Going back to school and getting back into the swing of things can be really difficult. You might be going from a carefree, relaxing summer right into a full schedule of homework, tests, late nights, social events, and more. This can often lead to lots of school stress: feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious, which can effect our school performance in a negative way.
Thankfully, we thought about how to manage school stress and feel more in control of your mental well being!
- Make a schedule.
Having seemingly hundreds of things to get done, different deadlines to meet, and meetings to attend can feel so overwhelming. Keeping an organized calendar that schedules out everything you need to do is the first step in gaining some clarity. In the schedule, you can give yourself plenty of time to study and complete tasks ahead of time so you do not constantly feel like you are rushing around at the last minute. Feeling in control of your own schedule can immensely help with your school stress.
- Practice self care.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the “go, go, go” attitude of school. But rushing from one class to another, grabbing some prepackaged food on the go, sitting all day and night while you study can wreak havoc on the body and highlight the effects of school stress. Your body and your mind need a break in order to function properly. You know that schedule you made? You can also schedule in some time to do nothing. That’s right! Nothing. Block out thirty minutes or an hour a day to rest and relax. Treat yourself to a face mask while you watch your favorite TV show. Take a bubble bath. Make time for the hobbies that bring you joy. Self care is an important part of managing stress.
- Eat well.
In school, sometimes we fall into unhealthy eating patterns, not only because we are often short on time, but also because the healthy options might be limited on campus. The dining halls on campus often are full of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. But we know that what we eat directly affects how we feel; when we eat poorly, we feel sluggish, tired, and slow. You can make small efforts to eat more fresh fruits and veggies, even with limited options. Visit your dining hall’s salad bar. Get fresh fruit as a side instead of french fries. Get some veggie sushi rolls instead of the usual. These changes seem small, but can make a big difference in how you feel mentally and physically.
One of the best things we can do to manage school stress is move our bodies. This does not mean you have to be a hardcore fitness lover, either! Incorporate simple movements into your day. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Take a yoga class at your school’s gym. Study outside in the courtyard or park. Set your alarm to go off every hour while you are studying to remind you to stand up and take a stretching break. Incorporating more movement into your day will alleviate mental stress in a tangible way.
Try these practices out next time you feel overwhelmed by school stress, and notice how your body and mind might feel a little more relaxed!