walk around, stretch, talk to a friend, listen to music, journal, etc. Removing yourself from the task at hand for a little bit will help you recharge and tackle it with renewed force.
4. Don’t neglect your planning and organization
When you’re in college, you’re responsible for yourself. Being organized and planning your semester will help you stay on track and reduce stress as much as possible. Organizing your life will help you feel more in control.
So, make sure your schedule is balanced, though. Not everything in life is study and work, so make time to enjoy college, have new experiences, develop your relationships, and just have fun.
5. Take your time management seriously
Time management is key not just when you’re in college, but also when you start your professional career. So, the sooner you master your time management skills, the better. Fortunately, there are many methods you can rely on.
Effective time management consists of setting realistic goals and prioritizing tasks. Make sure to organize your tasks from most important/urgent to least important/urgent, and break them down into manageable chunks.
6. Create a support network and reach out
Having a support network is a must because sometimes you just need to reach out. So, make sure you have people to rely on. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.
Simply having someone to listen to you can make a big difference and your friends and family are there for you. Whenever you need to be heard or you just need a hug, let the people around you know.
7. Connect with people
Connecting with people is important because it will help you feel less isolated. When you’re stressed or anxious, it’s normal to feel like you’re alone in this. But you’re not. Your peers can relate to what you’re going through, so reach out.
Join organizations or clubs on campus, or sign up for extracurricular activities that connect to your personal interests. That’s a great way to meet new people and create more friendships.
8. Be mindful of overstimulation
Nowadays, it’s very easy to overstimulate yourself. We have so many screens around us, and there are so many things going on in the world, sometimes it’s difficult to keep things contained.
However, you need to limit exposure to the things that cause you stress. Limit your screen time when you feel overwhelmed and take a break from social media and the news. Instead, invest time in more engaging activities.
9. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a great way to become a lot more mindful of the good things around you. This can be particularly handy when you’re feeling overwhelmed. So, make it a part of your daily routine.
We recommend doing this at the end of the day so you can put things into perspective. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to go, and there are also gratitude apps that can help you stay on track with this practice.
10. Seek professional help
Sometimes, stress and anxiety start to interfere with your daily life. When that happens, and you feel like it’s out of your control, seek professional help. Therapists and counselors can help you create strategies and provide tools.
Make sure to research the mental health services available on campus and turn to them when you feel like you can’t handle something on your own. That’s always a great place to start!
Stress and anxiety are normal human experiences, but you have what it takes to manage them effectively, so they don’t get in the way of your enjoyment. College can be a challenging time, but having good strategies will go a long way. Keep these tips in mind and take care of yourself.