While college may be one of the best times of your life, it is also sometimes one of the most stressful. While social experiences and weekend fun, are what most people think of when the word college is mentioned, there is an educational aspect to it all. It just so happens that sometimes those educational aspects can produce mass stress and anxiety attacks from the list of fifteen assignments I must get done, the six different meetings to attend this week, the lack of sleep due to 6 AM workouts, and oh yea I can't forget the lack of a social life. College students all over the country can attest to experiencing a day like this at some point in their college career. Luckily, there are ways to calm yourself down and get rid of that overwhelming sensation that seems to be weighing on your shoulders. Advice was given to me long ago and now I want to pass it on, not only to help that overwhelmed college student but anyone else who is feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.
The first thing everyone must understand is that you are going to be fine. You are still breathing. You are still functioning. You are going to make it. This day is not the end of the world, but merely a bump on the highway of life. The first thing you must do is stop and take a deep breath. Slow yourself down and breathe. Allow yourself to relax and catch your breath.
Next, take time to prioritize. Write down the due dates for every assignment and plan out exactly when you will be working on what. Trying to do everything all at one time can lead to a massive headache. When you have everything planned it out, write it down. Using a planner, or a pocket calendar, is an easy way to put everything out in front of you, so your not relying on your memory for everything.
Another tip I was told long ago was to try and find someone or something to distract you. When I say "distract" I do not mean find someone or something that will not allow you to get any work done, but rather find something that will allow you to relax for a little bit before you have to get back to it. Examples include sleeping, Netflix, running, lifting, drawing or even reading a book for enjoyment. The same can be said for a person. Find someone that will make you laugh, calm you down and help you relax. For people, it varies. Personally, while my future roommates are three people that constantly make me laugh and don't allow me to worry all the time, my mom is the one person who I call all the time when I am feeling overwhelmed. She usually listens while I outburst over everything, then she calmly says "Kyle I love you very much. So take a deep breath and breathe. Now let's talk." So simple but so helpful. I am very grateful for my mom and constantly apologize for the amount of similar phone calls she has received.
Another way to help is to go for a drive. Either by yourself or with some friends, but go for a drive, turn the music up, roll the windows down, be safe and enjoy the wind in your hair and air on your face. Shout out the lyrics of your favorite song and sing along. Find a spot to explore nature and the beauty it presents. Sometimes just getting out is what we really need. To just let go and focus on something else allows our mind and body to slow itself down in order for it to be able to relax.
Anxiety, stress and that sense of overwhelmingness can affect any person in the world. How we overcome those issues is what separates us from the rest and allows us to relax and enjoy life. So next time you feel yourself starting to worry and panic, take a deep breath, look around and realize everything is going to be okay.