You’re stressing out on campus. What can you do?

You’re a college student, writing papers, preparing for tests, dealing with family issues, coping with a job, and trying to figure out your boyfriend/girlfriend. You’re stressed, but you’re not alone.  A national survey of college freshmen has shown that more and more first-year students are stressed.

 So, what can you do to relieve it?

  • Breathe. It sounds simple, but taking some deep breaths and counting to 10 can help you battle that overwhelming feeling you’re having. Breathing deeply and slowly can help reduce your heart rate, which can calm your body down.
  • Take a walk.  And it doesn’t have to be a really long walk. A short, 10-minute walk will allow you to refresh and clear your head.
  • Play a game. It will help take you mind off what’s troubling you and allow you to relax. Play a game of cards. Try Scrabble. Perhaps you have Clue in the back of your closet.
  • Develop a network of friends and family. They will be able to support you when you’re having trouble, particularly when you’re feeling stressed.
  • Relax your muscles. When you get stressed, your muscles tighten. Once you relax your muscles, you’ll feel more relaxed. Start by tightening the muscles in your toes and hold while you count to 10. Then relax. Next, tighten and relax the muscles in your feet, your legs, and onward and upward.
  • Get some sleep.  You probably don’t get eight hours of sleep. (Do any of us?) But staying well rested can help you relax and stay focused. Even a short nap will help.

Hit the gym. Whether you walk or jog on the treadmill or pump some iron, exercise releases endorphins, the chemical in your brain that makes you feel good. If you don’t feel like going to the gym alone, invite your friends along. You’ll leave feeling much better.

  • Imagine you’re someplace else. Some people call this visualization. We call it going to our happy place. Imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful place. Stay there for a few minutes until you start to relax. Kinda like what these guys are doing:

Do you have any tips to share? If so, please let us know.

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