Going off to university is an exciting time, but as with any other major life change, it certainly comes with its share of stressors. Most significantly, you’ll be living independently, which brings much more freedom and choice than you’re used to. You’re particularly likely to feel stressed when your energy levels drop and you face more demands than you can handle. Whenever you feel like you’re in this situation, here are a few things you can do to destress.

1. Sleep Enough Each Night

There are often times when you may feel tempted to stay up late, whether to squeeze in a few more hours of studying, hang out with friends, or even relax with social media or video games. However, if you need to wake up early for class or another commitment, this is never a good idea. Sleep deprivation will make you more stressed and put you at risk for serious health conditions.

Instead, try to stick to a bedtime — don’t sleep until the early afternoon to make up for a late night. It’s helpful for your body to have a schedule, and it’s best if this is aligned with the hours of daylight.

2. Exercise Regularly

Staying physically active is a great way to relax — plus, it will help you fall asleep faster. College is a great time to experiment with new activities you may enjoy, such as by joining sports teams, going to the gym, or taking advantage of free fitness classes. When you find a form of exercise you enjoy, you’ll look forward to working out.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

You’ll also feel better physically and mentally if you’re eating well. Healthy foods will keep your energy levels steady throughout the day and prevent a sugar high that will only make you feel worse later. Besides, university is a great time to explore new flavours and to learn cooking skills that will benefit you for life.

4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

One thing that should be in your diet only in moderation is caffeine. A coffee in the morning and perhaps another after lunch is reasonable. However, relying on caffeine to keep you alert into the night to meet the due date for a paper will make you much more susceptible to stress. For the same reason, you should avoid prescription medication to boost your energy.

5. Create a Reasonable Schedule

It’s easy to take on too much when you start university. You may want to work, join many clubs, and sign up for the maximum number of classes. While it’s fine to experiment with your limits, you also need to know when to drop something to prevent burnout. For instance, you may need to drop a class, volunteer less often with your extracurriculars, or search for a job with a more manageable schedule.

6. Make Time for Leisure

What you shouldn’t do is give up all your fun activities to make time for studies and work. It’s important to spend a few hours a week on your hobbies, whether on your own or as part of a group. A great thing about university is that you should find plenty of opportunities to explore new passions.

7. Learn Breathing Exercises

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, stop and breathe. There are various types of breathing exercises you can try, the most simple of which involves breathing slowly and deeply for at least a few seconds.

You’ll feel much less stressed if you’re living in a place you love to call home. Since living on campus means losing privacy and sharing your living spaces with a large number of other people, many students prefer to search for rooms for rent. St. Catharines students can find high-quality student housing at Foundry Lofts. You’ll have your own room in a suite that you’ll share with just three or four other people. Plus, you’ll have access to a range of great onsite amenities, including fitness facilities, a games room, and a study zone. Receive an in-person or virtual tour to see it for yourself.

rachel_grier@outlook.com

Author rachel_grier@outlook.com

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