Students share their go-to remedies to ease anxiety
College students continue to fight an internal battle of stress and anxiety. Two years into the world pandemic, COVID-19, anxiety and other mental health issues are at an all time high.
Stress is a natural part of life that millions of people experience constantly. Even though it is natural and happens to many others it is important to limit it and work to control its side effects.
While uncertainties continue, students continue to find their favorite ways to cope.
Quincy University students give their best tips and tactics for calming anxiety:
- Turn on relaxing comfort music and journal
“Music is always my go to. It’s a consistent place of peace for me. I always know what I am going to get because I can control every aspect of it. I get to choose what I want to hear or I can choose to shuffle on a playlist I enjoy. Journaling is also just a nice place to get things off my chest. Writing things out and then seeing it on paper and putting it to rest is such a simple way for me to take time to reflect and breathe,” Faith Krabbe said.
“I journal my feelings and thoughts often when stressed or feeling anxious but honestly my favorite thing to do when trying to calm myself down is coloring. I love coloring. It is a simple yet effective way for me personally. It keeps me busy and focused on something new,” Cora Ondrus said.
- Sleep and alone time
“I try finding time for myself and then I go to sleep. I just need time to breathe and relax. This time to myself typically helps me realize the things that I’m stressed about aren’t as big as I am making them,” Carter Endisch said.
- Self care and Puzzles
“I have to take my mind off of things. So I typically head straight to the calming comfort of a bath and face mask and then head to do things like puzzles and journaling are really good for me. I think I enjoy puzzles most because it really helps me take my mind completely off of my problem and it gives me something obtainable to deal with and figure out in the moment,” Julianna Basler said.
“My sweet Boston boy. Boston is my dog and he is always the first thing I go to when I am not feeling like myself or am anxious. He honestly always seems to know when I need him before I even realize I need him. He’s my comfort and even a part of home for me,” Makayla Knoblauch said.
“I need to be with myself and find peace both internally and externally. For me that means lighting incense and putting some essential oils in my diffuser, then playing my pre-made calming playlist and then doing yoga. This allows me to re-center myself and it forces me to breathe,” Timberlyn Barnett said.
- Working out
“I immediately need to be active. Sometimes that’s taking a walk, other times it’s lifting weight, and then sometimes it’s simply playing outside with my dog. When I have so much going through my head stressing me out and causing anxiety I prefer to focus that energy into pushing myself in a different way so I still continue working and bettering myself just not in the direction of said anxiety. I will eventually circle back around to deal with it but after I’ve taken time to work off energy and emotion elsewhere,” Kailey Reckers said.
“Nothing beats turning on oldies dance music and jamming while cleaning. Not only does it help relieve my stress it totally puts me in a better mood. My apartment also then ends up so clean. I’d like to think it’s one of the healthiest ways for me to react to large stresses and anxiety,” Erica Slinde said.
“Yeah it’s probably an obvious one but for me sports is my greatest form of stress relief. Baseball is my go to safe place. Whether I’m out on the field hitting or inside the cages, hitting just feels like the best way for me to work out my emotions and physically get through them. I can think about the things stressing me if I want but typically I just like to think about nothing at all honestly. Baseball and that’s it, that’s all I have to focus on at that moment,” Lance Logsdon said.
- Reaching out to family and friends
“I think it is also important for me to realize when the anxiety and stress is building and greater than a simple night of self-care can fix. When things get too overwhelming I turn to my family and friends. Confiding in them and getting their perspective most likely will put me at ease or at least help me calm a bit and breathe,” Balser said.
Everyone has their own ways to relieve stress and sometimes even different ways for different stressors. The most common response however is partaking in activities that take the individual’s mind off of the current stress related topic.
Many of the respondents also mentioned that after interacting with a distraction it was beneficial to confide in another and talk through their situation. Sometimes it was a friend, other times a parent, or a significant other. Some even talked about seeking greater help.
“Personally, I have found it very beneficial to go to a therapist. It was such a taboo subject for so long and seeking help almost seemed to be frowned upon. Life can be overwhelming and we shouldn’t feel like we have to carry the load all on our own. Society and its norms have changed. Times have changed. It’s time people start seeking out what’s best for them and if that means going to a therapist then that’s what it takes and that’s okay,” Knoblauch said.
Seeking out a therapist is a subject and conversation that hasn’t always been welcomed throughout society.
“It’s crazy to me that people think they even need to explain or validate going to a therapist. Like it’s typically our own inner thoughts and conversations. The idea of therapists has been surrounded by negative connotations and conversations for so long we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe we aren’t worthy of outside help and we have to be ashamed,” Barnett said.
Distractions can only last for so long. Journaling, self care, sleep, and exercise are all effective ways to cope with minimal amounts of stress. Do not be afraid of reaching out and seeking further help if the stress does not diminish after coping tactics.
Mental health is important. If you are looking to seek help, QU offers students a free counseling system during the school year. Quincy University has partnered with Quincy Medical Group to provide students optimal care. The services offered expand over many different categories including stress and anxiety. Their operating hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.