Ways to Reduce Stress in College

1. Drink lots of water. No brainer, right? But when you’re in the middle of exams, it’s a lot easier to pass up hydration for a highly-caffeinated, sugary beverage.
2. Exercise. Yes, this is probably the one thing that is the easiest to cross off your list. If you’ve got a meeting with a professor followed by a meeting with a team for a group project, followed by studying and doing homework in between showing up for class, by the end of the day you may be too exhausted to go all the way to the campus gym. But try to find 20-30 minutes a day to do even light cardio and you’ll notice a positive difference.
3. Tennis ball massages. Carefully run two tennis balls along either side of your spine. Definitely research this and watch some videos on this before attempting to do this. Under the supervision of a dance professor I did this to relieve knots in my back.
4. Creative writing. A little bit of levity goes a long way. A friend in college wrote a short comedy sketch venting her frustrations about her roommate. It was actually chosen to be performed in a student showcase. You don’t have to be a professional to just write. It could be a short story, a monologue, script, or sketch, but writing may help relieve stress. And if you want to make something of it once it’s written you can certainly enlist the help of performing arts or communication majors who can assist with formatting and performing. Or you can submit it to your college or university’s literary magazine, if they have one. Or, just keep it for yourself, knowing it served its purpose to make you feel better.
5. Have dinner with friends, but set a time limit. “Hey, I know we’re both tight on time, but do you have thirty or forty minutes to grab dinner?” When people are busy they want convenience. They don’t want to sit for an hour and a half in the dining hall chatting away. This approach shows that you recognize they have other obligations and that you respect their time.

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