10 Tips to Manage Stress in College

  1. Make sleep a priority: Ideally, try to get 8 hours each night. Studies show that staying up late to get a few more hours of studying in actually does not help you retain information. It is actually better to get that extra hour or two of sleep to do well on that test. Sleep is crucial for your body to process information that it has received throughout the day and to decide what information to keep and what to “trash”. Not to mention, not getting enough sleep is very detrimental to your health putting you at risk for illnesses and diseases.
  2. Learn to say “no”: Try not to overload yourself by committing yourself to too many things. College students usually are trying to balance a full academic load along with families, working part to full-time, are a part of the 40+ student groups on campus, and trying to maintain a social life. Making time for you is not selfish but extremely important. Setting boundaries is vital to a successful college career.
  3. Eat well and eat often: Nutrition is so important to keep energy levels high in the life of a busy college student. It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Your body needs nutrients to be attentive in class, stay focused on homework and have the energy to complete the daily tasks of being a student. It’s easy to grab a candy bar and soda but that will leave you crashing, reaching for another snack shortly after. Grab an apple, handful of almonds or a granola bar with as little of ingredients as possible. Repeat this: food is fuel. Chamomile and peppermint tea can help calm the body and mind. Peppermint tea also helps with digestion, which can help to lessen stress on the body.
  4. Avoid chemically processed forms of energy: Monster, Rockstar and Red Bull are all too familiar terms to a college student. These drinks contain many harmful chemicals that can contribute to increasing levels of anxiety and stress, raise heart rates and have even been linked to deaths. If you are feeling sluggish, grab an apple or a cup of black tea or coffee, but try to limit the added sugar.
  5. Move your body: College students frequently feel that that exercise is the LAST thing that they have time for, but even 10 minutes of physical activity can help to reduce levels of stress. Pick a form of exercise that you will enjoy so that it is likely that you stick with it. Try to exercise multiple times a week, even taking the stairs instead of the elevator is beneficial to your health.
  6. Get organized: Use a planner or calendar to keep organized and your life in check. Knowing what assignments and appointments are coming up can help you feel prepared and reduce the stress that comes along with the unknown. Google calendar is free and easy to link to your NMC e-mail.
  7. Stay true to you: Be yourself and don’t lose sight of that in college. Keep your hobbies, interests and passions. Make time for yourself to do and enjoy the things you love. Having things to look forward to can help lessen the daily stress and motivate you to keep moving forward.
  8. Get emotional support: Talk it out with friends, family, professors and peers. Talking can help lessen the tension and pressure built up inside. Counselors in the Student Life Office are also here to assist and help you process your concerns each step of the way. You don’t have to feel alone, call us at (231) 995-1118 to set-up an appointment.
  9. Breathe: College life is a roller-coaster and it is common to experience many ups and downs. In the midst of the chaos it is easy to forget, yet so important to remember to just breathe. Deep breathing can help reduce anxiety and stress, calm the mind and get your heart rate back to a normal state.
    Practicing mindfulness can help to stay calm and work on your breath. Use these resources below:
  10. Connect and relax with Nature: With the many forms of social media, texting, cell phones, iPads, iPods, iPhones etc. it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and overstimulated. Stepping outside for some fresh air and sunlight may just be the break that you need. Feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and the sand between your toes can help to center you and make you feel grounded.