our everyday life

Healthy Stress Relievers for College Students

by Shelley Frost, studioD

Keeping up your GPA. Working part time. Scoring well on your class presentation. College life sure comes with multiple sources of stress. College students also might encounter unhealthy ways to deal with this stress, such as alcohol and drugs. When stress is interfering with your daily college tasks, proven stress-management techniques can help you take control and move forward in a healthy and productive way.

Relaxation Methods

Relaxation exercises are simple to perform in your dorm room without any special equipment. Deep breathing with your eyes closed is a simple way to remedy stress. Focus on your breath as you deeply inhale and exhale. Meditation and progressive muscle relaxation also work as stress relievers. Check the college's exercise class offerings to look for a yoga or tai chi class. Focusing on the positives in your daily life can help you overcome stress. Write down the positive things in your life to refocus your energy.


You need your study time, but getting together with friends is a healthy way to blow off steam. A social event gives you a chance to chat with your peers, who probably know exactly how you feel. Sometimes just being around other people who understand is enough to feel better. Other times, you need to talk about your stress and ask for help from family and friends. Set aside time for social activities, such as dinner out with friends, playing board games with fellow students or attending a college sports event.

Change of Scenery

Persistence is key when it comes to studying, but a change of scenery can decrease your stress. Instead of keeping yourself chained to your desk, head outdoors to breathe fresh air. Walk to a picturesque spot on campus with trees, flowers or other comforting surroundings. If you can break away from studying for longer, take a day trip to a nearby town or nature spot. Sprucing up your space is another way to change the scenery when you can't break away. Hang new pictures on the wall, or add throw pillows to your study nook. Little changes can improve your outlook and bring you joy that helps you deal with the stress.

Healthy Habits

Taking care of yourself makes it easier to handle all of the pressures of the college years. Your diet, activity level and sleep affect how you react to stressful situations. Stress eating can throw off you healthy eating habits. Keep healthy snacks around the dorm that are easy to eat, such as nuts or fresh fruit. Exercise is a healthy way to alleviate stress. It not only keeps your body healthy, but it also releases endorphins that improve your outlook. A hard workout can give you a new perspective and give you the energy to push forward through the stress. A nap or a full night's sleep might also give you a fresh outlook on the stressful college days.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

Photo Credits

  • Nick White/Photodisc/Getty Images