In the pursuit of academic success, each student works hard to maintain good grades, sacrificing plenty of time and effort to do so. However, no matter the grade or year, one thing is a constant among nearly all students – stres
We’ve all been there at least once – a sleepless night thinking about how you’ll mess up on tomorrow’s exam, in and out of sleep for hours, shorts bursts of dreams that portray scarily accurate outcomes. Suddenly you wake up in a cold sweat with your alarm. You’re probably wondering; until this assignment is over, when will it end? Here are some tips on how you can best manage stress this school year.
While it can be hard to think about being relaxed when you’re stressed, practicing mindfulness can help get you there. Being mindful is to be aware of what is happening right now. Realize what it is that’s stressing you out. Confront the source of your problems head-on, try to figure out why it stresses you out, and try your best to come to terms with it. Find the positives. Treat yourself like you would treat someone going through the same thing. You wouldn’t be too hard on them.
A lot of stress can be caused by the fear of the unknown, which is an innate fear every human or animal has. Your mind begins to question what could lie ahead in these exams or assignments. What grade will I get? How will this affect my overall grade? My GPA? You’ll never know until everything is said and done. It’s important to live in the moment. Stop what you’re doing and just breathe. Acknowledge what is happening.
A good method to go by is the STOP method:
- Stop what you’re doing,
- Take a breath,
- Observe what you’re thinking and your surroundings, then
You’ll do great!
When you stress, you may resort to eating as a way of coping with how you feel. While you may be drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake or eating more unhealthy snacks like chips, this can actually make you feel worse, as some stress can be caused by deficiencies in crucial vitamins. The best way to combat this while still eating is to simply eat healthier. While nothing tastes quite like a bag of chips or candy, the following suggestions will keep you full and help you relax.
Almost all forms of protein can help prevent stress, as they all have their own stress-fighting abilities. Fish contains fatty Omega 3 acids, which help inhibit cortisol levels to prevent them from getting too high. Almost all kinds of meats include Vitamin B12, crucial to red blood cell development and relieving stress.
If you’re craving something sweet, such as chocolate, opt for dark chocolate, which is full of antioxidants and can also control cortisol levels. Or, simply eat some fresh produce. Plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help relieve stress. Vitamin C has stress and anxiety-reducing properties and overall boosts your mood. Most commonly associated with oranges and other citrus fruits, Vitamin C can also be found in peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
When it comes to hydration, make sure to drink plenty of water (in addition to some coffee) to not only keep your body healthy but also to keep your mind fresh. Some of your stress may stem from dehydration. Try drinking infused water by adding cucumber, strawberries, citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange), and some ice. Not only does it taste better, but also keeps you refreshed, and hydrated, and even gives you the important vitamins found in these fruits and vegetables!
Move your Body
Mental health is important, but also keep your physical health in mind. According to Healthline, when working out, both blood and oxygen are bette utilized by your body than how they are when you’re stressed, but with a better flow to your brain, you’ll ultimately feel better due to your brain’s production of endorphins being increased. You may feel bogged down by your stressors, but there’s no better motivation to work out than something that is stressing you out. Go for a run, which helps with cardiovascular health, or do some yoga, which is a known stress-relieving exercise. Make sure to stretch, as stress can make your body tense.
In the generation raised by YouTube and TikTok, attention spans have been shot in the past decade, especially in the post-pandemic era, according to salon.com. The temptation to browse an infinite amount of content on the internet or social media is especially strong now. However, taking time away from your phone is crucial to focusing on the task at hand.
Looking at whatever your favorite influencer is doing can wait while you’re either finishing homework or reviewing something that can get you closer to an A on that test. Your academics take priority. Other than technology, many other people also put things off because of how far away they can be. When a test is announced a month out, you’ll feel like you have all the time in the world, leading to putting off studying for weeks, until just days before the test. Rome was not built in a day, so make sure to get a head start on your work so you won’t be doing everything last minute.
Take a Break
There is nothing wrong with taking a break. After hours of studying, your brain can get overwhelmed. Being that you are your brain, give yourself a break. Taking your focus off of what’s stressing you out can do wonders when you get back to work. I personally love to draw things when I’m stressed. It helps calm me down. A similar trend is the rise of coloring books to alleviate stress. Of course, being on your phone is another option, which, in moderation, is not a bad thing.
It should be noted that stress is also not always a bad thing. Stress is essential for us as humans to know what is important, but an overabundance of it is not normal, so we hope that with these above methods, you can find ways to relieve yourself of it. As the summer draws to a close and the school year starts up again, it’s important to get back into the mindset of being a student, which means focusing on your work. However, no student should be stressed out by their work to the point of being miserable. It’s important to give everything your best, but at the same time, do not overwork yourself.