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Eight Tips for Managing Academic Stress

Asian Female student stressed

For most people, college is a significant accomplishment. There is much to celebrate but also a lot of stress. Finding a balance between schoolwork, socializing, eating healthily, exercising, and living on one’s own can be difficult for some people. A person’s approach to coping with school stress varies based on their unique circumstances. A certain amount of pressure is beneficial to our health and well-being. Still, if it is constant or chronic, it can harm our productivity and have long-term consequences on our well-being.

You’re a student, so tell us, do you constantly feel under pressure? Do you feel like you have a never-ending to-do list, and its weight is slowly crushing you? If you’re nodding your head right now, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.

Let’s face it; we have to deal with stress whether we like it or not. So if you’re floundering to keep your head above water, here are a few tips that might help you out:

1. Take a Time-Out

Studying isn’t an easy task. Whether you are a business major, a liberal arts student, or doing your major in nursing, everything comes with its fair share of stress. Everything requires a lot of dedication and hard work. But that doesn’t mean you should be working 24/seven. You need to take some time out for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes. So step away from your desk, put down those books, and take a break. Go for a walk, watch your favorite TV show, or call a friend. Just do something that will take your mind off things and help you relax.

2. Choose Flexible Options

Suppose you’re among the high-achievers who want to utilize their spare time doing something productive. How about looking for better opportunities? Maybe you want to try studying in a different program in another city? There are some excellent options for nursing schools in Missouri or art schools in New York, and much more. Research, and opt for an online degree that can help you save up on more time and expenses and relieve some of that stress.

You can also utilize this time-out to think about your goals and what you want to achieve. It will help you stay motivated and focused when things get tough.

3. Evaluate Your Situation:

Put aside those ogre-sized textbooks and give yourself a break. Please take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Now, think about what’s causing you stress. Is it the long essay that’s due next week? Or is it the looming exams that are just around the corner? Once you’ve identified the source of your stress, you can start to look for a solution.

Tackling a big project can be daunting, but it’ll be much easier to manage if you break it down into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a 2000-word essay in the pipeline, break it down into smaller tasks like:

  • Researching and brainstorming
  • Writing the first draft
  • Editing and proofreading

It doesn’t seem so bad when you break it down like this. And before you know it, you’ll have the entire project done and dusted.

4. Don’t Listen to the critics

Who’s your biggest critic? Is it your professor who’s always picking you apart? Your friend who seems to do everything better than you? Or is it yourself? Yea, we figured! It’s mostly us. We’re our own worst enemy.

We tend to be way too hard on ourselves. ‘You’re too slow,’ ‘That’s not good enough,’ ‘You could’ve done better’ – these are just things we tell ourselves daily. But guess what? You’re making an all-out effort, and that’s what matters. So be easy on yourself and cut yourself some slack.

5. You Deserve a Reward

Remember the theory of positive reinforcement? It’s when you reward yourself for a job well done. It helps to motivate you and makes the task seem less daunting. So, after you’ve completed a task, big or small, take some time to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything plethoric, just something that will make you feel good. Probably an ice cream!

For example, if you’ve just submitted a project, go out and buy yourself a new dress or take the afternoon off and watch your favorite movie. A reward doesn’t have to be anything grand or expensive; it can be anything that makes you smile.

6. Don’t Let Your Mind Wander

How often do you zone out in the past during lectures? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably ‘all the time.’ It’s easy to let your mind wander when you’re stuck in a boring lecture or seminar. But if you’re not careful, you’ll miss important information that could come back to bite you later.

What’s in the past will stay there. You can’t magically go back and respond better to the sarcasm your friend threw your way last week or the test you aced the previous month. Well, not unless you’ve finally cracked how to invent the time machine!

Similarly, the future is yet to come. It’s out there somewhere, and you can’t tell if you’ll be the next dean of your school or if you’ll flunk out and have to move back in with your parents. The only thing you can do is focus on the present and make the most of it.

7. Keep Your Diet and Sleep in Check

You know they always say, ‘you are what you eat?’ Well, it’s true. If you’re eating a bunch of junk, you’ll feel like, well, junk. So, make sure you’re eating healthy and balanced meals.

Your body needs the proper nutrients to function correctly. That means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And don’t forget to include protein! Lean meats, tofu, legumes, and nuts are all great protein sources.

It would help if you also were getting enough sleep. Most people need around eight hours of sleep a day. But, of course, this varies from person to person. So, if you find yourself feeling tired all the time, you might want to increase your sleep.

8. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s all too easy to get ensnarled in the competition in today’s society. We’re constantly looking at images of people who seem to have it all together on social media. But the thing is, we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

The person who always has their nose in a book might be struggling with their mental health. The girl who is constantly posting pictures of her perfect life might be going through a break-up. You never know what someone is dealing with, so stop comparing yourself to others.

Ending Note

Don’t let stress beat you at your own game. Use these tips to help you manage your academic stress and take control of your life. It will all fall in place; it’s meant to! All you have to do is focus on your journey and be your competition. Keep in mind that if we want to be able to concentrate and work effectively, we must take care of ourselves. Maintaining a healthy balance often necessitates saying no to extracurricular activities to free up time to recharge, sleep, and stay in touch with friends and family.


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