By: Gabriel Islas
In the U.S. alone, roughly 14 million college students have reported feeling “extremely overwhelmed” at some point in their semester. And 10.3% of college students surveyed in 2017 said they had thought about taking their own life. Stress is a very dangerous state of mind, especially for college students. And now that the majority of universities have moved to online learning during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s even more important for students to build time into their day to de-stress. Here are six tools college students can use to cope with stress and brighten their day.
1. Headspace – This mobile app is for people looking to begin a meditation practice. Headspace offers guided meditation to relax users and reduce stress and anxiety. A free basic guide is available when you download the app. This guide is a 10-day course designed to teach the key facets of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation options are available based on areas of concern. As an example, Headspace has meditation for students, work, stress, anxiety, focus and sleep. This app is available for android and iOS systems.
2. Coloring – This may sound like a Pre-K activity, but coloring is a great way to ease your mind. There are plenty of adult coloring books and free coloring printouts online for you to enjoy. Coloring helps the mind to focus on your creative side rather than reiterating your problems.
3. Happify – This mobile app uses games and activities to relax the individual. Happify is available across platforms, including smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptop computers. A few simple activities completed on a weekly basis relaxes the person and measures their “happiness.” Graphs generated by the application measure positive emotions before and after each mental health activity. According to Happify, after four weeks, more than 80% of app users noted a marked improvement in mood. The app is compatible for both Android and iOS systems.
4. Aromatherapy – This holistic healing treatment uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Also called essential oil therapy, Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind and spirit, enhancing both physical and emotional health.
5. Mind Shift – This mobile app is geared to those who are using cognitive behavior therapy to address mental health issues. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) involves using available resources to help the person relax. CBT has been used by therapists to address various mental health conditions, such as phobias, panic disorders and social anxiety. The Mindshift app has an interactive interface with tools designed to reorient thinking and get users back on track during stressful situations. The app is available in the Google app store and in the Apple store.
6. Play Mini-Golf – Playing mini-golf is a great way to relieve stress, since it does not require participants to have any type of special skills. This activity helps you to embrace a social moment with your friends while also playing a sport. Enjoying mini-golf outdoors leads to increased confidence, improved creativity and better self-esteem. Natural settings rejuvenate and calm the mind whiling improving one’s outlook. This may also improve your mood, as well as reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Mini-golf is also a very affordable activity, so you don’t have to stress about cost.
These activities/mobile apps can help students deal with stress. There are many other ways to fight it, and it’s important to figure out what works best for you. Taking good care of your mental health is extremely important, especially right now. Remember to look for professional help if you’re feeling anxious or depressed by visiting the school’s CAPS team for more information.
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