School life can often get hectic, as you juggle between classes, assignments, projects, good grades, all laced with extreme competition, constant up gradation, and race for perfection. It is therefore, not uncommon for students to go through phases of stress and anxiety, as they surf through their learning journeys. It’s important not to brush off your stress as just exam pressure or derivatives of academics. Stress and anxiety in students, is as serious a problem as it is in adults. If unattended, it can lead to several physical and mental health problems including obesity, sleep apnea, depression, eventually effecting your development and growth. In a study conducted by the World Health Organization, 25% of adolescents in India face depression, and 8% suffer from anxiety.
Learning how to manage stress, won’t just help you avoid serious repercussions of it, but also give your mind some much needed space and time, to function and focus well.
Here are ten stress management tips to help you surf through the rough waters of student life.
- Eat Healthy
Do you reach out for a bag of chips or a big bite of pizza when you find yourself stressed out over pending homework, project deadlines, or an exam around the corner? Although it’s harmless to reach out for junk food once in a while, resorting to junk food constantly, can have negative impact on your physical and mental health. You will find yourself feeling more lethargic and lacking focus, when you feed yourself unhealthy food. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, will give your brain some much needed fuel, to keep your body and mind active.
- Take Breaks Regularly
Do not strain yourself with continuous hours of studying. Just like your body, your mind needs a break too every once in a while. Spending hours at a stretch will strain your mind, making it function less effectively. When you get back to studying after taking a break, you will find yourself more focused, involved and active. Schedule time for breaks, and spend it guilt free. You deserve to have the best of both worlds.
Exercise is probably the last thing you’ll feel like doing when your mind is clouded with stress and anxiety. However, make a conscious attempt to get out and get moving. Exercise releases the hormone endorphin, that literally helps you feel good. You may go for a walk, or play outdoor games that get you moving. Find a way to make exercise fun, and you’ll find yourself inclined to exercise, especially during tough times.
Meditation has been proven to be an effective stress management strategy, since hundreds of years. Meditation trains your mind to stay calm in stressful situations, decrease anxiety, focus clearly, and be mindful. It is an effective mind management approach that will help you stay grounded and composed, keeping stress at bay, even when the going gets tough. You may use simple breathing exercise to meditate or use guided meditation from the internet or mobile apps. It’s the easiest, most effective, and guaranteed way to beat stress.
- Get Organized
Cluttered spaces and schedules often go unnoticed as the silent causes of stressful living. When things are all over the place, it makes your mind assume that you have no control over things, thus stressing you out further. Organize your study space, clear your computer of unnecessary documents, get rid of the clutter around you, and you’ll find yourself feeling far less stressed, and in control of things.
- Be Positive
Try maintaining an optimistic outlook about circumstances and situations. Look for the positive in a situation, instead of getting disappointed over things that don’t go your way. Try figuring out the lesson to be learnt from a situation that goes wrong, or mistakes that you make. Use bad grades and failures as stepping stones. Adapt the attitude of seeing the good even in bad times. Keeping a positive and open mind is essential to help you be open to changes, and being strong in tough times.
- Spend Time With Family and Friends
No matter how hectic your schedule is, always fit in some time to spend with your loved ones. Spending time with family and friends will cheer you up in challenging times, keep you energized, and also take the burden off your mind. Talking it out and spending quality time with your loved ones, is beneficial for your emotional health and mental well being. You’ll find yourself worrying less and relaxing more, in the presence of people who make you happy.
- Use a Planner
The overwhelm of having too many things on your plate, with no designated plan, can cause you to stress out over academics and time. List down your to do activities in a planner, every day, and on periodical basis. Assign timelines for each activity, and when you finish a task, make sure you tick off the activity in the planner. The physical activity of listing down all your tasks, takes some load off your mind, making you feel organized and optimistic about meeting deadlines.
- Don’t forget your Hobbies
It’s important to keep in touch with things that you like doing. Being stressed with academics may have you thinking you should not spend time on your hobbies. However, that’s far from the truth. Your hobbies are a get away from your regular schedule and stress, and must always find a place in your calendar. Indulging in things that you like, will help your mind feel refreshed, and keep you confident through stressful times. While your hobbies may not show any academic results, they are equally important for your mental well-being and progress.
- Seek Help
If you find yourself overburdened, and unable to cope, seek help. Speak to your parents, elders, teachers, and mentors. The school and your parents, are all working for your development and progress, and would be more than willing to help you out in times of stress. If you find your stress pushing you towards depression, and a general lack of interest in everything, seek help from professional therapists. You may come across psychologists who specialize in children’s psychology, and would be able to help you effectively.