For many college students, dealing with anxiety is an unavoidable part of life. 

Some feel extra pressure and added stress studying for finals or meeting project deadlines. Others feel crippling social anxiety that makes it challenging to meet new friends or even want to leave the dorm.

Everyone experiences stress at various levels and at different times throughout life. But whatever level your anxiety is at — there are ways to cope with it.

Here are seven powerful ways to manage your anxiety in college, regardless of how mild or severe it may be.

1. Maintain Healthy Habits

Maintain Healthy Habits

One of the best ways to keep your anxiety at bay is to have healthy habits throughout your life. And that includes how you eat.

Eat healthy meals, focus on heart-healthy foods, and make sure your diet includes whole grains and lean proteins. 

As a college student, it can be hard to resist the temptation of partying and over-indulging. But part of being healthy also means getting a good night’s sleep — and that means limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake. 

Can you have a cup of coffee in the morning or a few beers at the end of a long day?

You can — just do so in moderation.

People with healthy lifestyles tend to feel less stressed. The more stress you have, the harder it will be to keep your anxiety at a manageable level. So, choose health!

2. Don’t Avoid Your Anxiety

You can't wish your apprehension away. You can't pretend it doesn't exist. The best way to deal with anxiety is to confront it head-on.

Trying to avoid anxiety only makes anxiety worse.

Don’t skip class or sleep all day to avoid your anxiety. Get up. Get dressed. Go to class.

Maintaining a steady routine helps you take control of your anxiety. Without that routine, it could have power over you.

3. Learn Some New Coping Methods

Yoga. Meditation. Exercise.

There are endless ways to cope with anxiety. You'll need to experiment with different methods and figure out the one that works best for you.

Apps likeHeadspace andAura are great places to start. If you want to go beyond the basics, carve out some time each day to become a master of deep breathing techniques.

Keep a daily journal. Learn how to self-talk to combat negative thoughts. These are just two of the many ways that you can combat anxiety and become your best self.

4. Break Big Tasks Into Small Tasks

If you can learn to identify your triggers, you can keep anxiety at bay. So if big projects and overarching goals stress you out, learn how to break those things down, so they don’t become overwhelming.

Stressed out because you have to write a 25-page paper? 

Instead of looking at it as a massive 25-page project, break it down into smaller chunks. Look at it as five papers of five pages each. 

Just take it a few pages at a time. That way you're able to make progress without overwhelming yourself with the grand scope of the project.

Are you missing out on sleep because you’re trying to cram for exams? 

Creating good study habits can alleviate this problem forever.

Instead of waiting until the end of the semester to review fifteen weeks of class notes, keep up on your classes from week to week. Review your notes every week, and you won’t feel like you’re playing catch up at the end of the semester.

Breaking big tasks into little tasks is a great way to manage anxiety, but there’s more to it than that. You should also celebrate your mini successes along the way.

If your goal for the day was to write the first two pages of that 25-page paper, reward yourself once those two pages are complete. 

The more you celebrate mini-goals, the easier it will be to want to move onto the next mini-goal, and, ultimately, complete that bigger picture goal. 

5. Get Outside For Some Fresh Air

When you feel anxious, do you want to stay in your room buried under the covers all day? 

Sorry to say, but that probably won't help you.

Go outside. Get some sunlight. Take a long walk around campus. A little vitamin D therapy could go a long way toward making you feel better. 

Sit outside with a book (even if you don’t read it) or enjoy a cup of coffee or a quiet lunch outdoors.

Staying cooped up in a small, dark room may be tempting. But if you want to reduce anxiety, it’s the opposite of what you should do.


6. Seek Out Campus Resources

If you’re experiencing high levels of anxiety that you can’t manage on your own, talk to a professional. 

See if your campus has a mental health professional on staff (they probably do). Seek out peer counseling for social support. Lean on advisors for academic support.

When you're suffering from anxiety, it's essential to take advantage of any and all resources that are available to you.

7. Check-In With Loved Ones

Having a support system is extremely important. Especially when you’re suffering from anxiety, and you’re miles from home.

Talk to parents, siblings, and friends regularly. If there is someone you leaned on in high school to help you manage your anxiety, lean on them now, even if you’re far away at college.

Do you have a therapist at home that you can no longer see face to face because of the distance? 

Ask them to recommend a new therapist in your college town or see if they offer online video sessions or Skype sessions. 

More and more physicians are participating in telemedicine sessions, so ask your doctor if this is something they can offer.

Conclusion

Many college students struggle with anxiety and stress. Here are a few ways you can cope:

Maintain healthy habits

Don’t avoid your anxiety; tackle it head-on

Meditate, journal, and learn deep breathing techniques

Break big tasks down into mini-goals

Get outside to enjoy some sunlight and fresh air

Take advantage of all on-campus resources

Have a support system and check in with them frequently

Friends, parents, therapists — having someone in your corner is a great way to ease anxiety and stress. 

And when that’s not an option, trust in yourself. Just by learning a few of these seven techniques, you can make your anxiety more manageable than ever before.

Author bio:
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management and works closely with Wildwood Baton Rouge to help them with their marketing efforts. He has over ten years of experience in the student housing industry.