By Madison Kroner
After a long relaxing summer break, the thought of returning to school can be extremely overwhelming and daunting. It is both mentally and physically demanding to get back into the routine of school work, which makes most students feel an unwanted high level of stress and anxiety. When starting a new academic year it’s important to set a certain pattern and schedule that works properly with a student’s lifestyle.
“As the workload gets heavier through the years, I ensure that I make time to handle the stress associated with the significant amount of assignments and tests,” said Elysia Bateman, a bachelor of community and criminal justice student at Conestoga College. “I find any activity being active outside, such as hiking and jogging, really helps me deal with the stress and manage a healthy lifestyle.”
“Having a certain amount of pressure is good and can actually improve our performance, said Dr. Peter Ruffer, a family doctor in Kitchener, Ont. “But when students become anxious and stressed to a certain extent it becomes extremely unhealthy. September and October are the busiest time for the office in regards to student mental health. Patients would come in asking for medications to treat their stress and anxiety. Medication is a last resort when treating anxiety because there are so many natural ways to treat it.”
Eating healthy and exercising daily is an amazing outlet for stress relief in post-secondary students. According to the Canadian Psychological Association, regular physical activity can reduce day-to-day stress and boost academic performance in youth and young adults, along with reducing feelings of fatigue and boosting a students self-esteem.
Ben Albrecht, a construction techniques student, spoke about how he keeps himself stress-free during the school year: “I wake up every morning and go on a run to get my creative juices flowing. Then I come home and get ready before heading off to school for the day. My tip to avoid stress is to stay athletic and keep a planner to stay organized.”
Another way for students to reduce their stress and anxiety levels is meditation. This form of mindfulness has been proven to show many beneficial effects, both mentally and physically.
“I try to live as stress-free as possible,” said Nolan LaFrance, an international business student at Conestoga College. “I meditate for hours at a time, mostly three times a week.”