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Six Ways to De-stress at College in the New Year

Happy New Year! With the start of 2020, we would like to introduce our newest College Scoops intern, Grace Rittenhouse, a sophomore at George Washington University. Throughout the year, our College Scoops intern team will focus on creating insightful and helpful new content about college life for our College Scoops community. They'll also continue to help us expand our student ambassador program.  If you would like to join our team, please reach out to us hello@collegescoops.com.

 

College Life

 

Let's face it, as amazing as college is, it can get pretty overwhelming dealing with friends, school, and jobs. With a new semester just around the corner, it's a great time to remember ways to take care of yourself and destress during this crazy time of year.

Go for a run

I know, I know, everyone and their mother has told you “running reduces stress” but seriously, listen to me on this one. Scientifically speaking, running releases endorphins, the body's feel-good hormone, which helps the body reduce pain, slow down aging, and you guessed it, release stress. Now, there's no need to go run a marathon or anything (props to you if you want to though), but running a mile or two could be just the quiet distraction your mind needs!

Meditate

Mediation is another fantastic way to put your stress to rest. By setting aside only a couple of minutes in your day, you can beat your anxiety and sleep better too. Celebrities like Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey all swear by it to stay sane in crazy times. Meditation doesn't need to be an hours-long ordeal with a profound spiritual awakening. Using apps like Insight Timer and Headspace make it easy. These two apps provide mediation sessions anywhere from three to thirty minutes long; choose what works for your schedule.

Call home

Yes, sometimes your family does give you a headache but scientifically speaking, the voice of family members, particularly parents, has been shown to reduce levels of stress. Whether it's five or fifty minutes, being able to pull yourself out of your stressed-out state and connect with loved ones will be able to banish your stress. Your family will be happy to hear from you and you'll be able to take your mind off all your work.

Reduce caffeine

Getting ahead of your workload at the start of a new semester can feel amazing and do wonders for your GPA too. Get all of your course syllabi together and go through each one, writing down all the critical assignment dates-due in your calendar. If you do it online, you can even have reminder notifications sent to you in advance of your due dates. Once you know the expectations for your courses and when an assignment is due, you can start to plan ahead and understand when you'll have free time in between jobs, friends, and other responsibilities to get your work done. With all the critical dates accounted for, now you can plan your study time accordingly and the semester will seem a lot less daunting.

Plan ahead

Getting ahead of your workload at the start of a new semester can feel amazing and do wonders for your GPA too. Get all of your course syllabi together and go through everyone and write down all the critical assignment dates due to your calendar. If you do it online, you can even have reminder notifications sent to you in advance of your due dates. Once you know the expectations for your courses and when an assignment is due, you can start to plan ahead and understand when you'll have free time in between jobs, friends, and other responsibilities to get your work done. Now with all the critical dates accounted for,  you can plan your study time accordingly and the semester will seem a lot less daunting. 

Start journaling 

The practice of writing down your thoughts and feelings has been shown by researchers to effectively combat and reduce stress and anxiety. Start the new semester fresh and get all those jitters out by writing it all down. Setting aside time to journal once a day or once a week will allow you to express your feelings and stress points in a healthy and productive way. Starting out the semester clear and level-headed will not only reduce your anxiety but also improve your grades.

 

Remembering to take time out of your sometimes insane schedule is the key to stress reduction. Understanding that stress is a natural response is essential; everyone gets stressed, and it's okay to have those feelings. That being said, it's crucial to remember that if you feel like your stress is too much, it's okay to talk to a counselor or therapist. College can be a really stressful time, and for some people, they feel like they can't handle that stress all on their own, and that's perfectly normal. Remember to take care of yourself and get familiar with your school's counseling center and the other resources available to you. There are always people willing and able to help you, even if it's just a little bump in the road.

 

Grace Rittenhouse is a sophomore at George Washington University. Originally from Philadelphia,PA, Grace is majoring in psychology and minoring in journalism and philosophy. She currently works in a research lab in the psychology department on campus. She is also the Vice President of Communications and Operations for my sorority, Sigma Kappa. I love being able to explore D.C throughout my college experience, it’s an amazing city. I choose GW because I knew I wanted to be in an east coast city with a super motivated student body. Grace’s favorite dessert is peanut butter and chocolate cake!