College freshmen can take several proactive steps to help manage and reduce stress. Here are some strategies, find the one(s) that work for you!
1. Establish a Routine: Creating a structured daily routine can provide a sense of stability and control. Set aside specific times for classes, studying, relaxation, and socializing. Having a schedule can help manage time effectively and reduce stress caused by disorganization. 2. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities to promote physical and mental well-being. Get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that you enjoy. Taking breaks and allowing yourself to relax and recharge is crucial for stress management. 3. Seek Social Support: Build a network of friends and seek support from fellow students who may be experiencing similar challenges. Join clubs, organizations, or participate in campus activities to meet new people and foster a sense of community. Don’t forget to stay in touch with family and your high school friends as they can be a great source of encouragement. 4. Use Campus Resources: Colleges usually offer a range of resources to support student well-being. Take advantage of counseling services, academic advisors, tutoring programs, and career centers. These services can provide guidance, help manage academic stress, and offer valuable support. 5. Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Explore stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, or yoga. These practices can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. 6. Time Management and Planning: Develop effective time management skills by prioritizing tasks, breaking them into manageable steps, and creating a study schedule. Planning ahead can alleviate last-minute stress and ensure tasks are completed on time. 7. Take Breaks and Have Fun: It’s important to have a healthy work-life balance. Schedule regular breaks, engage in hobbies, pursue interests, and allow yourself to have fun. Engaging in enjoyable activities can reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. 8. Communicate with Professors: If academic stress becomes overwhelming, reach out to your professors for clarification or additional support. They can provide guidance, offer suggestions, and help you navigate the coursework. Remember, everyone copes with stress differently, so find strategies that work best for you. If stress persists or becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from campus counseling services or healthcare professionals. Taking proactive steps to manage stress will contribute to a healthier and more enjoyable college experience.
Listen to SafeTEA Podcast, Season 2, Episode 8: A Mental Health Crisis Among Today’s Teens & Young Adults
Read Through the Darkness, by author Therese Hinkley, college student and mental health advocate. Therese was featured on the above podcast episode.