Stress Management as an Adult Student
Guess what? School is going to be stressful. Going to school and working and keeping up with your responsibilities is going to be tough. You’re going to be overwhelmed.
But guess what else? There are hundreds of stress management techniques that will help you through the grind. Unmanaged stress is costly. Allowing the pressure to build and your anxiety to run rampant will affect your mental and physical health, and the quality of your production.
1. Manage your time
Having a game plan in place to make the most of your 24 hour day is going to make managing your stress more effective. Knowing what you need to get done, how long it will take, and when you’re going to commit to completing it will keep your stress levels as low as they can be. You’re still going to be juggling responsibilities, and you’re still going to feel pressure to perform to the best of your abilities, but sticking to that schedule will keep you balanced..
2. Learn the best ways to relax yourself
If you haven’t already figured out what calms you and re-energizes you, now would be a great time to learn what that is. Find a couple of big ways and several small ways to ease your stress and decompress. Don’t wait until you’re in between courses to relax. Commit to regular, consistent self-maintenance.
3. Don’t sweat the little things
One of the best lessons I learned in life was in 6th grade when my dad told me to be a duck. He wanted me to let the hurtful middle school antics roll off my back. In college, I had to reapply that lesson. I had to be a duck and not let the nuances of a group project, or falling on the ice and showing up 10 minutes late to a test, ruin my attitude or impact my stress levels. Focus on the things you can control and let the other things do what they will.
The one thing that will wreck your stress management faster than anything else is negativity. Be positive! Give yourself affirmations about how awesome and inspirational you are. Those things are true! You’re a working adult and you’re going to school. You’re bettering yourself and furthering your education. Never get down on yourself for making the choice to take the hard road.
5. Avoid extreme reactions
We’ve all been there. We’ve blown up, bottomed out, gotten way too happy and way too sad. Human emotions are a fascinating thing. It’s wonderful that we can experience such a variety of feelings. But don’t let stress cause you to move from frustrated to angry. Don’t allow your temporary circumstances cause you to cascade into turmoil. Maintain an even keel, work hard, and enjoy the ride.
Stress doesn’t have to dictate your life or your college experience. Don’t allow the pressures decrease your ability to complete your coursework as best you can. You can find a healthy balance while working and going to school. And you’ll do great!