Managing student stress and anxiety essential in mental health


Mariami Kentchadze, Special Assignments Reporter

As students, we all know the feelings of stress and anxiety. Managing personal issues, finances, multiple jobs, health, relationships, academics as well as busy schedules and fast-paced ways of living among other stressors or responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming, making us feel as if we can’t seem to catch a break. 

Regardless of how exhausting things may get, there are ways to manage our stress and anxiety so that it doesn’t interfere with our daily lives as much.

It is important to understand that stress and anxiety are common experiences that can be amplified by past or present traumas ranging from childhood experiences to recent events that can have lasting effects on our mental health. 

Managing the aftermath of our past traumas alongside everything else can make us feel even more stressed and overwhelmed, highlighting the importance of learning how to handle ourselves during our most challenging times. 

According to Kristie C. Bailey, LMFT, Senior Clinical Counselor at Utica University, stress is a normal part of college life. However, it is important to recognize when stress has become overwhelming and is impacting our ability to function. 

In some cases, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Additionally, it is important to remember that if you are struggling with stress and anxiety, there are healthy coping strategies that can help. 

These strategies are different for everyone, what works for one person may not work for another so it is important to find what works best for you. For some, it may be practicing mindfulness or meditation, and for others, exercise or spending time with friends may help.

In addition to practicing mindfulness or meditation and engaging in physical activities like exercise or spending time with friends, here are some more coping strategies that you can try:

  1. Pursue a creative outlet: Engage in artistic activities that can help you express yourself creatively and provide you with a sense of satisfaction. Write in a journal, paint your feelings, listen to music, dance to your favorite songs and learn how to build or create things. Expressing yourself in different ways can have a big improvement on your mood.
  2. Practice self-love and compassion: Be kind and understanding towards yourself, and acknowledge that it is okay to make mistakes and take time to rest.
  3. Limit stressors: Limit your exposure to stressors; avoid situations or people that trigger your stress and anxiety.
  4. Get more active: Exercise or Engage in any physical activity you find entertaining. Try sports, athletics, dancing, yoga or other forms of physical exercise that can be beneficial to you for managing stressful times.
  5. Socialize more: Spending time with friends and family can have a positive impact on your mood.
  6. Take care of your health: Sleep well, limit caffeine and alcohol intake, eat a balanced and healthy diet, drink enough water and make sure to take care of your body so it can take care of you. Healthy life habits are crucial for having a quality life.
  7. Go out: Go outdoors and spend time in nature, explore, and go to places you have never been to.
  8. Learn to say no: Learn to say no to commitments or responsibilities that cause you excessive stress.

Remember, coping strategies are highly individualized, so it is important to experiment with different techniques and strategies to find what works best for you!

In addition to healthy coping strategies, seeking professional help can also be very beneficial. Kristie C. Bailey suggests that incorporating healthy coping strategies, practicing mindfulness and seeking professional help can lead to healing and help us return to healthy functioning.

Managing stress and anxiety is essential to our mental health and well-being. It is important to be able to recognize when stress has become too much for us to handle on our own and to seek help when needed. With the right support and coping strategies, we can learn how to manage stress and anxiety in our lives and live a healthy and fulfilling life.