If ever there was a time to learn some strategies to stay stress-free, your years in college are a great opportunity.

After all, life changes don’t get much bigger!

You’re leaving the comfort and security of home, meeting new people from all walks of life, and embarking on a busy degree program that could have a sizable impact on your future.

Throw in a hectic schedule and an endless set of new experiences to navigate, and it’s no surprise that almost half of all students say they experience above-average stress levels.

Thankfully, there are many tools and strategies available to help you stay stress-free in college. Read on to learn about 5 of the best.

1. Get Some Emotional Support

John Donne once famously wrote that “no man is an island.”

In other words, we thrive in groups and rely on the support of our loved ones to feel safe, happy, and at ease.

Keep that in mind as you head off to college. Handling the stress that’s sure to arise will be far easier with help from others. Avoid ‘going it alone’ when times are hard; reach out to trusted friends and family, tell them how you’re feeling, and welcome their support when it’s offered.

Your college will almost certainly have a free counseling service as well. Talking to a trained professional in a therapeutic setting is another powerful way to alleviate the burden of stress (and any other mental health issue you may encounter).

2. Get Enough Sleep

It’s hard to overstate the importance of sleep when it comes to your stress levels (not to mention your wellbeing in general!).

Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night helps your mind and body relax after a busy day. You’ll feel calmer and more focused, able to make decisions and handle stress with greater ease.

By comparison, being sleep-deprived is a recipe for trouble. Expect to feel irritable and tired, unable to concentrate, sensitive to adverse events, and more prone to stress overall. Over time, a lack of sleep can even impact your immune system, making you more susceptible to physical health issues.

3. Exercise & Make Sure You’re Eating Well

Exercise and diet are two critical elements of staying fit, healthy, and mentally well. Unfortunately, with new routines, busy schedules, and the need to cook for yourself, it can be easy to let both of them slide at college!

Give yourself a fighting chance of feeling 100% by making both a priority.

Try eating a balanced diet that’s full of fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins. Succeed, and your body will have all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to operate at its best. Combine that with daily physical activity, and you’re almost guaranteed to feel better and prevent excessive stress levels from seeping in.

4. Participate In a Hobby

As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

They fail to add that it can also make him sad, stressed out, and anxious! Remember, we all need to let our hair down and engage in fun activities alongside work- especially in a high-stress environment like college.

Let your stress levels subside by participating in a hobby. Whether you take up something new or get involved with a sport or activity you’ve done for years, there should be a wide array of opportunities on and off campus to suit your interests.

5. Use Breathing & Mindfulness Techniques

Deep breathing and mindfulness have been used throughout history to alleviate stress and anxiety. They’re ancient techniques that focus your attention on the here-and-now and elicit an all-important sense of calm.

Try both in your bid to stay stress-free in college.

Amazingly, something as simple as breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth can have a swift soothing impact whenever you’re feeling on edge. Mindfulness is best used as a daily practice and can take time to master, but that too is scientifically proven to have similar calming effects.  

Stay Stress-Free in College

There you have it: 5 quick-fire tips to help you stay stress-free in college. Keep them in mind as you start this new, exciting phase of life, and you’re sure to enjoy a happier, healthier, and less stressful time.

For help handling another of the most stress-inducing aspects of attending college, moneysign up for Scholar’s App now! Our easy-to-use service makes it straightforward to find relevant scholarships to fund your degree.

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