How To Handle Back To School Stress With These 5 Simple But Effective Tips
As much as commercials like to make back-to-school season look enticing, you know that starting a new semester can be downright stressful. When you first think about how to deal with back-to-school stress, it's easy to get lost in all the motions that comes with preparing yourself for the return of the school year. Many students face some significant emotional battles when heading back to school, and some may feel alone, overwhelmed, distracted, or even a combination of all three.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five young adults will experience a mental health condition during college. So, while mental health issues are certainly not uncommon in this context, there are still plenty of ways to tackle the stress before it even hits.
The key is to prepare. Yes, this could mean getting all of your binder dividers in order and having your class schedule printed out, but people who handle stress well also arm themselves with a mental first-aid kit far before the stress even has a chance to strike.
Those who don't stress easily could just have tough skin, yes, but they could also be laying the mental groundwork every day to ensure anxiety doesn't take over. Here are five things people who don't get back-to-school stress may do a little differently.
1. They Use Technology To Their Advantage
You know when you desperately need advice, but for some reason, all of your friends are busy at the same damn time? It's the most annoying thing in the world. In situations like these, you'll need a healthy alternative to turn to for when your unavailable friends cannot gift you with their trusted gems of advice. That's where a little thing called Shine Text comes into play.
Shine Text is a self-help text messaging service that helps millennials practice self-care through a daily text message. However, this time, they've introduced a new element to their services, geared specifically for students returning to school. Their new campaign, The Flip Side, utilizes the power of customized text messages to help students recognize that there is, in fact, a "flip side" to everything they're struggling with.
After signing up for the service, you'll receive regular texts with research-backed tips to help you through various back-to-school stressors, whether that be FOMO, distractions, or difficult professors.
The best part about this all? It's freaking free.
2. They Take Preventative Measures
If you know you get stressed out easily, then you need to put things in place so that you don't stress.
Preventative measures can mean a multitude of things, depending on your level of anxiety and your overall lifestyle. Maybe you want to start attending weekly therapy sessions with the campus counselor, or practice daily meditation sessions before you start your day, or take an afternoon walk around the pond. Whatever you choose, do it for you, do it to add a healthy dose of tranquility to your day.
When all is said and done, a preventative measure for back-to-school stress should allow you to perform at your optimal level, even when the usual stressors (like, say, an assh*le professor) try to get in your way.
3. They Recognize Their Weaknesses And Play On Them
True emotional growth comes from both understanding and working on yourself, which inherently means acknowledging the not-so-good attributes you may have. With that said, work with, not against, your weaknesses.
For example, if your weakness involves getting completely overwhelmed about having to do a 23-page English report, then own the fact that that number intimidates you, and set a plan in motion for yourself. Make it so that from the very day you receive the assignment, you make room in your agenda to at least begin brainstorming topics for the paper. Then, set a later deadline for yourself -- by the next week, you've at least nailed down your assignment topic. Get the idea?
Work with your weakness by breaking down whatever it is that overwhelms you into mentally digestible sections.
4. They Still Know How To Have Fun
Having fun does not have to mean being reckless and deteriorating other aspects of your life. People who handle stress well have reasonable fun.
So, say there's a huge party on Sunday that you desperately want to attend, but there's also a rigorous test happening first thing Monday morning. People who are experts at dodging stressful situations are keen to only do what their schedule realistically allows them to do. So, if you feel like you absolutely can't miss that party on Sunday, spend most of your Friday and Saturday on studying, and only studying. Come Sunday, you can enjoy yourself stress- and guilt-free.
It's all about a healthy balance of give and take, and only you can decide what is most important for you and your mental well-being.
5. They Have A Balanced Diet
What you eat can really determine how you feel, think, and move about in your daily life. Eat like crap, and you'll likely feel sluggish, have poor memory, and simply not perform at your prime.
I understand college has a plethora of unhealthy carbs and sugars stocked in the dining hall, but no matter what, if you really put your mind to it, you can still make healthy choices.
How you feel ultimately translates to how you operate, so if you feel like crap after eating that bagel, then don't eat the bagel. Make it easy for yourself to navigate your emotions by at least being good to your body, you feel me?