Strategies for Academic Success
With late nights of studying added to the general stresses of being a student, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Stress can affect your mental and physical health, negatively impact relationships with friends and family and contribute to poor academic performance. Therefore, the ability to effectively manage stress is an important life skill for students to acquire as early as possible. When you’re busy and tired it can be tempting just to grab another pizza or ready meal, but cooking from scratch can be therapeutic as well as being healthier.
The Counseling and Testing Center (CTC) helps students manage stress by offering free use of the Relaxation Room which has massage chairs and biofeedback equipment that teaches you how to lower your stress levels. (All students need is their Panther I.D.) In addition to the Relaxation Room, the CTC has a Mind-Body Clinic that focuses on teaching students to use meditation and mindfulness to reduce stress. For more information on the Relaxation Room or the Mind-Body Clinic, visit the Mind-Body Clinic.
Stress is common in students, but there are many ways to improve stress. Here is a list of ways that you can improve your stress today:
- Eat fresh ingredients! Juices filled with vitamin C, such as orange or grapefruit juice, are said to be good for your immune system so can help with stress.
- Get moving! Doing sport at least once a week is the best way to reduce stress. It helps your body produce endorphins, which make you feel good. Even daily walks of 30 minutes can help reduce stress levels but it’s even better to work out intensively. Even if you don’t feel like it at the time you will feel the benefits afterwards.
- Take breaks throughout the day. Short breaks between working can help you switch off. But longer breaks are important too.How about taking the weekend off to relax? Make time for fun and for yourself even if this means that you have to schedule time away from your work. You’ll hopefully come back to your work feeling fresh.
- Step away from the computer and take a nap. Sleep is always the best medicine and some people find that small 20-minute naps can help increase productivity. As students we tend to spend too much time on social media sites and answering emails, texts and phone calls. Sociability is fun – but too much of it, and too much computer time, can lead to more stress. Failing to switch off from work because of your electronic gadgets will only make you even more stressed.
- Meditate. With meditation, your concentration improves, you are able to grasp things faster, your memory sharpens and you might need lesser number of revisions than before or sometimes no revision at all! Many student-meditators share that the first read is enough to retain the main points.
- Stay positive. If you missed a deadline, try to appreciate what you learned from this mistake: now you know how to plan ahead. Things might seem bad, but if you try, there is usually something positive to be learned.
- Turn on some music. Listening to music can help calm you down and put you in a better frame of mind. If you’re feeling stressed, putting on some calming music while you work could really help.
- Laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s really true. Laughing out loud increases oxygen and blood flow which automatically reduces stress.
Adapted from Art of Living