Handling Stress During the School Year

September 16, 2015

By Kelsey Lyon, OMS II

School is back in session and we all know what that means! It means back to being in class everyday, doing homework every night, and study for those class exams that all seem to come up at the same time! We all know that another year of school means another year of stress to make sure we are passing classes and doing well. Let’s start this year off right though by not letting the stress of school get the best of us! Here are some suggestions for how to handle the stress that can be caused by school.

1. Take some ”me” time – designate one day every week to participate in some “me” time. Even if you can’t afford a whole day designate a few hours during that day to do something that is just for you. This could be going to the park with your dog or your family, doing some “retail therapy”, meeting up with your friends for a meal or coffee, or just lounging around on the couch watching TV/Netflix.
2. Participate in activities you enjoyed doing before college/medical school – We all had one or two activities that we loved to do growing up; whether it was a particular sport you played or a hobby you used to do. Don’t leave those behind when you enter college or medical school. If you loved playing sports, join a club or intramural team at your school. If you were more into pleasure reading go to your school’s library and find a good book among their many thousands they have. If you were more of an outdoor type of person, find a state park or the nearest hiking trails and explore the outdoors of your new college home. Don’t leave the fun behind just because you have moved on to a new chapter in your life. You probably need it more now than ever!
3. Reward yourself – did you do particularly well on an exam or big project? Treat yourself to something that you have been wanting. This could be a night out to the movies, a material item that is on your wish list, a day out with friends or family, etc. The options could be endless!

While all of the aforementioned stress management techniques fall more into the category of “fun” lets also not forget the tips we have been told time and time again about how to promote a stress free environment in school:

1. Manage your time – prioritize what needs to be completed first and what can wait to be done at a later date.
2. Don’t procrastinate – don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments or study for exams. Do a little every day up until the date the assignment is due or the test is.
3. Get a good nights sleep– making sure you get an adequate nights sleep is important to proper functioning the next day. Try to get 7 hours of sleep each night.

What do you do to manage your stress during the school year?

Kelsey Lyon, OMS II
Student Wellness Coordinator
AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee