For the past five years, I’ve been constantly struggling with my anxiety disorder. The simplest things can send you into a full-blown panic. So naturally, an already stressful time – like the impending doom of midterms – can be completely overwhelming.
As I am not a medical professional in any way, shape or form, this is merely a personal reflection on what I have found helps me with my personal case of anxiety. Hence, my first point of advice is that if you think you might have anxiety, reach out and seek a professional opinion. Whether it be making an appointment with your personal doctor, or if that is not an option, reach out to Hofstra’s own Saltzman Center.
Know your limits.
The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered with my anxiety during college is to know my limits. I am a textbook case of being an over-thinker and an over-worker. When dealing with anxiety over school work, you need to realize that there is only so much studying you can do before that big test. Nonstop studying and worrying will only stress you out even more.
Take a minute and breathe.
When you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed and that you can’t take another minute of studying, just take a minute and breathe. This may seem so simple that it’s stupid, but when you’re stuck in a constant cycle of anxiety, worrying and overthinking, you really have to make a conscious effort to just take a simple breath. I just close my eyes, breath in and breath out. Counting to 10 can also be an efficient way of taking your mind off studying, even for a quick moment.
Find productive relaxation.
Now I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out. When you are incredibly busy, it seems as though your brain refuses to shut off. This is precisely what happens to me, so I can’t just sit down, do nothing and be relaxed. I need my brain to be working on something, just not school work. I love going to the gym when I’m feeling anxious; it’s a great way to still be productive but get your mind off of studying. Just running on the treadmill for 20 minutes does wonders. If working out doesn’t sound appealing, I find coloring is very relaxing as well. Adult coloring books are filled with beautifully intricate designs, so you can keep your brain active without overworking it.
Dealing with anxiety during college can be difficult, but it’s all about finding what works best for you and your case.