Are you feeling stressed or feel like your anxiety from college is overtaking your life? Keep reading about these five daily habits to incorporate into your routine to help diminish that outside stress that may not be necessary!
You already knew this was coming.
Now I'm not telling you that you need to go to the gym everyday for two hours to be healthy and stress free. However, I will say that getting your body moving in some form daily will help with your mental health by increasing endorphins, or the 'feel good' hormone. Whether it is a walk around the block or taking the stairs instead of an elevator on your way to work, moving your body and staying active throughout your day will help with your mental health.
I try to exercise four or five times a week, but that doesn't mean I spend hours at the gym. 2/5 of the work outs are a cycle class I attend through my school and the rest are simple yoga classes or Pilates classes that you can find for free on YouTube! Light stretching in the morning is also a great way to wake up your muscles. Your future self will thank you if you stay active.
2. Practice clean eating.
As college students, it's hard to find time in the day to cook, and it honestly can add to the stress. I was so intimidated by cooking because I didn't know how, and therefore, I would eat out all the time. When eating fast food constantly, I found my energy levels to be a lot lower and I had no motivation to do any of my school work. I began researching how to eat clean and I found that the substitution was a lot easier than I thought.
Eating clean isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle that will allow you to have more energy and be in a better mood. Instead of reaching for the bag of chips and french fries, I substituted it for kale chips and hummus or even apples and peanut butter. There are so many online resources that help with changing out your current foods for a healthier version. Again, your future self will thank you for feeding it well.
3. Be proactive.
College students stress a lot of the time because they are waiting until the last minute to do a task. It's a hard truth, but let's be honest, we say we have no time, but we just spent two hours on TikTok.
Ask yourself every time you reach for the TV remote or your phone if you have completed your tasks for the day. Completing your assignments and tasks early will allow some grace period for you to enjoy your free time rather than stress about what you need to do and then not be able to put forth your best efforts. Work, then play. You'll feel so much better once the task is out of the way and you don't need to worry about it!
4. Try grounding methods.
If you find yourself becoming anxious about the amount of work you have to do, try this simple grounding method. It's called the 5,4,3,2,1 method. State 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Finding these things gives us a simple task to do that will distract us from the overthinking and the anxiety that surrounds us. Grounding helps us find ourselves and centers our minds off of the stress and onto the current moment.
If you don't have time to do that exercise, try taking some deep breaths and counting how long you're holding it for. State a mantra such as, "everything is going to be okay." In times of stress and anxiety, it's important to be kind to ourselves. We're already going through so much already. I have a reminder on my phone every day at 7:00 pm that says "take a deep breath" so that I know to stop and be in the present moment.
Honesty and communication are key to helping reduce your stress.
If you are having a difficult time balancing your tasks, don't be afraid to ask for help. Or if something is going on in your life that is causing more internal stress, talk to someone about it. It's easier to let go of something minor that is bothering you than to hold on to it.
Be honest with yourself. Like I said in the Proactivity section, we have to be honest with ourselves about why we are stressed. Are we just lazy and don't want to work? Or are we actually burnt out? Whatever the case may be, focus on the end result and how you will feel once you're done with that task or once you've gotten the clarity you need.
Remember, you are not alone! Many people that are successful have worked very hard to get to where they are. If they can do it, so can you!
Discipline is hard, but it's important in order to grow in life. Starting a new habit can be a challenge, but if we think about the end result and how much it will benefit us in the future, it will motivate us to want to start a change. I'm here with you and can advocate that these five habits have really affected my energy levels and have led me to be more productive and less stressed in college.
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