Being a student has its perks. Not having to worry about your finances, the dishes and the mortgage sound like a dream; however, college time can be very stressful – there are simply too many things to do. It is easy to get lost amidst all the deadlines and small tasks, so taking care of yourself is the most important thing to do. This is not easy, but there are some habits you can implement to help.
Why is College so Stressful?
College is supposed to teach you knowledge that has been accumulating for centuries in a space of a few years. This is a lot to take in. Teachers expect more from every new generation. Finding the time and resources to accomplish every item on your agenda can be very challenging. Add to this the social events, holidays and all the days when you simply feel down and lost without the will to sit down and write that paper that you’ve been planning on doing for the past two months; and you’ve got yourself quite a stressful period.
How to Destress
Distressing as a college student means first acknowledging that you are under too much stress. Then consider what your regular semester, month, week and day look like. You may feel that there is barely enough time to finish everything you have to do, so introducing some good habits seems simply impossible. But it does not have to be. To get started (take no more than an hour) – simply list the following:
- The time you spend exercising
- The time you spend studying
- The time you spend with your friends
- The time you spend commuting
- The activities you do in a day/week/month
- Any breaks you may have during this school year
It is important that you do not spend too much time on this simple task. The more time you spend on a task, the more complex it seems and the higher the likelihood that you will make mistakes. Remember to KISS it – Keep It Short and Simple (or Keep It Simple, Stupid). Once you have the list, here are some healthy habits that you can implement to start taking better care of yourself:
Organize Your Time
It may seem obvious, but organizing your time cannot be over stressed. Take a good look at all the things you should do in the next week or two, then prioritize them. Use color coding, symbols or exclamation points – whatever works for you. Do the tasks by priority level. This way, you swallow the frog and the rest of the day is a breeze.
Let Others Help You Out
Another way to save some time is to delegate some of the tasks that you regularly do – hire professionals to help you with repetitive or lengthy tasks. Full of advice on how to write better and up your grades, many of these services allow you to let others do a part of your schoolwork. After all, most of the time doing research is not about the research itself: it is about writing and rewriting it on 20 pages.
It may seem counterintuitive, but multitasking is a great thing to do if you know how to do it right. The secret is to combine one brain-passive task with a brain-active one. For example, jogging while listening to an audio book, or doing the dishes while the laundry is in the washer are great ways to squeeze in a few extra hours in a week. You can also clean while listening to your audio books, or watch YouTube videos on your next exam as you have your breakfast.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!
The initial time you save should be spent on sleeping. As most students are sleep-deprived, this is the best thing that you can do to prevent burnout and stay healthy. Stay away from your phone and computer for the final hour or two in the evening. Make sure to open your curtains so that light can come into your room early in the morning and help wake you up.
Take up a Sport
Even if you do a simple jog session twice a week, taking up a sport can make you feel so much better about yourself and what you can do in a day. Even if you are pressed for time, you should still find time for an activity. It is the only habit that takes care of both your physical and mental health. Furthermore, it allows you to stay present and multitask. You can listen to podcasts, audio books or lecture recordings and get ready for your next exam in no time.
Eat Healthy Food
Three to five pieces of fruit a day and a salad once a day will do marvels, boost your energy and immune system, and will even regulate your metabolism. This is one of the best investments that you can make into your body and mind and it will be sure to pay off in no time. No more sick days and skipping classes. No more headaches and pain meds every evening.
Remaining persistent with these efforts in taking care of yourself can help you immensely. The average college student is simply too busy to implement any new habits, but being smart about how you do it and finding ways to cut corners without losing any time will mean that you can benefit in the long run and ensure a much better college experience.