Strategies for Managing Academic Stress: Prioritizing Physical Well-being (pt. 2)

Hello, my dear viewers! 😄

For those coming back to this series, thanks for staying tuned! For those here for the first time, I’ll explain– this is the second post of our series about dealing with academic stress.

In the first post, I gave a brief overview of stress and some factors that can trigger it.

Today’s topic is on how to take care of yourself physically, as it’s important for keeping your stress under control to maintain your academic life intact.

Ready, set, go! 👇

Eating 🍴

Eating can increase brain power or decrease mental energy. A diet based on water, fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber-rich foods helps prevent you from experiencing diet-related mood swings, dizziness, and more, and your body will be getting the nutrients it needs to function optimally. On the other hand, a diet high in sugar and fat usually obtained from fast food will make you feel sluggish and unmotivated to get things done.

Sleep 💤

Another area that needs to be taken care of is your sleep. Sleep recharges your body and mind and influences your immunity to diseases.

Here are some tips to manage your sleep well:

  • Get enough sleep. Generally, people between the ages of 18 and 25 need 7-9 hours of sleep.
  • Be consistent. Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time.
  • Avoid your screens at least an hour before bed. This means turning off laptops, phones, tablets, etc. Exposure before bed has been proven to decrease sleep quality.
  • Relax. Stress can often interrupt your sleep pattern, so try relaxing before going to bed. You could take a bath, watch your favorite TV show, read, etc.
  • Avoid doing your work in bed. Working in bed leads to an association between bedtime and work, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.

Physical Activity 👟

Physical activity increases the production of well-being neurotransmitters (called endorphins), has positive effects on the cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems, and increases energy. These benefits protect you from the harmful effects of stress.

Here are some tips for implementing an exercise routine:

  •  Consider exercise as a way to renew your energy and take care of yourself.
  •  Include exercise periods in your schedule throughout the week. 
  • Get your body moving with simple activities like walking around the neighborhood, taking the dog for a walk, riding a bike, etc. As you see results in your well-being, you may want to consider being more intentional in the types of exercises you pursue or the intensity in which you practice. 
  • Choose exercises that you enjoy. Combining exercise with an activity that gives you pleasure increases your level of well-being even more.
  • Increase the exercise intensity level gradually. This prevents injuries.
  •  If you haven’t exercised in a while or have health issues, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. 

Well, I think it’s pretty clear how necessary taking care of your body is to relieve stress. I’ll close this post with one of my favorite analogies– You need to sharpen your ax to continue cutting trees. 🪓

In this analogy, the ax is you; you need to be physically well to continue doing what you do, whether it’s taking classes and exams, finishing presentations and assignments, etc.

After reading, have you identified the areas that need more care? I encourage you to make some changes to get your ax sharpened!

In our next post, we’ll bring you tips on mental health. In the meantime, focus on taking care of your body with what you learned today. 😉

See you later, friends! 💪

reminder: you can text/call IFI’s prayer line whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and/or need help. 1-800-372-1013


About the author