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5 min read
It is inevitable that most students become stressed at some point during their time at college. Balancing all aspects of this new life can be tricky, especially if you are a student-athlete and have to maintain your grades whilst keeping up with your training. Luckily, there are many ways that stress can be managed and controlled to make college life both more effective and productive, as well as relaxing and enjoyable! Here's some ways that you can keep your stress levels in check: 1. Don't Stress About Being Stressed If you feel under pressure, you can actually make yourself feel more stressed by getting worked up about it. It's normal to feel stressed sometimes - the adrenaline from nerves can actually be a good thing if you learn how to handle it. Focusing on how stressed you are will only intensify the situation - it will make you feel on edge, that everything is barely being held together and that can mean you will struggle to focus on the task at hand. Breathe and count to ten. If you can, remove yourself from the situation temporarily - get some water or fresh air. Take a moment to relax and focus your thoughts and this will help you to put whatever is stressing you out into perspective. If you find yourself struggling, and feel overwhelmed - you can always talk to someone. Talk to a friend, family member or someone from the college counseling centre - that is what they are there for. If you are suffering from anxiety or panic attacks - they can be frightening, but they can also be managed. Make sure you take the time to address any worries or concerns that are troubling you, by having an open discussion with someone. Usually, when the problem is shared - the problem is halved! 2. Get Perspective And Prioritize College life can be overwhelming. It may seem there are not enough hours in the day to find time for your studies, your training, your friends, and for all the clubs you want to be involved in. Learn to prioritize. Your extra-curricular activities will not help you to graduate - your academics and athletics are the reason why you are at College in the USA. Make sure you prioritize what you need to do to pass your classes, and to stay on top of your game first and foremost. When you are in a routine with these activities, you can then look to introduce other things into your schedule - which will make you appreciate them that bit more. Don't take on too much! 3. Sleep Or Get Some Quiet Time Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Pulling regular all-nighters because you have exams or have a lot of work to get through, will do you more harm than good. Getting more sleep, can help focus your mind and can help you recharge. Sometimes, a good night sleep is all you need to help you hit the ground running. It can be hard to find 'alone-time' at college, especially if you are sharing a room or an apartment. Personal space can be hard to come by, but this may be all that you need. Find a little time every day to step out of the crazy college crowds, and take a few minutes alone with no cell phone or people around. You could take a walk, or find a quiet room in the library. Having a few moments alone to process and focus your thoughts can do wonders for reducing your stress. 4. Watch Your Diet And Exercise You may think your stress is all psychological, but you could also be experiencing some physical stress if you are not fueling your body correctly. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet, and not surviving on junk food. Similarly, make sure you are getting enough exercise. This does not mean you need to fit a 2 hour work out in the gym into your daily schedule - incorporating a 30 minute relaxing walk into your day can help to increase your energy levels. Don't forget - it's all about balance! 5. Get Some Social Time And Have Some Fun! Your brain is like a muscle - you can't overwork it without taking a break to relax it! Take some time out of your studies, when you are getting to the point of not being able to focus anymore. If your schedule is organized so that you don't miss any deadlines - take a break to see some friends and switch off for a few hours. Having a social life is an important part of your college experience and it is a great way to help you lower your stress levels. Don't forget - it's all about balance! #WorkHardGetTreats If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to study for your college education, whilst on a sports scholarship in the USA, be sure to make the most of it! At times, college life can be overwhelming, but the rewards from your hard work will be worth it. By organising your time, and prioritizing your activities you will achieve great results in your grades and in your game - leaving time for you to enjoy all the social activities that will give you the US College experience that you are looking for! There are now many apps which can help you to organise your time, your studies, your finances, social life and work-outs. Check out this graphic from Southern New Hampshire University, that we have found useful.