Stress in Academics, Health and Relationships

October 29, 2015

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Photo courtesy of: Jarylle Montevirgen 

How To Minimize Stress in College

Student: “It’s only the beginning of the year, and I’m already so stressed out from school, work, my internship and my social life.  I never sleep.  I have a cold that just won’t go away.  I get irritated with my roommates all the time, and just about anything annoys me.  Ugh I give up.”

Sound familiar?  You are not alone.  Data from the 2013 American College Health Association indicates that stress is the #1 concern for UNH students.  Often times, it negatively affects parts of your life. So what can you do to reduce stress?  Here are four ways to get started.

  1. Get organized.

Use a planner to keep track of your school assignments, social events, work schedule, etc.  This is helpful in planning ahead for those with busy schedules.  Let’s say you want to spend all of homecoming weekend with your friends but you have a project due the following Monday.  You can plan to finish your project the week before so you do not have to stress about it all weekend.

  1. Make time for yourself.

Set aside a few hours or a day to do something for yourself.  You could go out to eat with friends, hike a mountain or even lay out on T-Hall lawn.  This is a good way to reset your mind and relieve stress from your busy week.  For extra stress relief, opt for a physical activity.  Exercise strengthens the communication of body systems involved in stress response in addition to increasing cognitive performance and improving emotional health.

  1. Communicate.

Whether you are grateful that your mom brought you homemade cookies or unhappy with your roommate eating all your food, express how you feel.  Communicating positive feelings can reinforce ties with friends and family while expressing not-so-positive feelings can resolve problems, prevent misunderstandings and strengthen relationships.  In college, communicating with your roommates plays a large role in reducing stress from personal matters.  Keep in mind to be assertive—not aggressive—when talking about problems and sensitive matters.

  1. Sleep.

Depriving yourself of sleep can make your feel irritable, overwhelmed and stressed.  This affects you and those around you.  Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep to boost your mood, improve your immune system and increase your energy and motivation.

Minimize life stressors to maximize and strengthen academic performance, mental and physical well-being and connections with friends, family and coworkers.  

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