By: Alisha Tran, BA, student at Humber College studying Advertising and Marketing Communications
We all know the feeling, myself included, of your world falling a part because you have 6 assignments due, 3 exams to study for and a date to to go on, all in the next week! Being a college student has its benefits, but with it comes a lot of stress. If you manage the stress, it will likely define how you live the rest of your life.
A few key ways you can beat the stress are: eating healthy, working out, meditation, sexual activity (eh!!) and most importantly, time management.
Healthy Eating and Exercise
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about eating healthy and working out because of my previous blog: https://admczone.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/the-truth-about-beauty-its-not-what-you-expect/, in which I go into each topic extensively. Let me take this moment to reiterate the importance of doing both. A healthy body can cope better with stress and the only way to achieve one is through a well-balanced diet.
While a lot of millennials don’t have breakfast, I can’t stress how important having a meal shortly after you wake up is. Getting your metabolism going will allow you to be more productive and focus on other things. I know that when I haven’t eaten, my starvation is all I can think about!
Being active is also a very good way to relieve stress because when your body is moving, as it is designed to do, it releases mood-enhancing chemicals. These endorphins release feelings of euphoria, moderate your appetite, release different sex hormones and enhance your immune system, which are all good for dealing with stress. You don’t even have to be pushing hard at the gym! Even going on a short walk (10-20 minutes) releases endorphins.
By eating healthy and being active, you’re not only working towards that smokin’ body, you’ll feel great on the inside too!
Whichever way you choose to be active, you’ll be in the zone. This ‘quizzical place’ is a mental spot in your mind that is free. Free of life stresses that allow you to…just be. While in popular culture, meditation is seen as a method of deepening a spiritual understanding of the forces of life/nature, in modern culture it is used for stress detoxing and relaxation.
Many people who meditate prefer to be in a quiet room while doing a half lotus (see picture), but I personally find meditation works better for me at the gym or on public transit with my headphones on. Be sure to clear your mind of everything and focus on your breathing. Breath in slowly and deeply. Personally I find that focusing on your breathing will help be zen.
Many people enjoy being surrounded by light scents and drinking tea after meditating to help stay calm and that may work for you, but it doesn’t for me. A website that you can go to that will help you figure out how to meditate is: http://www.how-to-meditate.org/. They have good insight and great tips!
It is important to be able to clear your mind, basically on command, to prevent yourself from falling into a whirlwind of stress and having a mental breakdown! I have had a few and I am sure, as college students, you have too. It isn’t any fun.
Having mental breakdowns isn’t fun, but I know what is…kissing! Hugging! Sex! A researcher found that having daily sexual activity for 2 weeks led to growth in the part of the brain that dealt with keeping stress under control. Sexual activity also helps to lower stress-related blood pressure!
For more details on how sex helps with reducing stress, go to http://greatist.com/happiness/how-does-sex-reduce-stress.
Just remember that there must be consent!
I think the most important skill that any college student can have is time management. Time management seriously prevents you from feeling stressed because it helps you use your time wisely.
Time management is my personal way of dealing with stress because I am a stress ball but also ambitious. Having an agenda/calendar so you can write down tasks and due dates can help you visualize your time line more.
Remember to prioritize based on importance and deadlines! I enjoy thinking of things in lists because it helps me visualize what needs to be done and the journey I will need to complete to finish the task. To further prevent me from stressing and feeling overwhelmed, I breakdown things into smaller tasks (leading up to the completion of the big task) and build my way to the top.
A helpful website I have found for time management is, https://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm. Head on over to find out what works for you! When stressing, remember not to feel helpless or hopeless! You can easily manage and eliminate stress using a mixture of these tools!
Now that you’ve managed your stress, you can enjoy life as it is! What are some ways that help you deal with stress and what will you do now that you’ve managed to get some free time?