Ten ways to de-stress as a college student

By: Sierra Wells

Multimedia Journalist

College can be an extremely stressful time for students who must balance their academics with their personal and work lives. There are ten key ways in which college students can reduce the amount of stress they experience on a day-to-day basis.

Take breaks from work to do leisure activities: If you are constantly working on assignments and responsibilities, your stress will inevitably build. Whether it is watching your favorite show or painting an art piece, schedule time to do what makes you happy.

Cook your favorite meal: Preparing a meal is an activity that requires your full attention, so it will briefly distract you from your worries while providing a creative outlet. Furthermore, cooking keeps students productive during the de-stressing process.

Exercise Regularly: According to Mayo Clinic, exercise helps the brain produce endorphins, which naturally raise emotional contentment. Exercise options could include running, walking or even doing yoga. Tarleton State University students can utilize the Campus Recreation Center to workout in between classes.

Tarleton students de-stressing and enjoying the hammock garden in front of the student center.
Photo By: Sierra Dyson

Meditate Daily: Daily meditation is a way to clear your chaotic mind. Find a quiet, secluded place on campus and forget about your worries for a few minutes through deep focus and mental relaxation.

When asked how he relieves stress as a college student, freshman Alec Harris detailed his ritual for relaxing his mind and body.

“Whenever I feel tired or stressed, whether it be from schoolwork or from a workout, I take a step back and perform breathing and stretching exercises. First, I breathe in through the nose for a count of four seconds, and then I breathe out for a count of eight seconds.” Harris said. “After I feel relaxed, I’ll sit on the floor with my back to the wall and perform stretches that help fix my posture. When you stretch, make sure the entirety of your back, shoulders and spine are touching the wall. Then proceed to slowly move your hand upward until they touch. It is an uncomfortable position and hard to maintain, but it will make you feel so much better and relieve a lot of stress.”

Listen to calming music: When your environment is loud and chaotic, your mind will be as well. Rock music is meant to raise your heartbeat and get your blood pumping. On the other hand, calm music, such as classical tracks, will help you relax and block out the world around you.

Read a book: Reading is an easy way for college students to relax and escape into a world that is not their own. It is essential to not only read required textbooks. Reading books you are interested in will help you focus your mind while also improving your literacy skills, which will make future required readings far easier. If you cannot access or buy new books, you can utilize the Stephenville public library or Tarleton library.

Socialize with people on campus: Human interaction is necessary for a positive life. Isolation breeds loneliness and causes overthinking. College students can socialize by going to football games, joining a student organization and so much more. Tarleton is not only a college, but it is also a community.

Stay organized: You can keep your schedule organized by using a planner or to-do list. Writing down all your tasks will prevent stress and panic that accompanies forgetting assignments and having to do them last minute.

Senior Cassidy Allen also shared her struggle with anxiety and how she works to calm her stress.

“For me, I’m just in a constant state of stress until the semester ends. I never truly feel relieved, even after I finish an assignment. I always feel like there’s something else that has to be done too, but for me, it’s just like crossing things off my checklist helps. I make a to-do list before each week, and once I cross it off, I feel a little bit relieved, but I’m never truly relieved until I take the last final because I know I won’t have anything else to do if that makes sense.” Allen said. “Stress is definitely affecting me in college because it affects not only my mental health, but it affects like, friendships because if I always feel like I have something to do, I say no to going out. I don’t really take the time to have fun, and a lot of people say you’re missing the college experience at some points because you’re just like in a constant state of stress.”

Stay well-rested: College students need to remember how important sleep is to a stress-free life. For busy students, sleep will not always be a priority; however, rest is vital for a healthy and stress-free mind. Going through your day tired will only open you up to more mental strain.

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