How to Manage Stress Caused by A Heavy College Course Workload

How to Manage Stress Caused by A Heavy College Course Workload
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How to Manage Stress Caused by A Heavy College Course Workload

College is an exciting time, but it is also one filled with obligations and responsibilities. It’s common for college students nowadays to feel overwhelmed and stressed out trying to balance a full course load, social life, extracurriculars, and more. 

The Symptoms of Stress

When someone is experiencing unhealthy stress levels, both their body and mind exhibit warning signs. 

  • Physically, common stress symptoms include headaches, stomach discomfort, muscle tension, insomnia, fatigue, and changes in appetite. 
  • Mentally and emotionally, signs of high stress include anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, low motivation, difficulty making decisions, negativity, and frequent sad moods. 

Addressing the early symptoms can prevent bigger problems down the road.

Developing healthy stress management techniques is key to staying on top of your heavy workload. Here are some tips to prevent burnout:

Get Organized

Organization is vital when juggling classes, studying, papers, projects, exams, and other assignments. Invest time upfront using tools like planners or calendars to map out your obligations and deadlines. Block out chunks of time dedicated to certain tasks and classes. Prioritize what needs your immediate attention and schedule in advance when you’ll work on each item. Many people find that studying online at a college like makes it easier to juggle coursework and other responsibilities. 

Master Time Management

Look at when you have available time slots during the day or week and allocate specific blocks focused on single tasks. For example, knock out math homework from 2-3pm on Monday, outline your English paper from 4-5pm on Wednesday, etc. Eliminate distractions during those periods to maximize productivity. Batch similar tasks together when possible too. Getting into a time budgeting groove will ensure you chip away at everything. 

Take Study Breaks

While cramming to get things done seems logical, your brain actually retains more when given regular breaks. Schedule short 10-15 minute breaks every 45-60 minutes to walk around, stretch, snack, or decompress. Build in longer 30-60 minute breaks after longer 2-3 hour study sessions. Allowing your mind to rest keeps stress lower and motivation higher when resuming productive times. 

Form Study Groups

Having a group of classmates to study with keeps you accountable, allows you to discuss challenging concepts, and makes studying less tedious. Meet up virtually or in person when possible to review materials, work on practice problems, quiz each other, etc. Teaching others reinforces what you’re learning too. Groups provide both academic and moral support since everyone relates to the workload struggles.

Practice Self-Care

College workload stress can feel never-ending, so be intentional about activities that nourish your mental health. Make sleep a priority aiming for 7-9 hours nightly. Eat healthy brain foods and stay hydrated too. Even brief periods enjoying hobbies or hanging with friends recharges your battery. Take at least one day off weekly for relaxing things you love. Preventing complete burnout with self-care allows you to keep pushing through when needed.

Managing college stress isn’t easy, but putting consistent habits and routines in place better equips you to handle heavy workloads. What matters most is taking it step-by-step using good time management, organizational tools, study balance, academic resources, and self-care. With some planning and self-discipline, you’ve got this!

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