How to Deal with School Stress
Many students want to know how to deal with school stress.
High school and college students are faced with new schedules, routines, teachers, friends, classmates, plus new material to learn. Even more, it feels like anxiety and stress are waiting to meet you around every corner.
As a student, you know all too well what the stress of work overload feels like. Many unrealistic expectations are placed on you, leaving you rushing between classes carrying a burden that is heavier than your textbooks.
At some point you may have said to yourself “I’m so stressed about school I want to cry”.
The truth is that nothing can prepare you for the transition into high school and college, and so you jump right in and do the best you can. Yet, school expectations can have a way of making you feel like your best isn’t good enough.
What started as an unrealistic workload and schedule has now left you with the anxiety of feeling incapable of completing your work on time. And making time for work or extracurricular activities while taking care of your mental health in the process can be a challenge. So, how do you deal with stress at school? Implementing just one of these 7 self-care tips can help ease your anxiety. In addition, we hope adapting them will help you feel more in control of managing the challenges you face.
When stress becomes a problem, dive into these 7 hot tips on how to deal with school stress
Create an organized workspace so you can reduce your school stress –
If you feel like you are always running low on time and trying to get things done in the windows available, you won’t want to continually waste spare time digging around for the things you need.
This includes electronic files as well – do you have hundreds of papers and projects saved to your desktop, waiting to be organized in a folder and back-up drive? It’s okay – this happens to everyone.
It might not seem like a priority at the time, but it will save you from taking an hour of your precious time down the road if you take two minutes to create a hard drive or Google Drive folder and drag over your work once it’s complete.
It feels good to stay on top of your organizing. Knowing that everything is there should you need to quickly reference something in the future. It’s better than digging through stacks of paper or a computer desktop with icons scattered everywhere.
To the best of your ability, keep your workspace and surrounding environment neat and tidy. Too much visual noise can make your mind feel scattered and distract you from the task at hand, which might further set you back and leave you feeling more stressed than when you started.
Avoid all-nighters –
It’s vital to establish monthly study plans to avoid all-nighters and school stress. Procrastination is a bad habit that will cause you more stress and anxiety. Working on your course work for a few hours everyday will help you avoid falling into the all-nighter trap.
When your having trouble with school stress, practice building study habits that work for you. Start slow and go with the 20-minute rule. It simple, so take action – begin studying for only 20 minutes.
You can do anything for 20 minutes. Right? If you feel like going longer keep at it. If you need to stop and try again later, it’s okay. The point is to keep building the habit of studying for 20 minutes to get your head in the subject matter.
This 20 minute rule is a life-long habit that can serve you to avoid study and work projects from piling up. Fear plays a part in the procrastination game and the 20-minute rule can break that fear up.
Another way to build productive study habits are to get a study buddy and hold each other accountable. It’s much easier and much more fun when you are working toward a goal together.
Build mini breaks into your schedule –
As busy and stressed as you already feel, the idea of adding more to your day might make you feel a bit anxious.
But if you bring your mental health to the forefront, everything else will fall into place and get accomplished with more ease. In this way, taking breaks is actually more productive than not taking any at all.
Rather than leaving your breaks up to chance or saying, I’ll do something I enjoy only if and when I get this done, go ahead and plan them now and then plan your work around it.
Plan some time to get outside with friends or exercise to relieve stress and tension and reset your mind.
If you create a work or study schedule this way – you have a higher chance of not avoiding a few things you enjoy that can provide a necessary distraction for a while from you from what causes you stress.
Once you’ve blocked off breaks in your schedule, you can set an alarm and time them too.
Even if you do not feel 100% like you need it when break time comes, take it anyway.
Yoga and meditation are proven to reduce school stress –
Much of our school stress and anxiety comes from how we perceive things or what we imagine.
This is not to say that your anxiety or stress as a student is not real – it is.
Yet, it is far too easy to add to our worries by stressing about grades that have already been finalized or saying things like, I will never finish this project in time or ace that exam.
There is underlying pressure in school for students to be perfect, whether it is pressure from parents or thinking their teachers prioritize perfection when much of the time, your teacher or professors only want to ensure you progress.
Whether or not you are in school by choice right now, this is an excellent opportunity to learn, not just what is in your books but also about the world around you and yourself.
You deserve to enjoy this process and not miss out on critical moments and opportunities because you were too busy feeling stressed out.
Yoga and meditation are excellent tools for students with anxiety as they are centered around the idea of mindfulness.
By learning how to work with the breath and stay present, these practices can help you cast some of your past or future worries aside.
They are also helpful tools for noticing when you begin to feel stressed or anxious (in other words, you are mindful of it). Recognize when you need a little break. Take some deep breaths, refocus, and tune into what you are working on.
Exercise the stress away –
Too much school stress can be terrifying.
Exercising and getting outdoors is essential to reducing anxiety.
You may have noticed or are currently dealing with some of the many undesirable symptoms of anxiety, including trouble sleeping, weight gain, headaches, and difficulty focusing, to name a few.
Stress puts the mind and body into something called fight or flight mode, during which time our body releases stress hormones that trigger an increase in our heart rate and alertness.
It can be tricky to get out of this stress response. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to do it. In the short-term, it will help you relieve tension and get your stress hormones under control. And when done regularly, it helps improve your overall mood and can lower your anxiety symptoms.
There are many ways to stay active and motivated –
It’s all about finding something that works for you, your schedule, and your environment and resources.
Whether it is running outside with a friend or biking in between classes, make sure you pencil it in. Find something you love to do. And if there is ever a day where your plans fall through, staying moving is the most critical part.
Cleaning your living space or taking quick 10-minute walks throughout the day counts too!
Always seek help when your struggling with school stress and anxiety –
If you are still having trouble managing your anxiety or stress, help is always available.
A therapist or school counselor can help you address your anxiety and stress. And recommend healthy strategies for dealing with it.
There are many tips available for managing stress, and many treatment types. Don’t worry if one does not work well for you. You can always modify to what does work for you.
A professional can help point you in the right direction to improve your stress level now. Plus help you reduce it in the long-term.
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