How to Cope with the Stress of College: 5 Tips
College is a unique, exciting and stressful time in a person’s life. You face unique pressures and a series of life transitions: high school to college, from general education classes to classes for your major and then from college to career. We discussed the reasons college students feel overwhelmed by stress already, now it’s time to talk about what you can do to manage stress in college.
Specific Stress Management Tips for College Students
- Get better sleep. I know, you already feel pressed for time and I’m suggesting that you magically find more time for sleep? It turns out sleep is pretty important for stress management and mental wellness. One of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever written included tips for sleeping better.
- Exercise. I know this sounds basic, but exercise is a GREAT way to help manage stress and improve your overall mental health! In fact, exercise is one of the top self care tips I give my clients. Most college campuses have some sort of recreation center (here’s the Rec Center at the University of Missouri) where you can exercise at little to not cost as a student.
- Meditate. Meditation might sound like some sort of “new age” thing and perhaps you’ve tried it before and found it boring. I promise this isn’t just a fad. It’s also not too good to be true-it really does have all the benefits people claim it has. If you need some help learning to meditate, contact us. Our therapists are trained in meditation, but we try to make it fun. Sometimes we incorporate technology (such as the *MUSE headband), games or just come up with mindfulness activities that speak to your individual interests.
- Change you morning routine. How you go about the start of your day sets the tone for everything to come. This Bustle article has some practical tips (including one from our founder) on how to make the most of your mornings.
- Call your parents. I promise that they did NOT tell me to write this. I know your parents are often the source of your stress-they nag you about your spending, insist that you don’t come home often enough and probably say judgmental things now and then. So, why would I tell them that calling them can help reduce your stress? Because if they worry less (trust me-they worry the most when they don’t hear from you!), they’ll nag less. Also, it will make it easier when you need to have those difficult conversations (i.e. I need help paying rent this month).
Helping Learning Stress Management
If you are a college student in the Mid Missouri area and feel overwhelmed by stress, we can help. Call Aspire Counseling at 573-328-2288 to set up an appointment with one of our mental health therapists today!
Jessica Tappana started Aspire Counseling, a Columbia, MO counseling clinic in May 2017 to provide effective treatments in a caring environment. She carefully chooses therapists who are both caring and provide evidenced based treatment. Aspire Counseling frequently works with college students and young adults struggling with anxiety, trauma, grief, coming out, depression or a variety of other mental health concerns. We can help you get the most out of your college experience! Healing starts here.
*Note the MUSE headband link is an affiliate link. If used, you’ll receive a 15% discount and I’ll receive a 10% to use in purchasing more headbands for our office.