How can you avoid being a stressed out student?

In a 2016 poll, 34.4% of college students say their academic performance had been negatively impacted by stress over the past 12 months.  Read on to learn how you can avoid mental, physical and emotional toll that comes with prolonged stress. Students General Students HowTo


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How can you avoid being a stressed out student?

If you're a college student, you're most likely being pelted by life stressors. The article, Spring Stressors You Can Expect, provides insight into unique sources of student stress and the related short and long-term consequences. Unfortunately, consequences can be life-threatening when high levels of stress are experienced over a long time. These include increased rates of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and other conditions that significantly impact daily life.

Learn How To Manage Stress Of College Life

Nursing school brings its own unique set of stressors. Just thinking about the huge amount of material that nursing students must learn and retain is enough to cause cold sweats. There is also the added pressure of clinicals and applying what has been learned in "real life". Add in the demands of coursework and your mental, physical and emotional energy can easily slip away.

There are several ways to sharpen your coping skills when faced with mounting stressors. Let's take a look at some strategies for self-care that may ease the pressures.

STEP 1 Eat Well

Eating healthy while in college is a challenge. Students often fall into bad eating habits due:

  • Stress eating
  • Skipping meals
  • Fast food meals
  • Vending machine "meals"
  • Financial hardship

With a healthy diet, you can feel, cope and perform better. Ready to get started? Check out these helpful tips from Clarke University.

STEP 2 Get Moving

Regular exercise not only improves your physical health, but also promotes:

  • Improved memory retention
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Boosts mood
  • Relieves stress

Now, you may be thinking "how am I going to fit exercise into my already time-crunched schedule?”. You can start by reading tips in the article, How to Find Time to Exercise in College.

STEP 3 Don't Depend on Caffeine

For many, caffeine is necessary for the night study session or a quick boost of energy. It's readily available in the form of coffee, tea, energy drinks, and even chocolate. But, relying on caffeine as a stimulant can actually slow you down and make studying that much harder. Consider the following:

  • Caffeine dependence, withdrawal and toxicity do occur
  • Withdrawal symptoms include headache, fatigue and irritability
  • Caffeine can lead to sleep problems and prolong sleep deprivation

It's a myth that caffeine has no real side effects.

STEP 4 Set Realistic Expectations

It's difficult to juggle school, work, responsibilities and a personal life without a great deal of stress. Setting realistic expectations can prevent you from having your plate too full.

STEP 5 Don't Procrastinate

Have you ever put off an assignment because it wasn't immediately due? It's so tempting to put off coursework or studying until "a little later". The problem is ..."later" comes sooner than you wanted and an amount of stress occurs when assignments, exams and clinicals are scheduled around the same time. Try keeping a detailed calendar of important due dates for all your classes. Seeing the big picture will help you avoid deadline anxiety.

STEP 6 Have An Outlet

We all need a stress outlet and a way to decompress. Your stress outlet should be something you enjoy, such as exercise, spending time with friends and family, getting a massage and hiking.

STEP 7 Know When to Get Help

Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable. When we experience high levels of stress for extended periods of time, it can be detrimental to our mental, emotional and physical health. If you are struggling with stress that is interfering with your daily life and studies, consider these resources:

  • Campus counseling services
  • Substance abuse prevention hotlines
  • Academic advisors
  • Suicide prevention hotline
  • Physician or therapist

You can also simply reach out to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member or faculty member.

What tips do you have to share for reducing stress while in college?


A Student's Guide to Managing Stress


J. Adderton MSN has over 20 years experience in clinical leadership, staff development, project management and nursing education.

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Specializes in Pediatrics, Burn/Trauma, Med-Surg, Nurse Education.

These are for sure great ways to manage stress in the average student. Thing is the students I encounter daily are burdened with soo many extraneous factors that it's almost impossible to get to the basics of what's outlined above. Students who are single parents, caregivers, head of households, in abusive relationships, without transportation, childcare issues, etc. It's a lot!!

Specializes in Mental Health.

Don't forget all the excuses people make, too! Oh wait, those were mentioned already... ?

Specializes in Pediatrics, Burn/Trauma, Med-Surg, Nurse Education.
1 hour ago, Rionoir said:

Don't forget all the excuses people make, too! Oh wait, those were mentioned already... ?

So what's your excuse for being...?

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