Relax

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan

Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Exercise

Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.

Meditation

Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

GET MORE SLEEP

I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.

Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.

4 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

We all know life can be hectic, and sometimes your sleep is interfered with. This is bad because health problems from a lack of sleep can occur. Here are four ways to sleep better tonight.

1. Reach for the Sky Before Your Pillow- Yoga

sleep better - yoga

Yoga is often known to be relaxation technique and doing some simple poses before bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Some people are not into yoga, so if that’s you some simple stretching can work just as effectively. Stretching will release some of the tension in your body and relax your muscles, perfectly preparing you for a better night’s sleep.

2. Hit the Gym Before You Hit the Sheets- Run

sleep better - run

Just like stretching and yoga, going for a long run will help release the tension in your body, as well as wear you out before bed. Running also can help clear a cloudy mind, eliminating racing thoughts before bed. Do you workout routine a couple of hours before you are ready for bed, take a shower and hit the sheets!

3. Take a Deep Breath Before You Get a Deep Sleep- Breathe

sleep better - breathe

Doing breathing techniques before bed helps you relax. Try breathing in slowly and counting to ten and then exhaling at the same rate. The time, of course, can be adjusted according to each person’s preference. Breathing is something you can do lying in bed so before you know it- you’re fast asleep.

4. Turn Off the Lights to Turn Off Your Mind- Unplug

sleep better

Watching television or playing with your phone before bed is something almost every person is guilty of. When you do this, the light makes your body stay awake and you are more aware of your surroundings.  About an hour before you would like to fall asleep, check your phone one last time and then turn it off for the night.  You will be surprised how much it helps to unplug.

These are some techniques I have found to help me sleep. Follow these and you will sleep better tonight.

Comment below with some of your tricks to fall asleep faster and sleep better!

Time to Relax: Dead Week

photo via clog.dailycal.org

Finals are almost here and the last thing anyone wants to do is study (ew). The sound of studying just makes you want to curl up into a ball or go hide. The good news is campuses have a few ways to escape the studying and take a break. The activities are all across campus and they start during the most bittersweet week of the year, DEAD WEEK. No tests, no homework, just studying (ew again). Start looking around for these breaks and take note of them; you might just want to check them out. A few things that could be happening around your campus:

  • PAWS for stress relief- with this you can take a break from studying and go play with service puppies! I know I’d want to spend an afternoon meeting new friends.
  • A lot of places around campus might have a “chill” day or a “kick-back” day where you can just take the afternoon off and go eat free food, play games and possibly when door prizes! Look at the library, alumni groups, activities boards or any kind of campus group and I’m sure you will find something! And most of the time there is one everyday a week, so just make you rounds!
  • Often campuses offer Massage on the go (MOTG) where you can enjoy a free 5 minute massage to take the stress off. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
  • Another thing to look out for is a student-teacher-student reception. This is an exhibition of a lot of different artwork done by the students on campus. Take a break from the stress and go check it out. Plus, there is almost always free food and I know that’s what everyone wants.

Start looking around your campus and see what you can do procrastinate from studying for finals! There are a lot of fun things to do, if you just find the right ones. Go out and get your freebies so you can stop stressing about finals. Good luck!

This is a guest post from our Internet Marketing Intern Haeli. Many thanks to her!