It’s the start of the fall semester and it may be a tough transition going from a relaxing summer to a load of syllabi and first assignments. The endless options at the dining hall or a run down to the corner store for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s might sound like the best stress relievers, but making a habit of turning to food when stressed will have your waistline and your health suffering. Check out the following ways to handle stress in a healthy way:
Break a sweat
Many college students think they can’t spare those few hours a week to hit the gym but having a regular exercise program is extremely beneficial to your overall health and stress levels. Exercise releases hormones that will help you feel good and distract you from the stress of moving in or your new workload. Have a big exam coming? Bring your notes to the gym and read them on the treadmill or the elliptical. You may even be able to focus and remember them more efficiently.
Keeping not only your notes in order, but your room and study area as well, is one of the best ways to ward off stress. Clutter actually increases your stress levels, so if you’re feeling a little more anxiety than usual take a few minutes to tidy up your room or write a list of things you have to do.
Listen to music
Turning on your favorite tunes can calm you down by stimulating your mind with something pleasant, especially if you know the words and sing along. Try listening to slow music while studying for a more relaxed ambience when you hit the books.
Your diet provides your body with energy, and yes, that includes your brain as well. What you eat can either increase your focus and energy or have the opposite affect, leaving you fatigued and unfocused. Having a well-balanced diet will allow you to have the mental energy to take on those endless assignments and exams, while a diet that consists mainly of fast food will make you want to sleep in class.
College is filled with stressful situations and many of us have trouble maintaining a positive outlook with so much going on. We’ve all been told that if you believe it, you can make it happen, but did you know that this optimistic belief is actually true? Positive thoughts can get you right where you want to be with good grades, better health, and great relationships. After all, no one likes a negative nancy.
Stress is inevitable in college, but with these five tips you will significantly reduce your stress level and perhaps even improve your mood and grades!
Raquel Santos is a Health and Fitness writer for College Lifestyles™. She is a senior studying Dietetics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and an absolute gym rat. When she’s not training for races, she likes to catch up on the latest health trends, read, hang out with friends and family, draw, and write in her blogs.