Tackling Student Stress

As we embark upon a new semester, let’s talk about an issue we will all be facing: Stress

While, for many students, university is an enjoyable experience, it is inevitable that we will encounter some stress along the way. Between studying, essays, class, work, extracurricular activities, housekeeping duties, exercising, getting a half-decent amount of sleep, and attempting to maintain a social life, it seems as though there is never enough time to accomplish it all.

One of the worst feelings a student can have is stress; it takes a toll on you both physically and emotionally – and that my friends, could lead to a major burnout.

Although we are expected to, and should strive to fulfil all of our responsibilities, we must also avoid completely immersing ourselves in them, which could lead to stress, a loss of self-identity, and even depression.

Stress at this extremity is certainly something we want to avoid. So, in saying this, here are a few ways to minimize and alleviate student stress:

1. Manage Your Time

Yes, yes, we have all heard this before, but it is a crucial for both our productivity and sanity. Of course, we all work differently, so there isn’t a one size fits all method of time management that will work for everyone – so try some different ways out and see what works best for you! Personally, I use a calendar to record due dates and upcoming events, so I can look at my tasks in perspective of the entire month. This allows me to plan my time accordingly. I also have a digital cork-board on my laptop to create to-do lists for all my upcoming class/work tasks (e.g. readings) and one for my daily goals. I make a list of everything I need to accomplish that day and mark it off as I go. Not only does it help keep me focused, but it also provides a sense of accomplishment as I complete each item. When the list is complete, I know I have accomplished what I need to do for the day, and can sleep stress free!

Well, most of the time…

2. Let it Go!

Do what you can and accept what you cannot. Dwelling on what you can’t achieve or has already past has absolutely no value in your life. All it does is drain your energy and motivation, and creates stress.

 Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!

– Steve Maraboli

Just failed your essay? Yes, let’s be honest, that kind of sucks… But, unless you can convince your professor to re-submit, you need to let it go. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t care, but don’t stress and beat yourself up about the things you simply can’t change. Figure out where you went wrong, how you can fix it, and apply it to your next assignment.

3. Me, Me, Me!

Take time for yourself every now and again. I can attest to that fact that having every day scheduled from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep is hazardous to your emotional (and physical) well-being. It’s difficult to remain positive when you feel as though your life is prioritized to please others all the time and never yourself. Now, I know that everyone says we should always put others first, but this is not necessarily true. Of course, sometimes you must make sacrifices for others, but don’t forget, you’re a pretty important person too! Take time to do simple things for yourself, like watch a movie, take a nap, bake (e.c.t) … and I promise you will notice a remarkable difference.

4. Know Your Limit, Live Within It!

Now, you may be a super student, or a super employee, but you can’t be a super everything. You may be able to create that illusion for a while, but it will ultimately end in a burnout – and then you won’t be a super anything! It’s easy to feel guilty for saying no (this is something I am particularly notorious for) and giving into others demands, but you have to find the strength to assert yourself. Recognize when you have too much on your plate, and know when to say no – if they really care about you, they will understand!

Stress is inevitable, but a burnout is not. A little bit of stress is healthy, but too much can be disastrous.

And remember, there is always someone you can turn to if you need help! So, if you are feelings a little bit overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to seek out help! It will make a world of a difference.