How to Cope with Everyday Stress as a Student

Student Life

As a student, getting through the day can be difficult in itself; so many problems can arise that make you feel like you're not in control. The future especially can be difficult to think about, it might seem like a looming, inevitable dead end. Or maybe you might be having issues with family, or with friends? Whatever it is, it can be easy to feel instantly very overwhelmed.Luckily, there are ways you can regain that control, and feel positively about all the issues you might face.

Write it down!

Why not make a list of all the things you're worrying about? This will help you to get it out and see it all from a different perspective. You can make it really colourful and organised, or just get it all down as quickly as you want. It doesn't necessarily need to be a list. Some people might prefer to write a poem, or draw something. Whatever allows you to get your thoughts onto paper.Often, transferring your thoughts into a real, physical format can give you control over them, and help you to fix them. Once you see your problems listed, you can prioritise the things you need to take care of first. Accept that you won't always be able to deal with everything, but you can definitely tackle the most important things!

Don't procrastinate.

Prcocrastination is an affliction as old as time, haunting every student across the world. To some people, it might be considered laziness, but often it's simply a defence mechanism. Instead of allowing yourself to worry and stress over work you might not get done, it's easy to drift into more enjoyable things, rather than letting yourself get hurt. The next time you find yourself doing that, think of the bigger picture; if you let procrastinating become a habit, you'll never get anything done, and while rushing to finish work may seem daunting, trying is always better than the alternative. If you don't trust yourself, maybe make a timetable and try to stick to it.

Create a vision board.

Take some time off to think about your goals, your dreams, everything you hope to achieve. Then, try to put it all down onto one board. You can do this however you'd like, you can write words, draw pictures, make a collage from magazine cutouts, stick some photos on there, whatever you want. You might find it silly, but it doesn't matter, no one has to ever see this apart from you, and it will help you endlessly. Whenever you're feeling confused or overwhelmed, it's a great way to focus your thoughts. It will help you see the bigger picture, and why you're doing what you're doing, as well as allowing you to take stock on your life in an objective manner.

Stay positive.

Sometimes it can be easy to see the world in black and white, and think that what we're going through is the worst possible thing. But if we learn to recognise our own negative thoughts, and challenge them, it becomes much easier to see the world in a better light. The next time you have a negative thought, why don't you question it? Try and test yourself by asking the following questions: Is the negative thought true? Is it fair of you to say that to yourself? Is it helping? If not, then throw it away. There's no point in thinking something that won't help you in any way, and if you're sure you'd never say it to someone else, then why would you say it to yourself?

Where's your happy place?

We often hear people say 'go to your happy place', but what does this mean exactly? Well, imagine you're standing in front of a door. And you know that behind that door is a place you love, or a place you've always dreamed about, somewhere calm and quiet, a place that's all yours, where you can be alone and rest, and have as much time as you want to think everything through. What's behind your door? It's different for everyone, and for two people it might be the exact opposite, but it doesn't matter, as long as you have a place in your mind to retreat to when things are bad. 

Healthy body? Healthy mind!

While this is a cliche, it's still the hard truth. Getting enough sleep, exercising, having a healthy diet, and practicing mindfulness through meditation or similar are all great ways to feel better. If your body feels good and healthy, then your mind will soon follow. Make sure to go outside every now and then, and to drink enough water. Maybe start a routine, as small and relaxed or as big and complex as you want. Every day, try and think of a few small changes that you can make in order to make sure your body gets what it needs. Everything else will come with time.

Get outside. (but stay distanced from other people)

The world around you might seem like it's all changing and moving very quickly, but if you take a moment to step outside, you'll notice that the one calm, peaceful constant is always the environment. Every now and then, try to find a place outside where you can go to be alone and think. While this might not be as easy for some people, there will always be somewhere you can go, some space where you feel at one with the world. Let the sunlight wash over you, and just clear your mind. This can be as helpful as any therapy, and being in a place full of light and oxygen is scientifically proven to boost both your immune system and mental health.

Do what you love.

Don't let your work and your troubles take up your entire time. This is your life at the end of the day, and you need to make the most of it. Pick up that hobby you've been neglecting, have some me time, take a moment to laugh. All these things might seem unimportant, but if it makes you happy it's worth it. While it might often seem that you're simply living to get through one thing and then go on to another one, that's not strictly true. All of the work you're probably doing is to get you to a good place in your life, and that's pointless if you're not enjoying it. Put yourself first every now and then, and just try to be happy in any way you can.

Family and friends.

Sometimes it's hard to get along with everyone, especially family members, especially if both parties are stressed and frustrated. But the people you love are fundamental in feeling better. Try to spend some time with those you care about, whether it's hours or minutes, and talk about what's going on in your life. Getting a second opinion can always be helpful, and they might see an easy, unbiased solution to your problems. Even if they don't, getting some reassurance, and maybe a hug, will always boost your morale. However overwhelming your problems might be, you're not alone.

Stay in the moment.

We all know that it's easy to worry about the future, and to stress for hours on end over the smallest decisions. But who is this helping? The future will come when it does, and worrying about it now will only take away from the joy you might be able to experience now. Don't miss out on your life because you're too stressed! Again, try and controlyour thoughts. If you catch yourself worrying about the future at a time when it shouldn't matter, then stop yourself. It might not seem that easy, but leading psychologists agree that our thoughts and emotions are interlinked. And while we can't change how we feel, we can definitely try to change how we think.

Breathe!

Finally, it's just as important that you just take a moment to breathe. None of this advice is helpful to everyone on the planet, and you might not feel like going out for a run to calm your nerves. Instead, what you can always do is just sit, whether in a room with friends, or in the dark by yourself, and just breathe. Life can be very hectic, and that's not your responsibility to carry around all the time. Feel yourself relaxing, and exhale all of your doubt and frustration. It might seem silly, but just sitting with your mind completely empty and calm can be great for the body and the mind.

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Penny Beretta

Enjoys art, literature, and linguistics. Fluent in English, Italian, and learning French.


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