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7 Pro Tips for Managing Stress in Your Studies

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For many, college is the most exciting time of their life.

Making new friends, trying new things, and discovering the person you want to be.

Even with all the good things that come with earning your degree, stress is often an unavoidable symptom of the higher education experience.

A health & wellness degree from the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA) can help you take some of your challenging college experiences and turn them into healthy behavior-change lessons for the next generation of students.

But while you're still earning your health & wellness degree, these tips can help you get through your studies.

Leading Causes of Stress for College Students

According to College Parents of America, one of the leading causes of stress for students is the unhealthy competition associated with obsessing over earning a high GPA.

Other leading causes of poor mental health in college students include:

  • Lack of sufficient sleep
  • Lack of support in difficult classes
  • Homesickness
  • College expenses (taking out loans or having to work to pay for school)
  • Not taking time to rest, and
  • Insufficient organization habits

Whether you're earning your online bachelor's degree or master's degree, mental health promotion is essential to a positive college experience.

Tips & Tricks for Battling Stress

Practice time management

When students go off to college and live on their own for the first time, it can be difficult to manage a schedule without parents being around to offer guidance.

When creating a schedule, it's important to note that you are not the same as your classmates — what works for some might not work for all. Do not beat yourself up because your schedule doesn't start at 6 a.m. or doesn't go till Midnight — do what works for you, not your classmates.

Some time management tips wellness professionals recommend include:

  • Create a to-do list
  • Start with small tasks
  • Establish a healthy routine
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Use a checklist
  • Create a schedule, and
  • Use a time management app

Take breaks

Taking breaks from long study sessions is necessary to relieve stress and fully comprehend the information you are intaking.

Scientists at the National Health Institute recently discovered that short breaks while trying to learn a new skill might help our brains to learn. Resting your brain allows it to replay compressed memories of what you just practiced or studied.

Students should take breaks ranging from 5-60 minutes during study sessions to refresh their brains and increase energy and productivity. During your break, try to fully remove yourself from your study area and let it leave your mind. Go for a walk, eat a snack, or do whatever works best for you.

Find your support network

No matter what you choose to study, college courses can get tricky. Finding a community that supports you through long nights of studying and less-than-favorable test scores is necessary to reach graduation.

Whether it's joining a club or on-campus organization, enjoying a rec league, or attending career development events, finding a support network is necessary to maintain your mental health and reduce stress.

People in your courses likely experience the same ups and downs you are. Reach out to the people sitting around you in class to get more mental health promotion ideas and form your community.

Prioritize healthy sleeping patterns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that sleep is necessary for students to improve concentration, stay focused, and achieve high levels of academic performance — ending the myth that pulling all-nighters the day before an exam is a good idea.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the following tips to ensure restful sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time
  • Avoid watching TV, reading, or studying in bed — only use your bed for sleep
  • Don't nap after 3 p.m.
  • Wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, and
  • Have a wind-down schedule where you relax 30 minutes before bed

Indulge in self-care

Take care of yourself — your health and wellness are essential. Treat yourself to activities that make you feel good and boost endorphins.

The NIH recommends the following self-care activities:

  • Practice proper nutrition and stay hydrated
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day — even 30 minutes of walking can do wonders for your mental health
  • Sleep 8 hours a night
  • Mediate
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Learn to say "no" and don't take on activities you don't have time for
  • Practice gratitude, and
  • Stay connected with family and friends

Be realistic about your goals

Setting realistic goals that are achievable can help keep you motivated and avoid burnout. Try setting smaller goals on the way to your major goals so you can check off and celebrate each moment of success.

For example, if your goal is to make the honor roll, set a smaller goal of scoring high on your next exam.

But your goals don't even have to be related to school to be beneficial. Setting a goal of exercising 3-5 days a week is achievable and will provide many health benefits.

Take a stress management course

Students should consider taking a wellness degree program course even if they aren't a wellness major. Getting instruction from a public health educator and other wellness professionals can help your mental health outcomes.

At Tulane SoPA, our health & wellness degree program offers a course in stress management that will serve you well far after you leave the classroom.

In this course, you will examine stress from psycho-physiological and behavioral perspectives — equipping you with the skills necessary to cope with stress healthily.

Take the Next Step in Your Career With a Health & Wellness Degree

Between juggling your social life, taking care of yourself, and studying, college can get pretty hard to manage. That's why it's so essential for students to enroll in wellness programs to help manage stress.

When you earn your health & wellness degree from Tulane SoPA, you will be equipped to educate students and other community members on the best ways to live a stress-free, fulfilling life.

And now is a better time than ever to join this exciting field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth outlook for health education specialists and community health workers is set to rise by 12% in the coming decade.

Request more information today to learn more about the health & wellness degree at Tulane SoPA.

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