Stress and anxiety among college students, especially during their initial year, are commonplace issues. According to the American College Health Association, a staggering 63% of US college students have reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety. The same survey revealed that 23% of respondents had been diagnosed with anxiety or had received treatment from mental health professionals. The first semester of college tends to witness a surge in anxiety, stress, and depression, with these elevated levels persisting through the second semester.
Crafting a Back-to-School Strategy
Once the risks of stress and anxiety are identified, formulating a strategy to empower students to take control becomes feasible. Here are several tips for both new and returning students to manage anxiety and stress:
Recognize Diverse Effects
Stress and anxiety manifest differently in each individual. Symptoms might include insomnia, shortness of breath, or a decreased appetite. Conversely, some might experience excessive sleep, overeating, or paranoia. Familiarize yourself with these signs and devise a personalized plan to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Compile an Action List
Develop a list of strategies to reduce stress and anxiety. Engaging in activities such as running or practicing meditation can be beneficial. Regular exercise and mindfulness techniques are effective tools for combating these challenges. Additionally, self-care practices like indulging in a warm bath, journaling, or spending quality time with friends can contribute to stress reduction.
Create a Support Network
Establish a support network to counteract the perils linked to stress and anxiety. Assemble a small group of friends who are aware that you may reach out to them in times of need. They can commit to offering assistance when you’re in distress, and reciprocally, you can extend the same support. Confronting crises becomes more manageable with a reliable and willing ally by your side.
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