10 Surefire Ways to Reduce Stress During College

There will be periods in college that will make you feel the symptoms of anxiety and stress. Midterms, finals and deadlines…it can be a very stressful place.

But don’t start stressing just yet!

Here are 10 natural ways that you can help reduce your stress anytime you need to.

Exercise

Being physically active is a great way to relieve stress. It gives you a chance to change up your scenery and out of your stressful environment. Scientifically, it has stress relieving qualities as well. Exercising increases endorphins in your brain, making you naturally feel better. Studies have also shown that regular exercise increases self-confidence and lowers symptoms of anxiety.

Take a bath

When you’re stressed, your entire body will be feeling it. Take a bath with warm water to relax your muscles and your mind. Looking to jazz it up? Listen to music and light a couple candles to really get that spa effect going. It will help get you out of your stressful way of thinking much faster.

Clean your room

Added clutter is just going to clutter your mind and add to your stress level. Clean your room so you can basically start with a clean slate. You’ll be surprised just how much better you’ll feel once you are working in a more open space. Moving around while you are cleaning will also help relieve built up tension in your joints.

Volunteer

Everyone always feels better when they know that they have helped others. Start volunteering either regularly or just when you feel particularly stressed so you can fill your mind with happy feelings instead of just the things that are stressing you out.

Avoid caffeine

Drinking a lot of soda, coffee or tea full of caffeine just adds a lot of energy that your body can convert into stress or anxiety. It can also affect your quality of sleep, leaving you drowsier throughout the day adding more irritability and discomfort. Drink, instead, beverages that will relax your body like water, milk or hot, non-caffeinated tea. Remember, drinking eight ounces of water a day helps flush out toxins in your body, helping your body feel cleaner and more relaxed.

Take a nap

Sometimes you just need to sleep on it. Being tired while you are trying to work will just produce sloppy work and it will make you feel stressed. Look at it with fresh eyes after a short nap. You will feel better and your work will look much better too.

Stretch it out

Knotted muscles and lack of movement can add stress to your body. If you feel yourself becoming anxious, do a few stretches to relieve that tension. Be sure to breathe deeply while you do it, too. The extra oxygen will relax your muscles as well as your mind to help clear your mind and increase your ability to focus.

Change environments

Your current location is clearly not working out for you. Whether it’s the people around you or the cramped amount of space you have to work, it could be your environment that is stressing you out. Get back to neutral by changing where you’re at. Putting yourself in a different environment is almost like a way to “start over” stress-free.

Talk to someone you’re close to

Sometimes talking about your work can help you work it out for yourself. And sometimes the workload doesn’t seem as strenuous when you actually say what you have to do out loud. But other times, talking about your work makes you sick to your stomach, which is why talking to a friend or family member can be your way out. Call them up, talk about the weather, tell a funny story, talk about…anything! Just get your mind off of your workload until you’re unwound enough to pick it back up again.

Read a book…other than your textbook

This one is almost like changing your location. But when you can’t actually physically move, you should move yourself mentally by getting lost in a book that you enjoy. Read as much as you need to until your mind is back to normal. When you’re ready to look at your work again, you’ll have fresh eyes and a fresh mind…but more importantly, you’re no longer stressed!

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.