Managing University Stress with Physical Activity
From cramming an assignment last minute, to a beyond tense final exam period, being a university or college student can be more than stressful. As a former varsity athlete, I’ve had my fair share of experience being a little bit more stressed out than I probably should have been. Although, that also means that I have more than enough experience on how to handle some of the stresses that come along with being a student.
There are so many different factors, as a student, that have the potential to inflict some sort of stress on you throughout the school year. However, there are many methods that can help alleviate whatever is making you uneasy about your current situation. My main stress-reliver in university was physical fitness – just by walking through the gym doors I could already notice myself feeling better from whatever was bringing me down.
I’m sure everyone knows about the basic benefits that staying active can provide, and everything that you’ve heard is probably true. One of the main benefits from physical activity are the endorphins that being active releases – which lowers stress levels, anxiety, and depression. On top of feeling better from the mental aspect, you’re also probably losing a bit of weight. Which in my opinion, is a win-win, and being physically active throughout university has definitely helped keep me in check.
Having been on a varsity team, I was lucky enough to have those mandatory practices and games on the weekend. Playing basketball was my physical outlet, it kept me active, and was able to help get my mind off of the day or whatever could have been bothering me at that time. However, being on a varsity team or not, there are still all sorts of ways that students can get out, get their heart rates up, and help melt away that stress.
A very simple solution to getting some sort of physical activity in, is by going for a walk. Taking some time to go for a walk is a great way to slow down the pace of your day, reflect on the day with yourself, or even a friend. It’s a great time to forget about everything while also getting your body to move around. If there aren’t a ton of outdoor paths you can walk around campus, even just a walk outside around campus or down the street will do the trick.
Students can get involved in getting active, and also become more engaged with the school through intramural sports. Getting active through playing a sport can really help you get your mind off of everything – I can highly relate from experience. Intramurals is also a great way to keep your competitive edge up, meet new people, and get the blood flowing without even realizing how much work you’re actually putting in.
The most obvious way to get active and get a sweat on is probably by going to the school gym. All schools have a gym, and all students have access to it (usually through your student card). It might be a bit intimidating if you’re going to the gym for the first time but there is no shame in asking a friend to tag along – I promise it will be worth it. There are so many different options for people to find what they like doing at the gym, and the benefits from it are invaluable.
There are so many opportunities for students, like yourself, to get out and get active. Personally, having basketball as an outlet enabled me to forget about everything throughout the day, enjoy some time with my friends, and play the sport I love. The benefits that come along with going out a couple of days a week and really getting your sweat on will truly help you throughout your university and college degree – especially by relieving some of the stress that school can cause.