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How to Manage Stress

Does balancing school and work cause you stress? Here are five ways to easily control your stress!

  1. Exercise

Go to your gym on (or off) campus and make sure to do it sooner rather than later so that it becomes a habit. If you don’t want to go alone, you can ask your roommate or find a gym buddy to help push you to go to the gym. Exercise is important because it can help reset your mind and take it to a calmer state. Exercise will also help you get more sleep, which leads us to our next way to manage stress.

  1. Get Good Sleep

Not getting enough sleep causes stress and in a vicious cycle, more stress can then further harm our quality of sleep. Try to have a consistent bedtime and wake up time. Sleep in a dark and quiet room. Avoid screen time or doing any mentally strenuous activity before bed. Allow your mind to relax and prepare for bed. If you sit in bed restless for more than 15 minutes, try getting up and doing a small, non-screen activity and then try again to go back to sleep. Side note, avoid caffeinated beverages and stick to water.

  1. Manage Your Time

Keep a calendar or a to-do list and stick to it. Avoid falling behind on your work; this will increase your stress levels. Outline what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed by. Avoid procrastination and get assignments and work done long before it is due. Break activities down into smaller, more controllable tasks. Allot some free time throughout the day for breaks and as an extra time buffer in case an emergency pops up.

  1. Avoid Caffeine/Nicotine/Alcohol

Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, so they can actually increase stress rather than reduce it. Alcohol is also a stimulant in small doses. Don’t rush to use these harmful products when you’re stressed, they will just make it worse. If you need a stress release, try some other activities like exercise, taking a walk, hanging out with friends, etc.

  1. Ask for Help

Talk to a friend, relative or anyone you trust. Release all your built-up tension and let these things out. Talking it out can help both distract you from what’s going on and let you process everything.  An outside perspective can also help you see things in a different light. If you don’t have any close friends or family available, try seeing what services your school offers. Most campuses have advisors and health professionals to help. If you’re stressed out about a particularly assignment or course, try speaking with your instructor during office hours.