Take a chill pill

College is stressful. No doubt. Students are working hard, doing a thousand things outside of class, trying to figure out what to major in and what to do later in life, keeping in touch with friends, and a hundred other things. Sometimes it can seem like there’s too much to handle.

There’s no special sauce formula for handling stress at college, but here are a few suggestions based on experiences of current college students.

Expect it:

You might be an ever-competent over-achiever, but you will get stressed out and overwhelmed at least a few times during college. Expect it.

Figure it out:

The worst is having this ambiguous heavy weight on your shoulders and now knowing what’s causing it. Something is causing you to stress out. It might be a class where you haven’t done as well as you wanted, a professor who you think is being unfair, a paper that you have to write and just can’t seem to start. Or it might be something more general than that, like not knowing what you should choose as your major, doubting whether you belong in college in the first place. Or perhaps your stress is more personal — you’re having trouble communicating with a friend, you’ve gained weight and you don’t feel like you can control it, your parents are bugging you.

Force yourself to figure out what’s causing you to stress out — it will make it easier for you to deal with it.

Make a small change:

Once you have a better handle on the cause or causes of your stress, do something about it right away. This will be a small step, a tiny change, but it will help you feel in control.

Do something right away, no matter how small.

Distract your mind:

Get your mind off the stress. Do something you love, something that makes you really, really happy. Go to lunch with a friend, read a chapter out of your favourite book, buy that CD you’ve been eyeing for months, take a walk off-campus. Giving your mind a chance to chill out will give you more energy to deal with your stress and you’ll be able to see solutions more clearly.

De-stressing tips:

• Practice good nutrition

• Get regular exercise

• Enough sleep

• Take time out to do something you enjoy

• Manage time effectively

• Be assertive to get your needs met