As a college student, you know firsthand how intense the stress can be. Click through for 5 ways you can take care of yourself (and get straight A's!).

Anyone who’s attended college can tell you that it can be an incredibly stressful environment.  Classes and homework, part-time jobs and budgeting, living on your own for the first time and planning for the future can be a lot to deal with at once.

Not all stress is bad though.  In healthy amounts, stress can provide adrenaline rushes, boost your immune system, or help your body recuperate after a particularly intense workout.

However, it’s important that you’re able to distinguish the healthy stress from its more negative counterpart.  If you frequently find yourself falling victim to the negative stuff, it’s time to figure out how to make yourself feel better.

1. Exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of unwanted stress, not to mention it has countless other health benefits.  A quick biology review: exercise releases endorphins, a chemical responsible for making you feel happy.  Channel Elle Woods, girlfriend!

By committing to go swimming twice a week or running through the park on Mondays and Wednesdays, you’re triggering the release of your body’s endorphins, thus making you feel happier and less preoccupied with stress. Try some of these heart-pumping exercises from Positive Health Wellness.

Yoga and mindfulness meditation are also two good exercises for alleviating stress and keeping your mind in check too.

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2. One of the smallest and simplest things you can do to reduce day-to-day college stress is to keep an up-to-date calendar or planner.  These only work though if you actually use them.  We  recommend that once a week—Sunday evening may be best—sit down and go through an overview of what you can expect in the week to come.

 Look at your class syllabuses and schedules and write down any upcoming assignments, quizzes, presentations, workshops, or exams.  This will take about 10 minutes a week and make keeping track of everything a breeze.

3. Another rather simple method of alleviating school stress is to talk to someone.  Sitting down with a friend and ranting for ten minutes about how ridiculous your chemistry professor’s expectations are for the class will make you feel SO much better.

It might not get any of your homework done and it probably won’t change your professor’s attitude, but vocalizing your frustrations will help you feel better.  It’s a lot like crying; none of your problems really get fixed, but you end up feeling less of that internal stress and pressure.

4. If talking to friends isn’t enough though, and you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by responsibilities, seek out more help.  Schedule an appointment with your advisor, find a guidance counselor, or look into visiting your school’s mental health services.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you feel too much pressure.  In fact, more power to you for being honest with yourself and knowing your limits.

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5. And though it may be important to stay on top of your college responsibilities, it’s crucial to stake out a bit of time for yourself.  Don’t forget to indulge in your favorite hobbies and make some time to spend with friends and family.

Remember that the most effective way to take care of college stress is to be sure that you’re taking care of yourself.


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