5 Self-Care Practices To Relieve College Admissions Stress
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Shravya Kakulamarri in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- Make a Plan to Manage Your Emotions
- Add Movement to Your Lifestyle
- Lose Yourself in a Story
- Rely on Your Support System
- Create Daily Rituals
This article explores five self-care practices that you can use to relieve any stress you may be feeling during the college admissions season. It is extremely important that you work hard to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being during this challenging time. For more information, read Being Well: How to Manage Stress & Cultivate Mental Health in High School.
Make a Plan to Manage Your Emotions
Since it can be difficult to know how to manage negative emotions when they arise, it is important to make a plan ahead of time. Take a blank sheet of paper, draw a table with three columns, and fill in each column as follows:
- When I feel…
- For this column, create a list of challenging or negative emotions, such as being overwhelmed, stressed, sad, disappointed, tired, frustrated, or worried.
- I can do…
- For this next column, brainstorm activities or strategies to cope with each negative or challenging emotion listed in the leftmost column.
- I will feel…
- For the final column, describe the way you will feel after you do the activities listed in the middle column.
Add Movement To Your Lifestyle
Physical movement―playing sports, going on a walk, or doing some yoga or jumping jacks―releases endorphins that help improve your mood and outlook. Schedule time each day to do something physical that you also enjoy and interrupt long study sessions or application writing marathons to do a few jumping jacks, downward dogs, or burpees.
Lose Yourself in a Story
Sometimes, the best way to manage difficult emotions or challenging situations is to distract yourself with someone else’s problems. In other words, lose yourself in an essay, news article, short story, book, podcast, television episode, or movie. Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, reading about the lives of other people can give your mind a much-needed rest.
Rely on Your Support System
Surround yourself with a few high-quality people who you trust and who you know care deeply about you. These should be people who value you for no other reason than the fact that you are you. When you are struggling, you should text, call, FaceTime, or pay a visit to one of these people and talk about what you are feeling and experiencing. The conversation does not have to be long for it to be effective, and it does not take long for the stress to dissipate. Of course, you should remember that relationships are two-way streets. Sometimes, you will need others to be there for you but you should always make time and space to be there for others, especially when you are in the right headspace to do so.
Create Daily Rituals
Find a few self-care habits that you can practice every day. Here are a few habits that you could integrate into your day:
- Take a 15-minute power walk in your neighborhood.
- Do a guided meditation for 10 minutes.
- Read a daily news briefing and learn about current affairs at the local, state, and national levels.
- Spend 15 minutes drinking tea, munching on your favorite snacks, and reading a good book.
- Find a furry animal friend and pet it gently for a few minutes.
- List five things you are grateful for and five things you are looking forward to.
- Stop whatever you are doing, crank up the music, and dance out your stress for 10 minutes.
- Spend 15 minutes free writing in a journal.
- Handwrite a thank you note to someone in your life.