Juggling assignments, social life, work, and study can be a race against time for many students. It’s no wonder that almost one in five students experience stress, anxiety, or depression. While it can be tempting to cut corners to just get through stress, the harder you try to ignore it, the more difficult it becomes to shake off.
According to the Cross-Canada Release of the Post-Secondary Student Stressors Index (PSSI) of 2019, 60 percent of students experienced above-average stress in their last 12 months at college or university.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress as a student and make the most of your college experience. Read on for some helpful tips.
1. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
The best way to reduce stress as a student is to have a plan. When students establish realistic and reasonable goals and expectations, they are better equipped to deal with stress. This can help prevent burnout and ensure that you have good academic performance.
Some tips for setting realistic goals and expectations include:
-Making a plan. Knowing what you want to achieve can help to avoid unrealistic expectations.
-Setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
-Taking a realistic assessment of your abilities. Be honest with yourself and take frequent breaks to re-energize.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can keep you fit both physically and mentally. Active students have been shown to experience less stress, burnout, and depression. Plus, exercise can improve your focus and boost your self-esteem. Make it a goal to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day for five days a week.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Since sleep is essential for your mental and physical health, not getting enough of it can impact your stress levels. Unfortunately, many students don’t get the sleep they need. This can lead to an exhausted and stressed-out mind and body. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help to reduce stress. In addition, some healthy foods can provide a significant boost to your mental and physical health, making them a great addition to your meal plan.
Some foods that have been shown to reduce stress include:
The good news is that preparing healthy meals is easy in rooms for rent. St. Catharines students have Regent Student Living, offering a fully-equipped kitchen in each apartment where you can cook your favourite healthy meals.
5. Avoid Procrastinating
For some people, procrastination is a coping mechanism for stress. But, in many cases, it is a sign of a more significant issue that needs addressing. If you tend to put things off until the last minute, you may find that you cannot relax and enjoy your free time. In extreme cases, this can lead to anxiety or even clinical depression.
6. Practice Meditation
Meditation can help to improve your focus and concentration, making it easier to get work done. It can also help to reduce stress and improve your mental health.
There are many types of meditations that you can practice, including:
7. Identify Your Stress Triggers
Knowing your stress triggers can help prevent future stress incidents because you’ll know what to expect. And you’ll be better positioned to manage stress when it kicks in. It can also help you manage your time, set priorities, complete your tasks on time, and ask for help.