A college student battles a number of stressors every day. It’s inevitable in this day in age, where you have to worry about getting all your assignments and long-term projects done, juggle a job and a social life, make time for family, and also try and get some sleeping, eating, and exercising done in between. So many students get overwhelmed and reach a point of hair-pulling, headache-inducing stress just because of their daily schedules, but it’s important to take a step back and take a few measures to prevent that state of unbearable stress. Aside from keeping you from being productive, extreme stress can even take a toll on your health.
Stress is something we all have to live with at one point or another, which is unfortunate, because it can literally attack your body from the inside out. In especially stressed times, many people report trouble sleeping as the first sign, which opens the door to a great many more problems. Stress can often start with severe nightmares which can keep you up all night, or a racing mind which can prevent you from falling asleep. Without enough sleep, it’s nearly impossible to do your best all day long: your memory isn’t as strong, your reaction time is slower, your attention span in shorter. It’s truly a chain reaction set off by stress.
Aside from the insomnia, stress can be responsible for headaches and stomachaches. As a sufferer of chronic tension headaches, I can tell you with certainty that you want to avoid these. For many more people, stress manifests itself in the digestive system, causing stomachaches and often severely debilitating symptoms. Even weirder? It can actually make your hair fall out too. Often times when students are feeling under the weather, stress is to blame.
While it’s probably impossible to get rid of all the stressful things in your life, like class and homework, there are a few things you can do to keep the stress from getting the best of you. Try keeping a playlist, loaded with your favorite mellow-out music, at the ready. When you need a study break, or on your iPod as you walk from class to class, bring up the songs that always put you in a good mood - whatever works for you, whether it be classical music or pop songs. The key is giving your mind something relaxing to focus on instead of the things stressing you out.
Another great way to unwind and alleviate the tension is to make some time to check in at home. A phone call to Mom or Dad can put you in a great mood – that parental support will work as an affirmation and remind you of the payoff you’re working toward.
You know how they say laughter is the best medicine? They’re right. Catch a funny movie with friends or try a cup of herbal tea while watching hilarious YouTube clips. Laughing will almost shake that tension right out of your head and give you a major break from all those stressors.