It is likely for people our age to experience stress in some way or another. With the busy lives that college students live, stress can cause a strain on being productive which is why I am here to provide you with some insight into managing stress and working through the hard times. I have experienced first-hand the toll that stress can take. I am a student-athlete who goes from workouts to class and back to workouts throughout the course of the day. I rarely have an off day to focus on myself and my mental health. I am sure this sounds familiar to most of you whether you are working full time, involved in extra circulars, or having to stay home and help take care of your family all while being a student and taking a full course load. Sometimes life can start to become too much and the stress that we feel at times is unimaginable. Stress management is important and will help you lead happier and healthier lives.
First and foremost, identify the triggers that are causing you stress. They are different for everyone, but several people experience stress from jobs, school, relationships, financial concerns, or even positive events such as buying a new car. Stress can come in many different forms but being able to identify the triggers will allow you to come up with strategies for dealing with them. Some best practices that have helped me when I begin to experience stress are deep breathing, exercising, reading, listening to music, making to-do lists, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. These are all things that help me when I start to feel stressed. This will look different for everyone but incorporating some of these practices into your daily routine when you begin to feel stressed will help. It is also important to know that you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Seeking help from others is another way to manage stress. I often call my mom when I feel stress weighing heavily on me. Stress management needs to be ongoing to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
When I feel stress starting to take a toll on me, there is a process that I will typically follow and that is because I like routines and plans. First, I take a moment to think about what exactly is going on in my life at that specific moment and what may be causing the oncoming stress. Once that is identified, I begin to manage my stress by deep breathing, listening to music, and working out. These are the top three ways that I manage stress. I challenge you to figure out what are the top three things that you have found to help manage your stress efficiently and effectively. Having a few best stress management practices will allow you to feel comfortable when that stress begins to appear. Recently, I began to feel stressed thinking about how this is my last year of college and what my future looks like. Once I felt that stress building up, I immediately started deep breathing and listening to music which always seems to calm my nerves. The truth is, even these best practices sometimes do not work which is when it is important to reach out for help if you are in a hard place and nothing seems to be working. Asking for help takes courage and should not be something that is feared.
Other best practices for managing stress are:
-Keep an agenda
-Manage your time well
-Write in a journal
-Take a break from social media
-Think positive thoughts
Find out what works best for you. Everyone is different and has different ways of handling stress and hard times. Stress is inevitable, so figuring out ways to manage it will allow you to live life to the fullest.