Transitioning to college can be as scary as it is exciting. Living away from home, prioritizing responsibilities and parting with lifelong norms can all be pretty stressful. According to a survey of more than 93,000 students at 108 colleges by the American College Health Association, more than half experienced overwhelming anxiety, while 85.6 percent of students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do.
1. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Feeling overwhelmed is nothing to be ashamed of, and you're definitely not alone. There are tons of resources and professionals available to support you. Take full advantage.
2. FIND YOUR STUDENT WELLNESS CENTER
Locate your campus wellness center and keep that phone number on deck in case of emergencies. This is a great resource for physical health, coaching and overall wellness support.
3. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Dehydration can negatively impact your mood and your health. Be sure to mind your water intake.
We're all addicted to our mobile devices but the constant scrolling and stimuli can have a negative effect. Heavy cell phone use has been linked to depression and sleep deprivation. Take a moment to unplug from time to time.
5. LOCATE YOUR COUNSELING AND PSYCH SERVICES
Many colleges offer free counseling services or group sessions. Don't hesitate to tap these resources.
6. GET SLEEP
Get plenty of rest! Caffeine can be your best friend and your worst enemy during those late night cram sessions, but try not to make a habit of artificial stimulants as they can throw off your sleep pattern.
Whether you choose to go to your campus fitness center, jog outside or hit a few yoga poses from the comfort of your room, get in plenty of physical activity. Aside from warding off the dreaded freshman fifteen, the mental effects of exercise are real. The endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine released when engaged in physical activity all work together to help you feel good.
8. GO OUTSIDE
Don't underestimate the power of nature to combat stress. When you're feeling overwhelmed, get outside, walk around campus and take in some fresh air.
Nothing provides a guaranteed pick-me-up like helping others. Get involved in community service. Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Boys and Girls Club are always looking for mentors.
10. GET CENTERED
Whether it's prayer, meditation or praise and worship, your spiritual practice is a powerful tool in maintaining a healthy balance. If you're missing your home church, the HaloLoop app allows you to livestream and participate virtually in your hometown service.
Relationship issues, that class you might not pass, financial woes...don't keep it bottled in. Take a few minutes and write in a journal to prevent the buildup of stress and anxiety.
12. KICK BACK
Schedule downtime to kick it with friends, clown around or just Netflix and chill. Always make time to recharge.
Take a look at what you've already accomplished. You're doing it. You are adulting successfully! Just keep giving it 100 percent.