A Guide to Coping with Back-to-School Stress

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Although many students look forward to returning to university — to see their friends again, restart their extracurriculars, and perhaps begin some classes they’ve been looking forward to — the new semester does come with its share of stress. One of the best ways to cope is to practice mindfulness. This will mean you are able to deal with any challenges university life throws your way. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the coming semester.

What Is Mindfulness?

Before you can practice mindfulness, you need to know what it is. The concept is all about understanding yourself, including your thoughts and feelings. You can then relate this understanding to the external world. By taking the time to acknowledge your emotions, becoming more accepting of yourself, and trying to be more curious, you’ll be able to be more present and positive.

Why Practice Mindfulness?

As a busy student, you may wonder if it’s worth making the time for mindfulness — after all, you already have a full schedule. However, it’s always important to do things that improve your health. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll feel immediately better and be less likely to suffer from chronic stress. You’ll also learn about yourself, which will give you confidence and help you be more decisive. Finally, you’ll see improvements to your physical health, especially if your mindfulness involves exercise and reminds you to make better choices about what to eat. This will lead to benefits including better immunity, a healthy heart, and improved sleep quality.

Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

The good thing about mindfulness is it doesn’t require a huge amount of time — you can fit it into your day at various intervals. To ensure you remember to practice mindfulness, you may like to choose a particular cue. For instance, every time you carry out a particular action (perhaps walking into a classroom), take a few moments of stillness. Simply stop, take a deep breath or two, and pay attention to how you’re feeling, your sensations, and what you’re thinking.

Mindfulness for Anxiety

You can also employ mindfulness tactics whenever you experience a negative emotion, like disappointment, or when you’re feeling anxious. This is ideal if an assignment is taking a toll on you, you’re stressed about an upcoming test, or you’re in a situation that makes you nervous, such as attending an event where you don’t know anyone. In these circumstances, it may be helpful to dedicate a bit more time than usual to mindfulness. Some options to try include a short meditation, some stretches, a workout you enjoy, or even listening to music. Find a quiet place where you can be alone, such as your apartment, a secluded spot in the library, or somewhere outdoors. Focus on being kind to yourself and thinking positive affirmations.

Another way to make the transition back to school less stressful is to find a comfortable room for rent. Edmonton students can move into the community at 1TEN on Whyte. Our affordable, all-inclusive student rentals range from bachelor suites to three-bedroom apartments. This gives you the chance to live around other students without sacrificing your privacy. Apply now for the type of suite you want.

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