Stress management for students is this week’s blog topic because it’s that time of year again. School is back! Studying is back! This means exams are back, making this a challenging time for students. As you juggle studying and prepping for exams with your other commitments, the stress can become so overwhelming that it negatively impacts your life. Problems such as poor sleep, weight gain or loss, and even physical illness may start to creep in. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few stress management techniques to help students effectively manage their stress and anxiety during the upcoming school year.
But First! Recognize Your Signs of Stress
Everyone experiences stress differently, so it’s essential to know how it shows up in your body. Pay attention to your body and mind when you’re feeling stressed. Do you get tense muscles, a headache, or a stomachache? Do you become more forgetful, have difficulty concentrating, or startle more easily? Try to pay attention to patterns. You may be surprised at what you notice.
Stress management for students is crucial, and it involves three main components:
- Identifying stressors
- Managing stress
- Preventing stress
Identifying stressors means being aware of what situations or activities cause you to feel stressed. Managing stress means using techniques to cope with or reduce the impact of stressors in your life. Finally, preventing stress means taking proactive steps to avoid or eliminate stressors before they have a chance to affect you.
Let’s explore a few techniques around stress management for students in a little more detail.
The following are done in congruence with one another and deal with all of the above 3 components.
Get Enough Sleep
This one should be a no-brainer, but it’s often the first to go when stress levels are high. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body is in a constant state of stress. This makes it harder to concentrate and think clearly, leading to even more stress. So make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye by sticking to a regular sleep schedule and cutting back on stimulants like caffeine. Try to limit your screen time before bed also. Shutting off devices 30 minutes before you turn out the lights is helpful. If you can’t swing that, invest in some blue-light blocking glasses. DIFF eyewear has a decent selection.
If waking up in the middle of the night is a problem for you, start a worry journal or a worry list. Take a few minutes at the end of every day to jot down a list of everything that’s on your mind. Then write down a list of the next step to solve that problem. Even if the next step is just getting a night of sleep. Here’s the thing, if you don’t give yourself time to worry and think about your problems and solve them during the day your brains gonna do it when you finally lay down to sleep or when you wake in the middle of the night to pee. The best thing about this practice though, you don’t have to do it forever. Usually after 6 to 8 weeks people report improvements in sleep performance.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. It helps to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key. You could crash and burn if you train too hard without prioritizing recovery. Too much, too soon can actually add to your stress levels. When you think about it, weightlifting is actually stressful on our body. But, because we view this as a positive stressor, something known eustress, it doesn’t have the same negative effects.
Additionally, it’s essential to choose an activity that you enjoy and can easily fit into your daily routine.
Utilize Breathing Exercises
When stress hits, our breathing becomes shallow and fast. This only makes the stress response worse. Slow, deep breathing helps to calm the body and mind by stimulating the vagus nerve.
There are many different breathing exercises you can try. One simple one is to count to four as you inhale deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a count of four, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this several times.
Talk to Someone
Sometimes, the best way to manage stress is to talk to someone about it. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or counsellor. Talking openly and honestly about what’s going on can help to lessen the stress and make it more manageable. Sometimes it’s about giving our worries a place to land outside of ourselves. Stress management for students is about building a toolbox it coping strategies that you can pull upon when you need them.
Stress is a big part of being a student. Meditation is a stress-reliever that has great benefits.
Meditation helps us to focus and be in the present moment. It quiets the chatter of our mind and allows us to find a sense of peace and calm.
There are many different ways to meditate. You can try guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, Lucia Light Meditation, or any number of other techniques. Experiment until you find one that works for you.
In summary, stress management for students is vital during the school year. Utilizing some or all of the techniques discussed in this blog post can help reduce stress and manage it effectively. Do you have any stress management tips that have worked well for you? Please share them with us in the comments below!
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