Whether you are a freshmen or a senior, 18 or 36, single or married with three kids, college is a crazy and overwhelming place to say the least! You sit in a classroom for hours a week and listen to lessons you are unable to understand, yet you have mastered how to be present to class and not hear a word that was spoken to you. Leaving class confused is one of the most frustrating feelings and it is heartbreaking.

College is like swimming in the ocean, yet you are never safe on the life boat! In weeks, such as midterms or finals, you are left for dead in the salty sea getting pushed under with each wave that gets crushed on top of you; other weeks you find yourself treading water, yet you cannot look down because you are still in the shark-infested water.

You’ve tried yoga, stress eating, and breathing exercises which you’ve Googled online, and even just pushing through the pressure to succeed. NOTHING IS WORKING FOR YOU!

Here are 12 activities you can do to help with the overwhelming feeling that is building in your chest:

  • Think of things that inspire you.
    • When you are upset about a test grade or you are trying to find a way to manage your crazy schedule, think of people that you look up to and remember that they made it through the same situations that you are facing right now. Just stand tall, darling.
  • What makes you happy?
    • What is the best way to get your spirits up after a bad day at work or a difficult class?  Do things that make you happy to be alive! This could mean reading a book, taking a relaxing bath, or playing with your fur baby.
  • A meal prep for the week (easy meals).
    • This works if you have 3 kids or you live alone with your new kitten. Find foods that you enjoy and just take a Sunday to cook. Easy things to meal prep are salads, pasta, overnight oats, and honestly whatever you can think of. By meal prepping all in one day you now have eliminated the stress of finding food for each day.

NOTE: When you meal prep, make sure you are meal prepping meals that you know you enjoy.

  • Make a list of all the things you love about yourself.
    • You are beautiful, smart, lovely, kind, and precious; yet most days all of these good things tend to get covered with the negative thoughts that flood our minds in days of struggle. MAKE A LIST and carry it everywhere you go. This list has a purpose! Whenever you feel down or bad about yourself, just pull it out and let yourself be reminded that you are amazing and are doing a great job with your life.
  • DIY your room or dorm.
    • When you are down in the dumps, take time out and do something for yourself. Whenever you are upset or find yourself in a dark place, bring light into your life with some bright colors and overall things that just make you happier.
  • PLAN, PLAN, and then PLAN some more.
    • When you are overwhelmed, one of the best things you can do is to get a grasp on the things that are going on in your life at the moment, and that means plans. Take the time to sit down with a notebook, a bullet journal, or an agenda, and just lay your life out on paper. One tip for planning is to always make sure you plan time out for yourself. No matter how busy life may seem, you always need time to relax and hang out with friends. You are young so you still need to live out your youthful years!
  • Pinpoint the things in your life that are stressing you out.
    • It’s time to make another list! This time you are writing down all of the things that are causing you stress at this moment in time. By doing this, you are able to slowly chip away at all the things that are making you unhappy!

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” -Omar Khayvam