It’s really easy to start a new semester with high hopes and expectations, excited for what’s to come. But, it's also really easy to slowly start to spiral downward from the heavy stress that classes, work and extracurricular activities can impose. It’s important to take the time to clock out of the things that bring stress and do what betters your emotional health. Here are four strategies you can implement during moments of excruciating stress or panic.
1. Have An Object To "Re-Focus" Yourself
Moments of panic are usually unexpected and can’t be solved by doing a relaxing face mask in the middle of class. Carrying small things in your backpack like Play-Doh, squishy balls and even pens are great tools to help you concentrate and re-focus on what you were previously doing. Things such as fidget spinners occupy a part of your brain that can provide relief from all the negative thoughts or feelings you may have. Having one is incredibly beneficial and can help you self-regulate. Also, Play-Doh is such a fun thing to distract yourself with and there are endless possibilities to what you can make with it, so you’ll never get bored.
2. Set Up A Nighttime Routine
Nighttime routines help you settle into a familiar pattern. Whether it's brushing your teeth, moisturizing, watching YouTube videos or drinking tea, establishing a routine when you’re feeling stressed will help you wind down into a familiar pattern. If you find yourself overloaded with stress while studying or working on projects, transitioning into your nighttime routine can help settle you down. One thing that’s nice to incorporate is a time before bed where you can shut down completely. Jumping right from the stresses of class websites and e-mails on your laptop to your bed isn’t an ideal thing to do. You carry the stress of what you were just looking at into a place that’s supposed to help your mind ease into rest. You don’t really want to be up for 45 minutes thinking about the essay you should’ve finished when you could be sleeping.
3. Find A Thing That Helps You Escape The Negativity
Painting, drawing, writing, journaling and creating are all things that alleviate your stress and anxiety. While journaling may not be everyone’s favorite thing, writing down all your feelings and allowing your journal to become an outlet through which you can express emotion is incredibly beneficial. Painting and drawing ideally do the same thing, but in a more visually appealing way. People start painting with one intention and then end up totally derailing from that idea, painting something that might express how they feel within themselves. Alternatively, you can just furiously scribble for the heck of it.
4. If It Feels Like Too Much, Ask For Help
Finally, if you feel like your stress is a heavyweight in your life, look into all the resources your college has to offer regarding stress and anxiety. Your stress shouldn’t be taking over your life and causing you problems within relationships and in classes. The health professionals at your school are more than willing to work with you and find a long-term solution to the stress or anxiety you have.
Obviously, a little stress is normal when you’re a student. But too much stress can inhibit you and is unhealthy. Get help if you need it and try out these methods to reduce your daily stress levels. You will thank yourself in the long-run.