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Saturday, January 29, 2022

How to keep stress during college from sabotaging your future

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College life can be stressful as students try to juggle school work, employment, internships, extracurricular activities, and their social lives – all while living alone, many for the first time. And while the pandemic has added an extra layer of stress to all of us, young people have been affected more than other generations.

“Although older adults may be hardest hit by the actual biological and physical problems that come with Covid, young people are the most affected by the mental health issues of Covid,” said Dr Shane Owens, associate director of mental health and a psychologist at the university. Farmingdale State College.

In a 2021 American Psychological Association survey, 46% of Gen Z adults (ages 18 to 23) said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic, compared to 33% of Gen Xers, and 31% of Gen Xers millennials, and 28% of baby boomers. .

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Half of college students reported experiencing anxiety and/or depression in a recent study of nearly 33,000 college students across the country conducted by researchers at Boston University. And 83% of students said their mental health negatively affected their academic performance.

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Dr. Ryan Patel, a psychiatrist at Ohio State University and president of the American Mental Health Association, said students have had difficulties with attention, focus and organization due to increased screen time from hybrid and online learning during the pandemic.

Isolation management is another issue among students which he describes as a “double factor”.

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“There are some students who have been quarantined as a result of the pandemic and then the other side of the students are thinking about being on campus and being with other people and having some anxiety about social situations and things like that,” Patel said.

feel dr. Owens that removing social activities, such as sororities and fraternities, sports and even floor-talks in bedrooms late at night, negatively affected students as well.

“A lot of the students had the college experience they were promised – and which their parents had talked about for many years – torn from under them,” said Dr. Owens. “So, they were asked to deal with a lot in a very short period of time.”

“I realized I was really overwhelmed when I couldn’t remember the last time I had a meal with my family, even though I came home,” said Taylor Potter, a graduate student at the University of Georgia. “I constantly do school work or internships for many of the internships and jobs I have now.”

Taylor Potter, Graduate Student at the University of Georgia, Class of 2023

Source: Justin Harper

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In addition to being a full-time student, Potter worked five jobs during her undergraduate studies. Now, as a graduate student, I’ve reduced the number to just two.

Although Potter is grateful to be hired, she still struggles to work a jam-packed schedule.

“It becomes very aloof and confusing, knowing that I am always, always, around the clock having to do work and not being able to socialize even with people one floor above me,” Potter said.

Ryan Kawahara, a sophomore at New York University, also has a heavy workload. He’s a full-time student, works part-time off-campus, works as a teacher and works for the New York University newspaper.

“I’m starting to get a little tired because I like taking on projects and I like to do a lot of things and I feel more productive when I’m busy. But it’s definitely daunting when I look at my list of things to do.” “I’ve felt lately that there aren’t enough hours in the day.”

Ryan Kohara, a sophomore at New York University

Source: Kent Kawahara

It’s easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of responsibilities, worries, and stress. But this can negatively affect your mental health, your physical health – and your academic performance. Therefore, it is important that you try to manage your stress so that it does not get out of hand and affect your future.

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An important first step is to admit that you are nervous.

“Often when people are confused, they don’t recognize it until it becomes too much,” said Dr. Patel. “So, we want to try to get to know it before it gets too much, before the tide gets too high.”

“It was hard for me to admit I needed a break because I’m kind of always like, ‘No, I can do that. I can do everything. Let me handle that. Let me do it, said Potter.

Like many students across the country, Potter has dealt with the stressful effects of Covid on her future. Her plans to graduate early last year, study abroad and attend the Cannes Film Festival faltered due to the Covid lockdown that began in March 2020.

“I think I speak on behalf of a lot of college students when we say things just got exponentially more stressful, and it was really, really stressful,” Potter said.

Through her experience, Potter is providing help to others with similar conditions.

“So the advice I have to give is to take it in charge,” Potter said. “You can’t necessarily control the situation, but you can control how you react to it — how you act in the chaos of it all. It’s the only thing that you really have under your control, especially in a situation like a global pandemic.”

be organized

Patel advises students to actually write down all of their plans, so they don’t get confused in their heads.

And while it might seem daunting at first, Kawahara gave it a try and said it’s not too scary and that “the satisfaction of crossing things off the list is really cool”.

“My dad always said this to me: ‘Get it out of your head because it’s more clear on paper,'” Kawhara said.

Potter stays on top of the action with the help of Google Calendar and its color-coordinated layout.

“Regulation is absolutely key to helping relieve symptoms of stress and fatigue,” Potter said.

Self-care is the key

Patel says that self-care is an important part of stress management, including healthy nutrition, proper sleep and regular exercise.

“You know, we are not immune to the stressful things that happen in our lives. What we can do, however, is manage how our body and mind process stress and the things we can do to help reduce the stress reaction,” he said. Dr. Patel. “So self-care is a crucial aspect of that.”

Potter says she has found it important to take some time for yourself.

“You have to keep putting gas in your car to keep moving,” Potter said. “It’s a similar concept to self-care.” “Every few hundred miles you basically have to slow down and refuel.”

Some of the ways Potter implements grooming in her daily life is by eating three meals a day, watching her favorite TV shows and taking breaks throughout the day. She also uses a reward system to celebrate her accomplishments.

“I also try to pause any time something positive or good is happening in a normative measure,” Potter said.

Kawahara, who is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, eagerly runs through the streets of New York City to relieve some stress. Although he admits that he is still learning how to integrate self-care into his life, he enjoys watching movies and shows, talking with friends and exploring Manhattan.

Additionally, staying focused and taking “things step by step” helps Kawahara avoid any unwanted stress. He organizes errands around meals to motivate him to work more effectively.

“Also at night, I try to have interruptions. I try not to work after a certain time because I just know my good work will go down,” Kohara said.

This is one of the key tips from the American Psychological Association for building resilience to stress – getting a good night’s sleep and sticking to a set bedtime.

learn to say no

And while it’s not easy to say “no” – sometimes you have to.

“I think you can prevent feeling overwhelmed by just being selective about how you choose to spend your time, and if it’s not something you really love to do, you probably don’t do it as much,” Kawahara said.

Saying “no” will not only help lighten your workload, but will also give you a better sense of control, which is key to stress management.

“I’ve really had a chance to say no to something recently, and I think it’s a major type of formulation there, because being able to say no to something is an opportunity means you have a choice,” Potter said.

Connect with family and friends

Don’t try to do it alone.

The American Psychological Association says it’s important to maintain meaningful connections with family, culture, and society. You may have left home to go to college, or you may have left college to go home during the pandemic, but it’s important to stay in touch with family and friends.

And when you are not feeling well, it is important to communicate with friends, parents or relatives. Let the people around you know that you feel stressed. They can help support you.

This kind of conversation might sound like this, Dr. Patel said: “You know, when I’m nervous, I might seem more nervous or negative or I might talk about my sleep or my anxiety or physical complaints. So, if you notice that in me, you might want to tell me that these They are some of the signs that I’m nervous.”

Give yourself a break

Sometimes we get caught up in what we think our perfect life would look like but the truth is that life is never perfect. Especially in the event of a pandemic. So, keep striving to do great things but also remember to be good to yourself.

“If things don’t go the way you want them to when you’re overwhelmed, that’s okay. I think a lot of what we have to bear in mind right now is that a lot of us aren’t feeling well and that’s okay,” Potter said. “Just remember to make sure you take care of yourself, as You’ll be sure to take care of a friend or family member who needs your help.”

asking for help

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