Everyone who is or has ever been a student knows how stressful a student’s life can be at times. On the whole, you can seldom find a person who will focus on bad things when talking about their student experiences. Yet, we keep looking back and think of all the things that we could have done better.
It is common knowledge that when facing new environments and challenges, we need to make some lifestyle-changing decisions. Naturally, we don’t like to break our habits, and it is the refusal of adopting our habits to a new environment (which a college or a university is) that brings the most stress associated with being a student.
Once a student, you are entering a whole new world, and some of your old habits might just not fit well in it. Therefore, you should consider some lifestyle changes – some radical, some less so – to make your student experience less stressful and more enjoyable and to let you stay enthusiastic about your studies. Here are some of those for you to consider:
1. Healthy diet
When asked to list some of the stress factors, a student will most likely state the curriculum, possibly the part-time job that s/he has to take, some extracurricular obligations, etc. These are the factors that we have little to no influence over. Instead, you can focus on stuff that you do control – such as your diet.
What one needs to understand here is that experiencing stress is to a large extent about the chemical processes in one’s organism.
A healthy diet is called healthy for a reason. It helps your body and brain to perform to the fullest. It doesn’t mean that you should better stay hungry than grab that burger or a slice of pizza when you’re busy or tired. But you can also have some fresh fruit rich with vitamin C to strengthen your immune system and keep your tonus in general. Besides, cooking a healthy meal can be a relaxing process in itself.
2. Physical exercise
It is no secret that a healthy spirit rests in a healthy body. If you have ever sat in one position doing something, you most probably have noticed that it gets to you, and even something as simple as merely standing up and stretching your arms and legs makes you feel better. This is due to the increase of the blood flow in the organism and more oxygen being supplied to your brain as a result.
This is how physical exercise is connected to the overall tonus.
So, it is a good idea to go places around the campus and outside by foot or by bicycle, as opposed to driving a car.
You can also join a sports section or a yoga class to take care of your body, as well as socialize with like-minded people, which is always good against stress.
3. Good sleep
For an adult person, it is healthy to sleep about 8 hours per day. If you stick to that, you will notice how you perceive everything that happens in a more positive way.
Some advise reducing your sleep during exams or while preparing to those to 6 or even fewer hours per day. But this means pretty much all the time. So – no, this is not a good idea.
You may have noticed that when you haven’t had a good sleep, it takes you more time to start functioning, and you don’t perform as well as you know you can. This way, you get dissatisfied with yourself, which adds to the stress that you already have from undersleeping.
While some unexpected circumstances may turn up now and then, you should stick to those 8 hours.
It is always tempting to slide-to-unlock your phone without any particular purpose in mind, isn’t it. Regardless of whether you are busy or idling. And then you notice that it takes an extra moment or two to get back to what you were doing before.
Therefore, it can be a good idea to put away your phone when you are doing something – studying, eating, sleeping, socializing offline, – and just check the notifications every hour or so (unless, of course, you are expecting some important messages).
5. Regular breaks
As mentioned before, it is no good to sit down studying for hours and hours. It is useful to do a little reboot now and then. Say, five minutes per hour. This is a good time to stand up and stretch your arms, look out the window to get some fresh air, look at the notifications on your phone, or, perhaps, rewards yourself with a cookie and / or an entertaining video on YouTube.
On a larger scale, it is good to take a weekend off once in a while and get away to some distant place. Maybe you can visit some friends or family, or go to a concert or show, – anything is better than just lying on a couch staring into your smartphone. Getting away will help you feel fresher when you come back.