It’s not uncommon for students to experience high levels of stress in college. If ignored, high-stress levels can have a negative impact on your body and mind over time, which can result in debilitating issues.
Effective Stress Management Activities For Students
Are you a student stressed about starting the new semester? Or stressed about the internship you’ve worked hard for? Or about moving to a different city to start a new life?
Students, more than anyone, are common victims of stress and anxiety. Family expectations, financial independence, deadlines, exam stress, and too many assignment workloads can all induce stress. And while stress, in smaller amounts, can be motivating and invigorating, too much stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed and burnout.
If not managed in time, stress can develop into serious mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. In this blog, I’ll help you explore some of the effective stress management activities for college students
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Go outside, lay down on a hammock or in the grass and skygaze. During the day, watch the clouds and guess the shapes. Have a discussion about the types of clouds and what they mean. At night, try to find constellations. Talk about astrology or how ancient cultures followed to stars to navigate.
Even small children love to garden. In the summer, plant a garden or make a small container garden if you’re tight on space. Discuss photosynthesis or the effect of plant-based food on one’s health. Learn about the common bugs that feed on various vegetable plants. In the winter, make an indoor container garden. Make it a science project by recording the height of the plants daily, or by calculating how long it takes to ripen.
At the end of the day, sit down and talk about the challenges and joys you experienced throughout the day. This is a great opportunity to stay close and catch up on what’s happening in your kids’ lives. Talking about your day to an attentive listener works wonders to relieve stress.
If you don’t know how to do yoga, borrow a video from the library or look for some instructional videos on YouTube. Yoga is an unparalleled stress reliever, and plenty of research touts its numerous health-boosting benefits as well!
Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket, get comfy, and put in a movie. Watching movies allows you to escape from your current worries and troubles, and it can be quite relaxing.
Painting is a great way to relax and focus on the present. There are many options with painting, from painting with watercolors on paper for small children to painting on canvas with oil colors for older children.
If you don’t know how to paint, watch some instructional videos on youtube. If you don’t want to paint a picture, find something around the house that could use a fresh coat of paint and paint that. The repetitive motion can put you in a meditative mindset.
Enhance your family bond by getting out the bikes and taking a leisurely bike ride together. Exercise is a great way to unwind, and physical activity releases feel-good endorphins. A leisurely bike ride is a great way to spend time together while boosting your health.
Avoid Fake Energy
Fake energy comes in a coffee cup, a soda bottle or supplements that promise to keep you awake for hours. While these products may give you a tiny boost of energy in the beginning, it doesn’t last. Over time, you will build a tolerance and find yourself needing more and more of the fake stuff to get you through the day.
One cause of stress for college students is totally preventable. Stress is caused by being disorganized and by not having a plan. When you plan your days, from start to finish, you do not have to worry about how or when you will get things done.
Managing your time means keeping a calendar and scheduling all your activities for the day, week and entire semester. Designate times to study, eat, exercise and even have fun.
Stress Relief Activities for Kids
1. Mindful breathing
When a child is experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety, his or her breathing pattern will change. He or she will start to take short, fast, and shallow breaths, which does nothing but amplify feelings of worry. Mindful breathing – taking in a slow breath through the nose, holding the breath for a few seconds, then exhaling slowly through the mouth – will help your child focus on something other than stress and anxiety, and once his or her breathing has slowed, he or she will feel more calm. Mindful breathing is the perfect tool because it is portable and can be used anywhere at any time your child needs it. This is especially important when you can’t be there with your child to help.
The Bubble Blowing Technique is one of the best mindful breathing techniques for very young children, as it allows them to learn through play. To make it work, give them a small container of bubbles so they can practice blowing bubbles with a wand. They will learn quickly that if they blow too hard or too fast, the bubble will burst before it has time to take shape. But by blowing slowly and with purpose, they can blow a perfect bubble. Have them practice the technique with real bubbles before removing them and letting them use only their imaginations.
Do a sensory check-in
When your child is feeling overwhelmed, ask him or her to sit in a quiet place and use each of his or her 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste) to identify with his or her surroundings. What does your child see, hear, and smell? It may seem a bit silly at first, and if your child feels that way, that’s totally okay! The point is to focus on the sensory input he or she is receiving from the world around him or her instead of the invasive, anxious thoughts he or she is feeling. And when those anxiety-provoking thoughts do threaten to take over, remind your child to dismiss them and imagine them floating away.
Don’t Push My Button
This activity involves some arts and crafts, where participants create their ‘buttons’ from various craft or other available materials. You’ve heard of the term, “don’t push my buttons”? Here’s your chance to make your own.
Once everyone has made up their buttons, they must wear them and when you talk to somebody, explain what your button represents. This is a creative way to share with others, what bothers us on a day to day basis.
Hand out some paper and pens, then ask the group to list their three worst stress areas. Tell them not to write their names on the paper and then to hand them in. Shuffle all the papers and hand them out again to the group. Let each member then read off their anonymous list and share with the group how they would deal with those issues.
Passing the Cup of Water
Tell the group to form a circle while standing, take a cup that has been filled halfway, and instruct the group to pass it around the circle. The cup can be passed either clockwise or ant-clockwise. Once the first cup is going around, add in another one and then another one.
Increase the challenge by taking some of the cups out and exchanging them with cups that have more water in them. You can also ask a few members of the group to remove themselves from the circle, which will make the circle smaller. Eventually, the members will be trying to keep from spilling their cups while passing it around, even having two cups at a time. They must continue to pass the cups around as fast as possible until you call “Stop.”
The activity is safe and simple to do, but what is it that makes us afraid of spilling the water? Those who have been asked to leave the circle may make assumptions like they are not allowed to return and help, even when there was no rule against this. All of these actions make for a powerful discussion.