Prevent the burnout: 7 tips for managing stress at college

Are you feeling more stressed than ever? You’re not alone. College can be a lot to handle – especially during a pandemic. As students around the country are returning from spring break, many of you may be feeling that post-break burnout.

Now is a great time to check in with yourself and your mental health. Below, we’ve compiled seven tips to help students manage stress while at college. Empower yourself by taking the time to find what tip works well for you so that you can finish your semester strong.

1. Get organized

You’re busy. Between school, work, family and friends and other obligations, it can be hard to fit everything into your schedule. Take the time to get organized. Planning out your time will help you feel in control of the tasks ahead of you. Use a calendar to layout your class schedule, plan time for homework and track any upcoming deadlines. Putting it all down on paper or in an electronic app will help eliminate the list of dates in your head and give you some mental clarity.

2. Turn off the electronics

Are you finding yourself scrolling on social media after a long day? On average, a person between the ages of 16 and 64 spends roughly two and a half hours on social media every day. Mindless social scrolling can leave you feeling anxious. Take a look at how much time you’re spending on electronics and make a change. Start by turning off your electronics for one hour every night before bed, or make a point to schedule more time outdoors or spend time with family or friends.

3. Get active

According to the American Heart Association, staying active is a great way to deal with stress and can boost your energy, mood, and overall wellbeing. Start off with a small goal. Even just 30 minutes of activity per day can make a difference. Whether it’s going for a walk or run, or taking up a new activity — being active is a great way to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.

4. Set goals

It can be hard to feel motivated to stay on top of your schoolwork and assignments. By setting small goals for yourself, what once felt impossible can easily be achievable. Break large tasks into small segments to stay on track. Not only will it help to eliminate stress, but it will also bring you joy as you get to check each goal off your list.

5. Make yourself a priority

It can be easy to get swept up in the day-to-day. Make sure to take time for yourself – even if that means scheduling ‘you time’ on your calendar. Take breaks to do something that makes you happy and recharges you. Try treating yourself to a nice coffee after a hard exam, or take an hour to listen to music while you craft. Whatever makes you feel fulfilled and brings out the best version of yourself deserves some of your time.

6. Connect with others

It is important to maintain relationships with family and friends. Whether it is meeting up to grab a coffee, or sending someone a text to check in, keeping healthy relationships will help you feel supported. If you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, share these feelings with someone. Talking things over with people you care about provides an avenue for you to process your thoughts and feelings. Isolating yourself can lead to feeling alone or with no support. Make an effort to stay connected and keep healthy relationships.

7. Seek help

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Most colleges offer a wide variety of confidential resources that may help and are usually available at no cost to students. Reach out to your campus life department to find out what mental health services are available. Your school likely also has career advisors, tutoring programs and other resources that could help ease your academic concerns. Take charge of your mental wellbeing.

If you are a current Davenport student, you also have access to free counseling services through our partnership with Pine Rest. Visit davenport.edu/counseling for more information.

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