Stress is an inevitable part of life. People juggling several different responsibilities, such as a full-time job, parenthood and schoolwork, are especially prone to experiencing a lot of stress.
Stress can perpetuate a vicious cycle that contributes to poor academic performance, which in turn causes you even more distress. If you’re subjected to multiple stressors like academic pressure, relationship problems or financial hardships, you may be tempted to throw in the towel on your academic pursuits.
Before you give up on your career advancement goals, consider adopting some stress relieving techniques.
Nourish Your Body with Healthy Food
A busy schedule can lead to less-than-ideal eating habits. Stress eating, skipping meals or eating processed foods loaded with preservatives and added sugar will drain your energy and lead to unhealthy weight gain. It may seem burdensome or even impossible to set aside a few hours each week for grocery shopping and cooking, but this time investment will help you maintain a sharp mind, even temper and a healthy body. To improve your eating habits, follow a diet rich in lean protein, healthy fats and ample fruits and vegetables.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Pulling all-nighters before major exams isn’t uncommon for many students, but it can significantly increase your stress levels. Staying up late is tempting, especially if that’s the only free time you have for yourself, but sleep debt can lead to fatigue, depression and trouble concentrating, all of which will have a negative effect on your academic performance.
To get enough rest, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night and try getting to bed before midnight.
Regular exercise isn’t just a way to burn calories and stay in shape. When you’re stressed or tired from prolonged mental activity, exercise can reduce stress levels and help you feel rejuvenated. You don’t have to engage in strenuous workouts to keep stress at bay. Find something you actually enjoy, like yoga, Pilates or walking your dog. Do it three to four times a week for 30 minutes to soothe tension or worry.
Make Time for Yourself
Your schedule may be filled with many responsibilities and obligations to family members, your employer and professors, but setting aside a few hours per week to do something you like will help you destress and feel fulfilled. This me time doesn’t have to involve anything complicated or expensive and can be as simple as taking a relaxing bubble bath, working in the garden or volunteering for your favorite nonprofit.
Learn to Manage Your Time Effectively
Time management is a universally useful skill to hone. However, when you’re in college, poor time management can not only cause you stress but also negatively affect your academic performance. Make sure you know which assignments are due and when and give yourself adequate time to study.
Leaving schoolwork for the last minute is never a good idea, as you’re bound to run out of time, miss out on learning and produce subpar work. Use a calendar or planner to write down upcoming assignments and exams so you can prioritize study time on the days leading up to tests or due dates.
Ask for Help
Going to college can be a lonely and stressful experience. If you’re taking classes online, you may enjoy a flexible schedule, but you may also feel socially isolated, especially if you enjoy interacting with others. Consider reaching out to fellow students and joining a study group to relieve the stress of solitary work. Participating in a study group is an effective way to stay up to date with class assignments, avoid procrastination and exchange valuable ideas and perspectives.
If you’re having a particularly tough time dealing with the stress of schoolwork, reach out to your school’s student services to see what kind of resources they have to help you. You may benefit immensely from talking to an academic advisor or mental health professional.
How St. Louis College of Health Careers in Missouri Can Help You Manage Stress
At St. Louis College of Health Careers, we offer many resources to help students succeed in their academic journey. We work closely with each student to ensure they receive the time, mentorship and learning tools they need to keep college stress at bay and become exceptional healthcare professionals.
To learn more about our programs, call (866) 529-2070 or contact us online.