Student life sounds like it’s all fun and games with parties and an active campus life. But the reality is that you’ve applied to university or college to educate yourself in a field that is supposed to jumpstart your career. It takes years of hard work and dedication to graduate.
There’s actually so much pressure in being a student and it’s not always easy to balance “study” and “play”. You will always be caught in needing to excel in your studies to obtain a degree and using these young years of your life to personally explore and grow as an individual. And because of this, students often find themselves stressing out and developing anxiety.
It’s important to address and manage your student anxieties. Find a way to control them before you enter the adult world where there are more pressures and expectations experienced on a daily basis.
Acknowledge when you’re stressed
Stress and anxiety are often interchangeable, so it’s important to know when and why you’re feeling stressed out. And the reason why we tend to overlook stress symptoms is that we think it’s related to something else and we’re just feeling “sick”.
If you’re going through a stressful period in relation to your studies, being away from home or a social situation, then take note of the following symptoms and address them before they worsen:
- Stomach issues.
- Problems with sleep and fatigue.
- Fidgeting (this can include biting your nails, pulling loose skin from the sides of your fingers or biting the inside of your cheeks).
- Mood swings and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Lack of desire or motivation for previously enjoyed activities.
Those are only a few of the types of symptoms you might be experiencing and it’s important that you find the root of that stress and do something about it.
Natural remedies for stress
While there are chronic medications you can be prescribed for anxiety, depression and stress, there are natural remedies which would be better for your body and more of a long-term solution than a once-off prescription every now and then.
These will help you to manage your stress better and allow you to continue with your student activities while figuring out the root cause of your anxiety.
- Chamomile tea: This is a go-to for most people and, because it’s tea, you can have it throughout the day whenever you start feeling overwhelmed. Chamomile tea is good for helping your body and mind relax and can help ease your headaches and help you sleep if you’ve been struggling. It’s a great way to start and end any day, regardless of your anxiety levels.
- CBD oil: Medical cannabis oil is available in South Africa and is not to be confused with THC-rich cannabis oil. CBD oil doesn’t have the hallucinogenic properties of THC but rather cannabinoids that work with our bodies’ own endocannabinoid system which is responsible for pain, sleep and immune system regulation. You will easily find CBD or cannabis oil available for sale in South Africa that you can use at small daily doses to help your anxiety at bay.
- Physical activity: Another great way to naturally reduce your anxiety and increase your endorphin levels is through physical activity. Go for a walk or a run, hit the gym or do some exercises in your student flat. Daily physical activity will make a huge difference to your mental health and all you need are 30 minutes minimum.
Take a timeout
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you need to think about yourself and take a time out. Self-care is the best thing you can do and that includes setting time aside for yourself. Even if it’s only 15 minutes a day in between classes or during a study break. Instead of going out with your friends, you need to relax on your own and in your own way. Taking a timeout will also help you refocus your energy once you head back to your books or to that assignment that’s due for tomorrow.
Timeouts look different to every person and you need to find what works best for you. It could be lying on the floor listening to peaceful music with your eyes closed. It could be a walk around the block or a 10-minute stretch session on your new yoga mat. You could choose to meditate and write your thoughts out in a journal (a great way to manage stress anyway). It could be a ranting session with a friend or whoever will listen. Or it’s a series of facial masks to make your skin glow and boost your self-esteem.
Allow yourself that me-time to clear your mind and rid your body of any symptoms of anxiety. But what you need to know is that you’re not alone and there are many more students who are experiencing the same anxious thoughts and feelings. Don’t ignore the signs and use whichever methods you need to manage your student anxieties.