4 Ways to Cut Stress on Campus

Image of a stressed college student with their head down on a large pile of textbooks.

Ah, college: endless classes, notes, studying and exams. This can be a very stressful time in a young adult’s life.

The amount of stress can take a toll on the physical well being of a young student, but it IS possible to combat the effects, while at the same time learning about healthy choices to make while AT college.

And with more and more students seeking out healthier options on campus, colleges and universities are stepping up to the plate to give their students what they want. Bucknell University in Pennsylvania launched its very own bike share program, known as Bison Bikes, while NC State is implementing the Dietitian’s Dish wellness meals and designating healthier choices by offering “Wolf-Approved” and other nutrition icons on greeter boards.

But in the meantime, we have come up with four ways to help stressed-out students combat stress during the college years:

  1. Smart Schedule: Between classes, extracurricular groups and maybe even a job, it’s easy for students to take on more than they can handle. A feeling of control and a healthy balance in your schedule is a necessary part of managing stress. This is why it can be so important to consider adding “down days” – days on which you have no responsibilities – to the calendar. Learning how to manage your responsibilities, accomplish your goals and still have time for rest and relaxation requires that you practice time management skills.

  2. Move: If frazzled, sweat out nervous energy by lifting, running, or any other activity that gets the heart pumping! Even taking a ten-minute walk during the day can reduce levels of stress. Practice some stretching, yoga, or deep breathing for added relaxation. If you only have 10 minutes, we’ve rounded up some great workouts – that each take only 10 minutes, or these top (free) YouTube trainers can help get you moving in no time. Better yet, take advantage of beautiful weather and take your workout outdoors! Take part in the Outdoor Foundation’s Mother-Nature-Meets-March-Madness like program and compete in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge where you can help your school be named the Most Outdoorsy in the Nation. Exercise and fresh air. We can’t think of a better stress reliever!

  3. Chow Down: Eating a healthy variety of fruits, veggies and lean sources of protein can help decrease stress and increase energy – all of which will come in handy when juggling a number of papers and exams. And we know sometimes we find it hard to eat healthy when pressed for time. No time to hit the dining hall for a nice meal? There are still plenty of healthy meals you can make right in your dorm room, no oven required!

  4. Snooze: It’s a well-known fact that college students don’t get enough sleep – and the lack of sleep can affect everything from test scores to your physical and emotional health. It may be tempting to hit the hay at 3 a.m. and then attend an 8 a.m. class, but shortchanging yourself on rest can increase your stress level. Getting the proper amount of sleep fuels your body and prepares it for the physical and emotional demands of everyday life.

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