As a college student, there are a lot of stressors you face throughout the day. It is important you have coping techniques to help combat this stress. These techniques are commonly used techniques used in cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy to help those dealing with anxiety and other mental illnesses.
1. Breathing exercises
The most practical coping skill is deep breathing. No matter where you are or what time it is you can always take a moment to focus on your breathing. Deep breathing and breathing exercises not only calm the mind but also calm the body by releasing tension in the muscles and slows your heart rate.
Meditation is a valuable coping skill to have because it changes the way you view and deal with stress. It not only allows you to calm your mind but it can also benefit your mind and mental health in the long run. In recent years, studies have shown that meditating for at least 20 minutes a day can over time change your brain.
Sometimes when we are under a lot of stress or intense emotions, it helps to talk to someone. But sometimes you cannot always reach out. A good coping skill is to journal. Writing out your thoughts and feelings helps your brain to let go of those feelings and thoughts in a positive way. Journaling for extended periods can help you build mindfulness of what causes you to feel stressed and how to identify when you are becoming stressed so you can take action before it really impacts your mental health.
Reading can be a great coping skill. Not only does it get your mind off of things, but reading a good book can keep you entertained.
Whether you play an instrument, sing, or just listen to music; music can be a great coping skill. Music is good because it can uplift you or soothe you depending on the type of stress you are feeling.
Exercise is a very beneficial coping skill to have. Exercise releases endorphins and relaxes your muscles. It also releases built up stress in your body. Any form of exercise can be beneficial, whether its as simple as going for a walk around campus or going to the gym.
7. Practice self care
Practicing self-care is one of my favorite coping skills. When you're under a lot of stress, you deserve to take the time to have a long warm shower or eat your favorite ice cream flavor. Self-care can be very relaxing and enjoyable depending on what you do to treat yourself.
8. Take a nap
Napping is the most restorative coping skill on this list. Taking a nap not only allows your body to rest and rejuvenate but it also allows your brain to reset after feeling stressed.
9. Go on a day trip
A day trip can be rejuvenating and a fun way to explore things in your community. You can go to a state park or a museum nearby. Taking time to get away for a day and have fun can help you get your mind off of stress. Even if it's just driving around town with a few friends and your favorite music, it's good to have a day to get away from the stress of college.
10. Talk to someone
Talking to someone can be the most challenging coping skill to learn. It's not alays easy opening up to someone about how you have been feeling. However, talking to someone can be very beneficial for your mental health. Whether you reach out to a friend, teacher, or counselor on or off campus, talking to someone can help you manage your stress.