It's hard, but you are so much more than your thoughts.
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20 Tips For Thriving In College With Anxiety

It's hard, it is. But you are so much more than your thoughts.

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20 Tips For Thriving In College With Anxiety
Caitlin Flaherty

As my first semester comes to an end, I have found ways which I have been able to accomplish more than I believed I could. I know that anyone else can do the same so I thought I'd share what I have found.

1. Use a planner

A planner allows for a space to record all assignments and the ability to map them out in smaller chunks. It's also something that you can fully control. I wrote a whole article about why I love my planner (which you can read here), but having a place where you can have everything takes away the stress of remembering many things. For example, I keep an extra copy of my schedule (or two) in my planner. I keep sticky notes in order to take small notes of things to add to my planner.

2. Drink water

Water has so many benefits. Yes, it keeps you hydrated and well, that's essential, but it also has other benefits. Water prevents headaches, which I for one, get when I'm anxious. It improves your complexion, increases your energy level, and flushes out toxins. All of these are things you can feel proud of yourself for doing, just by drinking water.

3. Know your limits

It's okay to say no to things!! If you have too much going on, don't feel bad if you can't take something else on. It happens to everyone. There are only so many hours in a day, don't fill them all up to a point where you cannot take care of yourself. If you don't want to drink or party, that's okay too! If anything, absolutely anything, is going to make you anxious, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and stay away from it.

4. Take a long shower

Sometimes, you just need to take a break. Get your shower caddy, some comfy clothes for after and go take a nice, hot shower. Take your time, just stand under the water and let it wash away the worries on your mind even if just for a little bit.

5. Color

Another way to take your mind off what may be consuming it, focus on coloring. It's a great way to focus your mind elsewhere, but it also keeps you off electronics. Sometimes going onto social media where everyone paints their world as perfect will only make your mind worse. Allow yourself to find other activities which give you a break from your phone.

6. Don't feel guilty for feeling anxious

There is nothing wrong, absolutely nothing wrong with your thoughts and feelings. Everything you're going through is completely valid and do not allow anyone or anything to tell you differently. If something is getting to you, do not undermine that.

7. Go for a walk

Some fresh air is always a great way to make yourself feel better. It cleans your lungs which may feel full of pressure from anxiety, it gives you more energy and so much more. Similarly, the movement will welcome the benefits of exercising. This includes but is not limited to the release of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitter.

8. Build a routine

This is something else you can control and you need to make the most of the little things. Finding and building a routine to stick to will allow you to know what is coming next. Similarly, you can find time in your schedule to work on assignments in pieces in order to complete them in a less stressful manner.

9. Accomplish something small

Make little daily to-do lists with small, individual tasks that you can accomplish throughout the day. Giving yourself smaller accomplishments will build your own confidence in your ability to complete what needs to be completed. And, it always feels good to cross something off.

10. Believe in yourself

This one is easier said than done, but you can do it. Believe you can. if you've been studying for hours on end and it's 2 a.m. and your exam is in six hours, just go to bed. You will do much better if you have slept and you probably already know more than you think. If you have put your all into a paper, just hand it in. Don't second guess yourself.

11. Find things to involve yourself in

Please, don't wallow in your room. Find clubs, organizations, sports, or something else to put yourself in so you can meet others and find enjoyment on campus. Make the most of what your school has to offer.

12. Have a healthy snack

Give yourself something to be proud of. Every time someone eats well, especially in college, they're all "yes go me" and you deserve to feel that way too.

13. Or eat something sweet

Treat yourself. If you're having a good day, or even a bad one, get a dessert at the dining hall or even from that stash under your bed. There is nothing wrong with needing a bowl of ice cream or celebrating with one.

14. Find your people

I have been blessed to have found so many amazing people I can count on here at school. If you haven't yet, that's okay. Keep looking. Talk to the people around you in your dreaded eight a.m. or the girl down the hall. We may be a semester in but there are still so many people you have yet to meet. Find those people that will have your back and keep them close, be there for them as you'd want them there for you.

15. Journal

Let it out. Being able to put your thoughts onto paper is so important. This will allow for you to not only get them out, but to work with them. Having them written means you can go back to them later when your mind is calmer, reread them and begin to comprehend them. Also, you can make it all colorful and pretty. You can make writing your thoughts out into something fun.

16. Have a good cry

Again, let it out. Everyone needs to cry sometimes, it's a completely natural reaction to emotions. You should feel no shame in just letting it go.

17. Dress nice

If you're having a bad day, wear your nice clothes and rock it. Dressing nicely builds your confidence outwardly and will make you feel better. It will not only increase your self-confidence, but it will keep you productive. It's the little things.

18. Talk to somebody

It doesn't have to be someone professional, it can be your mom or your best friend or even the stuffed animal that you've had forever sitting on your bed. Just let it out, get it into the world. Eventually, it may be better to move on from your stuffed animal and get another's opinion but do it as you're comfortable.

19. Have some "me" time

Some days the most beneficial thing to do is take off your make up, put on some comfy clothes, pull out Netflix, and snuggle up in bed with your favorite snack and a face mask. Remember taking care of yourself mentally is just as important as it is physically.

20. Embrace it

Your anxiety is who you are. It is a part of you and it isn't going anywhere. It can be your weakest point at times, but it will always be your strongest. Your ability to live your life despite what is going through your head is so amazing and you can never forget that. There are so many things having anxiety has made you better at and you just need to find them and embrace them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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