Is it really possible to become stress-free? Some people encourage breathing techniques or daily planners that help structure your time. Others say that you can be stress-free if you have balance. These are all good suggestions, but we all know a college student’s life is anything but balanced. A normal day for students could include classes, club meetings, studying, jobs, music lessons and sports practices.
With midterms approaching, time appears to speed up, leaving many of us anxious and stressed. We question how we will complete papers, study for tests and finish projects while trying to maintain a normal social life and our sanity. You are going to be tense during this time and when Christmas break comes you will probably go home in a sorry state of post-finals stress syndrome and a stomach ulcer from all the caffeine that has kept you awake for exam week. Here are a few tips to help you cope.
“What do you call a gorilla who plays golf? Hairy Putter.” This is a joke from Jay Leno’s book, How to be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (Or Just in Your Class). To help with stress, try to find humor in everything. Read jokes from a book or make up your own. If your friends say something silly, write it down and tack it to a quote board. When you are stressed, read the funny sayings to help cheer yourself up.
Stop. Get off Facebook and stand up. Do a headstand. Complete some jumping jacks or go for a twenty minute run around campus. There are plenty of enjoyable ways to get your blood flowing. Sophomore Tommy McGrady plays ultimate frisbee, intramural volleyball and Friday afternoon football. He said, “It’s a way to have a release and it provides a distraction. You’re not focused on the tests you have because you’re focused on the game.”
Eat what you want. If you cannot stop thinking about that Wawa hoagie, Coca-Cola slushy or chocolate chip muffin, just go for it. Desiring certain foods that may be unhealthy for you when you are stressed is normal. It can create a battle within you. Instead of stressing over your craving, just give into it, but in moderation. Set reasonable standards for yourself and follow them.
Just about everyone has heard that eight hours per night is the proper amount of sleep we should get. Unfortunately, this is rare for some college students. If you get the suitable amount of sleep, good. For those of you who do not, it is okay. Take small power naps during static times in your schedule and try to catch up on your sleep during weekends.
If you have been reading for three hours and your eyes start to bug out, then you need to take a study break. People relax in different ways. Find something that works for you, and take 15 minutes to get re-energized. Here are some suggestions from Eastern students:
Junior Dan Madanat said, “I play rummy in the library when I need a break.”
First-year Amanda Shuster said, “I dance or listen to music when I get stressed.”
Senior Annie Svitavsky mentioned that she watches movies, plays board games or calls her mom when she needs a break from studying.
A college student’s schedule is overbooked and the activities are endless. Stress and feeling burnt out are sometimes unavoidable. We can, however, make the best of every situation through humor, physical activity, food, sleeping and study breaks. Be imaginative, be fun, but most importantly, find out what works best for you.