Managing Stress This Semester

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It’s almost Labor Day, and that means that summer is soon to be over and school is back in session. Now that you’ll be spending more time hitting the books and focusing on your academic career, you’re probably starting to make a list of all the supplies you’ll need to get you through the semester. In college, your back to school needs are a lot different than they were just a few short years ago. Stress management has become paramount and suddenly having the right kinds of pens is becoming less and less important.

De-stressing isn’t often taken into consideration during back to school shopping trips. Paper, ink, writing utensils, and binders usually make the top of the list, but when was the last time you made sure to buy a candle and some bubble bath while you were out shopping before the first day of class? In 2008, The Associated Press and mtvU conducted a survey on college student stress at many campuses throughout the United States. The survey found that four out of ten college students report they feel stressed often. One out of five say they feel stressed most of the time. One out of four students report experiencing daily stress and one in ten report thoughts of suicide. Looking at the trends in the last two and a half decades, students’ perception of their own mental health has been on a steady decline.

It’s important to be proactive about stressors and mental health. Taking the time to plan ahead for the mental and physical stress of the semester can make life so much easier during the most difficult times of the year. Keeping this in mind during your back to school shopping can come in handy during midterms and finals when sleep seems like a luxury and stress is ever present.

Here’s a few ways to be proactive about de-stressing and taking care of your mental health this semester:

Pack up a box filled with items that help you relax. Your favorite scented candle, a funny movie, or some art supplies. When you feel the stress of the semester weighing down on you, set aside some time to distance yourself from your work load and focus on these relaxing activities to take the edge off.

Look into how to make counseling appointments on your college campus. Schedule a meeting in advance during the time of the semester that will most likely give you the most stress. Counselors are a great resource to help with time and stress management, and this resource is often overlooked.

Have you ever browsed the stress reliever section on Amazon? Check it out for some good tools to help you relax.

We hope you are heading back to class feeling energized and ready for the challenge. When stress creeps up on you, we hope the proactive tips offer some relief.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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