There are so many things that pull you in different directions in college, whether academics, work, friends, family, clubs, and just trying to figure out how to be independent for the first time. These are a lot of added responsibilities. It can be difficult to know how to balance all of these components AND take care of yourself.

Anxiety is normal

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful events. We all experience anxiety, and a little anxiety can be good to help motivate you and remind you of just how responsible and connected you are! For some, it can be difficult to learn new coping skills or even know what those coping skills may be.

Normal stress responses

Normal responses to stressors can include*:

  • Worrying about circumstantial events, such as an assignment or a breakup, that will leave you upset.
  • Embarrassment or self-consciousness in the face of uncomfortable social situations (for example not knowing many people when you first get to school).
  • Cases of “nerves” or jitters, dizziness or sweating over an assignment or other important event.
  • Realistic fear of a threatening situation (Looking both ways before you step of the curb on Beall).
  • Wanting to be sure that you are healthy (Balancing the pizza line at Lowry with the fresh salads).
  • Anxiety, sadness, or difficulty sleeping immediately following at traumatic even (or an event with a large adjustment)

If you find that these symptoms have become exacerbated and have become pervasive to the point of you being unable to function in a healthy manner – seek help. There are resources available.

Try some of these coping techniques*:

  • Exercise. Physical activity helps your body and mind. Got for a walk, go to the gym, play Frisbee, just get moving!
  • Eat a balanced diet. Don’t skip meals, and minimize caffeine as it can trigger anxiety and panic attacks
  • Limit alcohol and stay away from illegal drugs.
  • Get involved, being active in the community helps create a support network
  • Do your BEST instead of trying to be PERFECT
  • Take a time-out. Take a deep breath and count to 10. Stepping back from a problem can help you get a clear mind.
  • Put things in perspective. Think about your situation, is it as bad as you are building in your mind, or can there be solutions.
  • Talk to someone.
  • Find out what triggers your anxiety. Take notes and jot down patterns.

Apps for anxiety:

  • Pacifica (Free)
  • Mindshift (Free)
  • Headspace (Free 10 day trial)

*Taken in part from Anxiety and Depression Association of America