College can be an equally exciting and stressful stage of a person’s life. From time management to school work to maintaining a social life, there’s a lot that students have to juggle while at a university. Over time, that continued strain can lead to notable issues both in the person’s physical and mental health. It’s become increasingly clear that practicing self-care in college can greatly contribute to the individual’s success as well as the maintenance of their overall well-being. In light of this, our Pompano Beach treatment center shares some top self-care tips for college students that can help you or a loved one properly cope with stress.
Almost everyone experiences stress to some extent, and college students are no exception. Many college students report dealing with varying levels of stress throughout their college careers for different reasons. Stress impacts everyone differently, and people may respond to stress differently as well. However, when not dealt with properly, stress can be debilitating.
Transitioning to college can be an extremely stressful process, especially for students who move away from home to go to college. Stress is common in college students for various reasons, including increased responsibilities, a lack of good time management, changes in eating and sleeping habits, and a lack of self-care.
Some predictable stressors that students often face in college include studying for exams, competing for admissions or internships, and mastering large amounts of academic work and social life in short periods. Sudden changes, unexpected challenges, and even traumatic events can add stress. Students are also expected to make decisions about careers and academics while they foster meaningful relationships in college. Financial stressors, such as student loans, can also add up.
With all this in mind, self-care for college students is important because it encourages them to take a much-needed break from these stressors, so they don’t burn themselves out. Recovering from burnout is much more difficult than consistently coping with stress, so implementing the appropriate self-care routine can go a long way for a student.
Stress can not only interfere with studying, class attendance, attention, and concentration, but it can also lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Knowing how to properly and healthily manage stress is a crucial tool for college students.
Using effective stress management techniques can help students moderate and calm themselves during stressful situations and help them perform better socially, academically, and emotionally. While there’s no way to permanently eliminate stress from your life, below are some self-care ideas for college students that could make your college experience less demanding and more rewarding.
Self-care isn’t just about taking bubble baths and buying your favorite snacks. It’s about implementing achievable and healthy changes and goals into your daily routine to help you consistently manage stress. One easy way to practice self-care in college is to manage your time properly. Students who do not manage their time properly are more likely to experience stress.
Time management can be difficult, especially for first-time students, students who have never been away from home, and those who are juggling various responsibilities at the same time. Great ways to manage your time in college include using a planner or priorities chart. You can also create a calendar that notes all of your important dates (such as due dates for assignments) that are color-coded according to the class.
While this in and of itself can seem stressful, preparing for the worst and staying ahead of the game can save you from a lot of stress in the future. For instance, if you’re failing a class (worst case scenario), you can speak to your professor about opportunities to boost your grade, receive an incomplete, create a study schedule to catch yourself up, or possibly see a peer tutor help you improve.
If you’re dealing with a challenging situation that may impact your ability to complete assignments on time or attend class, speak to your professor about your situation and see if they’re willing to create a flexible schedule for you.
We all have personal needs, and leisurely activities and hobbies like socializing, painting, or going for walks can greatly reduce stress and help you stay afloat when you’re overwhelmed. Even something as simple as grabbing a snack, calling a loved one in your break between classes, or walking around campus can help you reset and prepare yourself for the rest of the day.
You may come across many opportunities to party and have a good time with friends in college, but it’s very easy to neglect your studies when you get sucked into your social life. While you may be having a great time with friends, the reality of due dates and pending assignments will hit you when you get back to your dorm. To save yourself the stress of incomplete or late work, say no to going out if you know you have work to do.
It’s become a joke that college students on a tight budget live off of ramen noodles and mac and cheese. However, there are plenty of healthy meals you can prep on a budget that will benefit your physical health. In addition to eating well, you can reduce the likelihood of fatigue and stress if you exercise consistently and get plenty of sleep.
It’s also important that you make sure you’re eating, drinking plenty of water – and, again – sleeping! Sleep is crucial for proper physical and mental functioning, so try to stay away from all-nighters as often as you can.
While we talk more about stress prevention in the previous self-care tips, these relaxation techniques are more about helping you calm down when you’re actively stressed. Two effective and easy-to-do relaxation and breathing techniques you can try are diaphragmatic breathing and love and kindness meditation.
As we previously mentioned, balance is important, which means that as much as you need to study and get your work done, you also need to socialize with others. Neglecting personal relationships and leisurely time with friends in college can lead to isolation and a sense of loneliness and possibly contribute to depression and anxiety. While college is important, it should never be all work and no play.
There’s no way to prevent stress in college, but we hope that these self-care tips for college students have offered some useful ways you can make the experience more enjoyable.
Our rehab center offers both addiction and mental health treatment in Pompano for individuals ages 18 and older, including college students. We understand that mental illness and substance abuse are common among this demographic, and we offer a variety of professional services that can help you recover.