college health

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan
Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Exercise
Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.

 

 

Meditation
Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

GET MORE SLEEP
I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.

 

Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.

Tips to Avoid Sick Days in College

Tips to Avoid Sick Days in College

For our whole lives, our parents have been telling us to eat healthy and to not do things that are bad for our health. However, when you go away to college, you call the shots. You get to do what you want, when you want, and no one can tell you not to (other than your common sense, of course). Although finally being in charge of your own life is exciting, you can’t forget to take care of yourself so that you can stay at your prime. Here are some helpful tips to keep you healthy this year:

Use Your College Gym

Many colleges have their own gym and swimming facilities that are open for student use and are often included in tuition. Even if you’re a commuter student, you can still use the facilities any time you like. Staying active through exercise prevents illness. However, do make sure to wipe down equipment before you use it to ensure you aren’t getting sick germs from another student who used it. You can’t always guarantee the last person that used the equipment was courteous enough to do so. And it sure beats paying for a doctor’s visit!

Get Good Sleep

Some people can function on five or fewer hours of sleep, but that doesn’t make it healthy. Make sure you get at least six hours of sleep each night to keep your immune system at its best (and to keep you at your best throughout the day). I know it’s hard in college when you’re busy, busy but it’s imperative you prioritize your beauty sleep! Going to class and doing homework doesn’t seem so terrible when you’re not sleep deprived!

If You’re Sick, Skip Class

This doesn’t mean if you have a headache or a hangnail you should skip class. However, if you’re running a fever or running to the bathroom a lot, stay home. Your professors and peers will appreciate it and you won’t make how you are feeling any worse by not getting rest. You also don’t want to be the reason other students are getting sick. If you notice someone in class looks sick, avoid them as best as possible. As a side note, always get a doctor’s note when this happens. Many professors will deduct points for absences if you don’t have a written excuse. Read this guide for more tips on college sick days.

Got any other tips for avoiding sickness in college? Let us know in the comment section below!